Significant funding boost to aid global health issues

Thursday, 14 March 2019


Hunter researchers have been successful in securing more than $2.8million to work toward solutions for some of the nation’s most pressing health challenges.

As part of the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council funding, four Partnership Projects will be led by researchers in key areas such as smoking prevention, colorectal cancer treatment, child activity programs and mental health support.

The successful projects are:

  • $1,408,506 awarded to Professor Christine Paul and team to aid cancer patients in their efforts to quit smoking. Although cancer patients can improve their quality and length of life by quitting smoking, few are provided with the kind of assistance needed to help them quit. The research trial will involve working with doctors, nurses and allied health staff in cancer centres to help them to integrate smoking cessation care into their current practice.
  • $941,274 awarded to Dr Serene Yoong and team for a first-of-its-kind trial to support childcare services with implementing continuous free-play schedules. These implementation programs ensure children are engaged in outdoor play to improve child activity in an effort to prevent chronic disease. There is limited research measuring the effectiveness of these interventions, so the team will work with 96 childcare services to develop a model for other services.
  • $298,835 awarded to Conjoint Associate Professor Stephen Smith and team to develop an interactive web-based program to improve patient recovery after colorectal cancer surgery. Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) can facilitate early recovery by reducing postoperative stress, postoperative complications and length of hospital stay.
  • $196,973 awarded to Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin and team, in collaboration with Beyond Blue, to undertake a three year program that integrates technology (via the eCliPSE tool) into the management of mental health and alcohol/other drug use.

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation), Professor Deborah Hodgson, said the outcome was great recognition of the diverse and world-leading research being undertaken across the region.

“This significant funding success is a great example of the impact work in our region can have not only on the nation, but worldwide,” Professor Hodgson said.

“I’d like to congratulate all the recipients on a fantastic outcome.”

* HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Health and the community.