Medical Research Future Fund success for key health initiatives

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Three University of Newcastle-led research teams have secured more than $3.5 million through the Australian Government's Medical Research Future Fund, bolstering the University’s commitment to better, healthier living within our regions and beyond.

  • $1.6 million awarded to a research team led by Conjoint Associate Professor Tracy Dudding-Byth to identify genetic modifiers in sufferers of Neurofibromatosis type 1 – a common neurogenetic condition causing potentially disfiguring skin tumours in adults. There is currently no way to predict tumour severity. There is currently no way of predicting whether a person with NF1 will have <100 or thousands of cutaneous neurofibromas. This international three-year research project will include a large genome-wide association study to identify genetic modifiers to help understand disease variability and characterise potential treatment pathways.
  • $1.52 million awarded to a research team led by Conjoint Professor Chris Levi to evaluate ischemic stroke interventions. Ischemic stroke (also referred to as brain ischemia or cerebral ischemia) is caused by a blockage in an artery that supplies blood to the brain.  Endovascular thrombectomy (EVT) is routinely used for ischemic stroke patients and provides one of the largest treatment effects in medicine, however has only ever been only offered to a third of stroke patients via foundational trials. Through this four-year program, researchers will carry out trials to address large knowledge gaps and deliver practice-changing data.
  • $485,000 awarded to a research team led by Conjoint Professor Chris Levi to improve the long-term recovery and survivorship of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people living with stroke. The two-year Yarning Up After Stroke project aims to reduce the inequity in healthcare by identifying the needs and wants of Indigenous people, producing a co-designed, evidence and strengths-based conversation tool to support stroke recovery and determining the effect this tool has on disability and quality of life of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait people living with stroke.

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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.