The University of Newcastle has been awarded $10.4 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for a record 20 projects, including $3.1 million for research targeting respiratory diseases.
Five Newcastle projects will research asthma, viral infections and emphysema.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, Professor Mike Calford, said the funding confirmed the University's position in leading research across a range of medical fields, both nationally and internationally.
"With approximately 30 per cent of the community suffering from some form of respiratory illness, research into this area is vital. The Hunter is leading the way in finding novel approaches to address respiratory disease and explore new treatments."
With $1.3 million over three years, Professor Paul Foster will undertake two projects: exploring better treatments of asthma and allergic inflammation; and investigating the protective role of mast cells in the immune system against viral infections.
Associate Professor Phil Hansbro, who received $1.2 million for two respiratory projects, will look at ways to prevent and treat the progression of emphysema; and investigate the mechanisms of how viral infections and emphysema can lead to pneumonia.
Newcastle’s Associate Professor Joerg Mattes will explore new therapies for asthma with a NHMRC grant of $615,000 over three years.
Other funding for Newcastle projects announced by the NHMRC included:
- $718,000 for Professor Afaf Girgis and her team to trial a self-directed coping skills intervention for patients with cancer and their partners
- $622,000 for Professor Roger Smith’s team to investigate how pregnancy makes women more vulnerable to influenza
- $522,000, a third grant for Professor Hansbro and his team to investigate an agent that could protect against Chlamydia infection
- $436,000 for Professor Amanda Baker and her research team to explore ways to promote healthy lifestyles for people with psychotic disorders
"Our research delivers real results that have impact locally, nationally and internationally. Our researchers rank among the world's best and these grants will extend the vitally important work they are doing in health and medical research," Professor Mike Calford said.
For a complete list of projects visit www.newcastle.edu.au/service/grants-and-contracts/news/nhmrc-announcements.html
For interviews with Professor Mike Calford, Professor Paul Foster, Associate Professor Phil Hansbro, Associate Professor Joerg Mattes, Professor Afaf Girgis, Professor Roger Smith or Professor Amanda Baker contact Carmen Swadling on 02 4985 4276 or 0428 038 477.