Brain and Mental Health Research
Brain and Mental Health Research
Brain & Mental Health

Using New Light-Based Approaches to Study Chronic Pain
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Brett Graham, Dr Phil Jobling, Ms Kelly Smith

Description:

Changes to the nervous system during chronic pain remain poorly understood. What we do know is that nerve cells in the spinal cord play an important role in pain signalling because the spinal cord is the first site where information from our bodies is processed to ultimately shape sensory experience.

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Stroke Helmet
Project Grant
Researchers:
How does a potential new treatment for schizophrenia affect brain activity to improve cognition?
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Lauren Harms, Emeritus Professor Patricia Michie

Description:

Schizophrenia is a severe, chronic mental illness that is debilitating to the individual and ranks among the top 10 causes of disability in developed countries worldwide.

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Development and implementation of improved monitoring of psychological stress loads in patients recovering from stroke
Project Grant
Researchers:

Conjoint Associate Profosser Michael Pollack, Professor Michael Nilsson, Associate Professor Rohan Walker, Dr Lin Kooi Ong

Description:

Patients recovering from stroke often report high and unremitting levels of psychological stress. Clinically, the presence of stress throughout the recovery process is highly significant, as stress hormones, most notably cortisol, are known to impair multiple aspects of brain repair including cortical remodelling, angiogenesis, and neurogenesis.

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Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Kelly Smith, Associate Professor Brett Graham, Professor Bob Callister

Description:

The spinal cord is a key area in pain research as it is the first point in the central nervous system to receive pain signals and is also thought to be a key site for the establishment of chronic pain. In this region, there are many different types of nerve cells that receive pain signals. 

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Role of Infection in the Development of parkinson's Disease
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Phillip Dickson, Emeritus Professor Peter Dunkley

Description:

Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, with 6.3 million people diagnosed worldwide; 80,000 of these are Australian. This means that around one out of every 350 Australians suffers from this life changing debilitating disease. Parkinson’s disease appears more frequently in males than females. The majority of Parkinson’s disease cases are idiopathic- of unknown cause. 

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Research Assistant on Clarity Microscope project
Project Grant
Researchers:

Ameha Seyoum

The Greater Charitable Foundation Fellowship who works on the TASTE Stroke Trial
Fellowship
Researchers:
The Resilient Brain Initiative – Preclinical Neurobiology Group
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Chris Dayas, Associate Professor Brett Graham

Description:

The Resilient Brain Initiative through HMRI and the University of Newcastle aims to identify new treatments to slow, stop or reverse declines in brain function caused by stress.

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An innovative strategy to limit cognitive decline and dementia
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Frederick Rohan Walker

Novel Mechanisms of ‘Stroke-in-Progression’: Intracranial pressure elevation and collateral blood vessel failure after minor stroke
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Neil Spratt, Dr Damian McLeod

Description:

Ischaemic stroke, caused by blood clot blocking an artery to the brain, is a leading cause of death and disability. In around 10% of patients the stroke enlarges in the first 24-48 h (stroke-in-progression).

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Towards the development of new therapeutic interventions for Alzheimer’s disease
Project Grant
Bringing CLARITY to brain cancer
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jamie Flynn, William Palmer, Dr Antony Martin, Dr Craig Gedye

Description:

Cancer is an invasive, adaptive process that interacts and adapts to the microenvironment, subjugating the normal tissue around it to optimise growth and survival. Understanding this growth and interaction in three dimensions will add additional insight into the way cancers expand and spread.

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BUST-Stroke “Breaking Up Sitting Time after Stroke. A new paradigm for reducing recurrent stroke risk”
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Coralie English, Dr Heidi Janssen, Associate Professor Rohan Walker, Professor Neil Spratt, Professor Robin Callister

Description:

Sitting for long periods of time each day increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Stroke survivors living at home spend 75% of their waking hours sitting down, which is much higher than healthy people of a similar age, making them at particularly high risk.

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Supporting postnatal first-time mothers – An RCT of a new mobile application
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Sally Chan, Dr Lyn Ebert, Donovan Jones, Eileen Dowse, Shanna Fealy

Description:

Transition to motherhood is a major development in a woman’s life which is marked by dramatic changes in identity, roles and relationships. Although many mothers are able to meet the challenges of parenting, others, especially first time mothers, feel overburdened and some become depressed.

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Seeing pain pathways in 3D
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jamie Flynn, Dr Antony Martin, William Palmer

Description:

Neuropathic pain is a complex, chronic and debilitating pain that often accompanies diseases such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes, peripheral nerve injury and stroke. Our understanding of neuropathic pain is poor and as such is difficult to treat.

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Targeting LCMT1-mediated neuroprotective mechanisms in Alzheimer disease
Project Grant
Description:

Dementia is the second leading cause of death in Australia with Alzheimer’s disease accounting for 70% of age-associated dementia.

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Cholesterol metabolism in the ageing brain – implications for dementia
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Dementia and cogitive decline are major concerns for our ageing population. Cholesterol is a promminent risk factor for Alzheimer's Disease. If a person has a particular form of the cholesterol carrying protein Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) their chances of developing Alzheimer's Disease rise 15 fold.

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Award for Early Career Research - Andrew Bivard
HMRI Award for Early Career Research
Researchers:
Tenecteplase versus Alteplase for Stroke Thrombolysis Evaluation (TASTE) trial
Project Grant
Researchers:

Cancer Research
Cancer Research
Cancer

Developing Synthetic Exosomes to Target and Deliver Anti-Cancer Agents to Prostate Cancer Cells
Project Grant
Researchers:

Joshua Brzozowski

Targeting DNA repair for the improved treatment of blood cancers
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Matt Dun, Dr Nikki Verrills

Description:

Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is the most common form of acute leukaemia, and it has the lowest 5yr survival rate at a dismal 24%. Recently, improved technologies have enabled researchers to identify a number of mutations that recur in AML.

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Cancer secretory molecules as a novel diagnostic biomarker for pancreatic cancer.
Project Grant
Description:

Metastatic pancreatic cancer has a low survival rate and even with the best existing therapies the survival is less than a year. Despite advances in treatments and outcomes for other cancers, this has not happened for pancreatic cancer with no advances in mortality reduction observed over the past decade. This grim outlook drives our research, which focuses on developing novel diagnostic strategies for pancreatic cancer.

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TrkA is overexpressed and is a potential adjunct therapeutic target in HER2-positive breast cancers
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Mr Sam Faulkner

Bioimpedence Scales
Equipment Grant
Description:

The Bioimpedence Scales are essentially a pair of 'fancy' scales that measure the density of body tissue to predict body mass - amount and composition. This is important because we know the relative amounts of fat and lean tissue in a patient affect how much of a drug gets to a particular site like the tumour and also determines how long it stays there and how the drug is released over time.

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EphA2 as a circulating biomarker for GBM progression – a pilot study
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jennette Sakoff, Dr Mike Fay; Dr James Lynam

Description:

Annually there are 2,000 new cases of brain cancer in Australia. Prognosis for people with brain cancer is dire. Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common brain tumour, the most lethal and difficult to treat. 

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Brain Cancer care co-ordinator research project
Project Grant
Researchers:

Sandy Nixon

Underpinning Australian brain cancer research: creating the resources essential to accelerate access and sharing of biospecimens and associated clinical data vital to advancing research in brain cancer.
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Raymond Cook, Robyn Leonard, Jennifer Byrne

Description:

Brain Cancer Biobanking Australia (BCBA) is an initiative established to facilitate the networking of both adult and paediatric brain cancer biobanking operations Australia-wide with the aim of providing researchers with access to the number, quality and type of tissue samples and associated data

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Defining and predicting clinical toxicity in GBM patients undergoing temozolomide-radiation treatment: A multivariate study.
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr James Lynam, Dr Jennette Sakoff, Professor Jenny Martin, Dr Lisa Lincz, Dr Mike Fay, Giovana Celli Marchett, Dr Peter Galettis

Description:

Annually there are 2,000 new cases of brain cancer in Australia. Prognosis for people with brain cancer is dire. It is the highest cause of death in 0-39 age group with a 5-year survival rate of 19%. Brain cancer results in 5,000 hospitalisations per year (average stay 12.5 days, the longest of any cancer) and has the highest lifetime cost per patient of $1.89m [1].

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BAALC - a novel target for the development of new treatments for brain cancer.
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Brain cancer is the 15th most common cancer in the world, and has one of the worst survival rates of all cancer types, with only approximately half of patients surviving for one year post-diagnosis. This poor survival rate highlights that new treatments for brain cancer are urgently required.

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Targeting a tumour suppressor for new cancer therapies
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Nicole Verrills

Description:

Previous research has shown that the PPP2R2A gene is ‘lost’ or ‘switched off’, in up to half of all breast cancer, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer patients.

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Receptor tyrosine kinase mutations in acute myeloid leukaemia promote PP2A and p53 inhibition through the phosphorylation of SBDS
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Matt Dun, Dr Nicole M Verrills

Description:

AML (acute myeloid leukemia) is a very aggressive form of leukemia. Tumour suppressor proteins are critically important for normal healthy cells to be protected from genetic mutations. However in AML mutations occur in the genes responsible for stem growth and cell differentiation.

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Improving the treatment benefit of immunotherapy in cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Cancer immunotherapy is a therapeutic strategy that harnesses cancer patients own immune system to specifically target cancer cells. A new class of newly developed drugs in cancer immunotherapy (called immune checkpoint inhibitors) can cause long lasting regression of tumors and prevent relapse but only a small number of patients currently benefit from these drugs.

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Tetraspanin CD9; more than just an exosome marker - A novel biomarker to target for prostate cancer
Project Grant
Description:

Currently the major hurdle facing the successful treatment of solid cancers is the development of metastases (tumour spread), and our lack of understanding of what controls this process.

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Cardiovascular Research
Cardiovascular Research
Cardiovascular

The feasibility and preliminary efficiacy of referral to exercise physiologists, psychologists, and supplementary physical behaviour change strategics for school teachers 'at risk' for Type 2 Diabetes, with pre diabetes or with Type 2 Diabetes: a pilot st
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Ronald Plotnikoff, Wendy Brown, Kerry Courneya, Ronald Sigal, Associate Professor Erica James, Professor David Lubans, Kristen Cohen

Description:

People who are 'at risk' of type 2 diabetes, or have pre diabetes, or have type 2 diabetes comprise a significant proportion of the Australian population and this health issue in increasing at a very significant rate.

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The effects of dexmedetomidine on the cardiorespiratory responses to severe hypoxaemia
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Anthony Quail, Associate Professor David Cottee

Description:

Dexmedetomidine is an intravenous sedative drug with increasing clinical use anaesthesia and intensive care. The drug acts within the central nervous system (CNS) and has potential adverse effects on the control of breathing and the circulation.

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Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Decades of research has demonstrated the important role of cardiovascular fitness for health (Blair et al., 1996). Consequently, ‘aerobic’ physical activities have long been prescribed to children and adolescents. However, recently updated physical activity guidelines now recommend 5 to 18 year olds also regularly engage in muscle-strengthening physical activities (MSPA) (Department of Health, 2014).

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Nutrition Connect: providing an online platform to link rural families to health professional advice and support for healthy eating, especially for obese children
Project Grant
Description:

This project will focus on providing telehealth nutrition intervention for rural parents who are concerned about their child’s weight or eating habits.

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Nutrition’s role in chronic pain management
Scholarship
Researchers:
eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Clare Collins, Dr Megan Rollo, Dr Tracy Burrows, Dr Melinda Hutchesson

Description:

This grant will support our eHealth research project measuring the impact of web-based feedback on dietary intake in improving eating patterns and health.

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Double-blind Placebo Controlled Trial on Direct Endomyocardial Injection of Autologous bone Marrow Cells for Enhancement of Neovascularization in Patients with Ischaemic Heart Failure
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Coronary artery disease (CAD) remains one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide. Despite the optimal use of anti-anginal medications and coronary revascularization, a large number of patients with CAD suffer from severe symptoms with disabling angina and heart failure.

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Characterising the role of Fibulin-3 in health and disease
Project Grant
Description:

Cardiovascular Disease is the leading cause of death worldwide and the Hunter Region has one of the highest rates of heart disease in Australia. Recently the research team has identified a new protein called fibulin-3 which is expressed in the ageing heart.

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Evaluation of a type 2 diabetes risk reduction program for women with recent gestational diabetes
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Megan Rollo, Professor Clare Collins, Dr Melinda Hutchesson, Professor Robin Callister

Description:

Pregnancy is like a stress test, revealing a woman's long term risk to developing Type II Diabetes. Post delivery is the ideal time to address lifestyle risk factors but many women with gestational diabetes report a lack of support at this crucial time.

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Healthy Dads, Healthy Youngsters. A healthy-lifestyle: program for fathers and their young children
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Fathers have a unique and key role in shaping their children's dietary and physical activity behaviors and emerging evidence suggests suboptimal physical activity and dietary behaviours of fathers may be passed on to their children at a very young age.

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Greaves Family Early Career Support Grant
Scholarship
Researchers:

Dr Kirrilly Pursey

Description:

Kirrilly is an Accredited Practising Dietician, and was recently awarded her PhD investigating whether food addiction exists in young Australian adults.

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Greaves Family Early Career Support Grant
Scholarship
Researchers:
Description:

Following a cardiovascular event (e.g. heart attack) the heart undergoes significant physical changes, including an increase in scar tissue, changes in morphology and decreased functional capacity (heart remodelling).

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Future' Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship
Scholarship
Researchers:

Jessica Ferguson

Description:

This scholarship will support Jessica’s PhD, titled “Optimising lipid-lowering ability of dietary phytosterols for reducing cardiovascular disease risk”.

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Equal Futures Award
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Tracy, a member of HMRI's Cardiovascular Research Program,  aspires not only be a leading researcher but also a research leader and was recently named a 2016 NSW Young Tall Poppy of the Year. Tracy will use the Equal Futures funding to access one on one leadership mentoring with the Institute of Executive Coaching and leadership.

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A prospective systematic examination of radial artery occlusion, injury and complication post cardiac catheterisation: A nursing led review of procedural complications
Project Grant
Researchers:

Trent Williams

Description:

Cardiac catheterisation and percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) are commonly performed procedures to investigate and manage cardiac disease.

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Fibulin-3 and Cardiac Fibrosis
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Heart failure is one of the most costly health problems worldwide. A hallmark of heart failure is cardiac fibrosis, an abnormal and persistent accumulation of scar tissue (mainly the extracellular matrix protein, collagen) that significantly impairs heart function.

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Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered (DADEE)
Project Grant
Description:

Engaging dads and daughters to increase physical activity and social and emotional well-being in pre-adolescent girls: The DADEE (Dads And Daughters Exercising and Empowered) program

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Information Based Medicine
Information Based Medicine
Information Based Medicine

Magnetic resonance scanning of brain of MS patients for biochemical changes
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Magnetic resonance imaging is not only important in the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis but also to monitor therapy. New treatment options are very effective in reducing inflammation in MS and significantly reducing relapse rate.

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QX200 AutoDG Droplet Digital PCR System
Equipment Grant
Researchers:
Description:

The QX200 AutoDG Droplet Digital PCR System will increase the genomic research capacity of HMRI helping researchers to understand the molecular basis of the disease.

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Development of a chemotherapy test for ovarian cancer
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Nikola Bowden, Dr Jim Scurry, Dr Geoff Otton, Dr Ken Jaaback, Dr Janine Lombard

Description:

Project Goal - To develop a test for predicting ovarian cancer response/resistance to cisplatin chemotherapy that can be quickly implemented in clincial centres. Such a test would let the doctor know that the patient is becoming resistant to cisplatin chemotherapy. At this stage there is no test available meaning some people remain on the wrong treatment protocol for the course of their treatment, suffereing toxic side effects for no benefit. The sooner treatment is switched the higher the chance that the patient will respond. 

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Pregnancy & Reproduction Research
Pregnancy & Reproduction Research
Pregnancy & Reproduction

Establishment of an insulin dosing schedule for high fat, high protein meals in individuals with type 1 diabetes using insulin pump therapy
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Carmel Smart, Associate Professor Bruce King

Description:

A common challenge for people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) is controlling significant elevations of blood glucose following meals [1]. This is of concern as postprandial hyperglycaemia has been identified as an important risk factor in the development of long-term complications of T1D including cardiovascular disease [2].

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In children and young people with type 1 diabetes and newly diagnosed coeliac diseased, does commencement of a gluten-free diet improve daily glycaemic variability?
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Carmel Smart, Associate Professor Bruce King, Dr Prudence Lopez

Splitting the Insulin Combination Bolus
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Bruce King

Gomeroi gaaynggal - Safety and Wellbeing
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

The ‘Gomeroi Gayaanggal’ Project to provide a holistic approach to social and emotional wellbeing within the Indigenous communities of Tamworth and Walgett, and will add Taree and Forster in Stage 2.  

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Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Dr Elizabeth Bromfield, Professor Brett Nixon, Laureate Professor John Aitken

Description:

Male infertility is a distressingly common condition affecting at least 1 in 20 men of reproductive age. In a vast majority of infertile patients (>80%), sufficient numbers of spermatozoa are produced to achieve fertilisation, however the functionality of these cells has become compromised, making defective sperm function the largest single defined cause of human infertility.

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Mothers and Babies
Project Grant
Description:

Premature birth is the most common reason for a newborn baby to die. Unfortunately, current treatments for premature birth are not very effective. We have developed a mechanism for targeting the delivery of drugs to the uterine tissue, which we believe can be used to prevent or block preterm labour.

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Pathways to Improving Maternal Mortality in Rural Nepal
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Background: Pregnancy is a precious event offering a human value to the biosphere. It is special to every woman and societal unit. Women suffer in comparison with men over a wide spectrum of human activity. The health situation of women in Nepal is poor. Maternal mortality in Nepal is among the highest in Asia (over 190/100,000 live births) and one of the worst ten in the world (WHO 2015).

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Effect of age and oxidative stress on female fertility
Scholarship
Researchers:

Bettina Mihalas, Professor Brett Nixon, Professor Eileen McLaughlin

Description:

1 in 6 couples in Australia require assisted reproductive technologies (ART) to conceive, with approximately 50% of these cases resulting from female infertility. This places a large emotional strain on couples trying to conceive and a large financial burden on the Australian heath care system.

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The measurement of an oxidative stress molecule to predict IVF outcome for infertile men
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Geoffry De Iuliis

Description:

Despite the prevalence of male infertility (with 1 in 20 men currently suffering) we still know relatively little about the underlying origins of many sperm defects.

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Greaves Family Postgraduate Scholarship in Medical Research
Scholarship
Researchers:

Jacinta Martin

Description:

More than 57,000 Australian women were diagnosed with some form of cancer in 2015. But there is the unavoidable secondary impact on fertility for those women, a potentially devastating legacy of their treatment following entry into disease remission.

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Future' Postgraduate Medical Research Scholarship
Scholarship
Researchers:

Caitlin Chambers

Description:

Acrylamide is a known neurotoxin in humans, and is classified by the World Health Organisation as a probable human carcinogen.

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'Future' Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Sarah Delforce

Description:

Sarah’s research aims to improve the understanding of normal placenta development, and what might be going wrong in women who go on to develop pregnancy complications.

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Equal Futures Award
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Jessie Sutherland

Description:

Dr Jessie Sutherland is an outstanding and passionate early career resesrcher in HMRI's Reprodcution Program.  Jessie will use her Equal Futures award to attend Australia's most highly attendned women's leadership program - the National Excellence in Educational Leadership Initiative's 2017 Advanced Leadership Program.

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Is placental aging the key to understanding, predicting and preventing stillbirth?
Fellowship
Researchers:

Public Health Research
Public Health Research
Public Health

Improving uptake of colorectal cancer screening among primary care attendees
Project Grant
Researchers:

Natalie Dodd

A feasibility pilot study of electronic nicotine devices for smoking cessation with alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment clients
Project Grant
Researchers:

Professor Billie BonevskiProfessor Amanda Baker, Dr Ashleigh Guillaumier, Professor Adrian Dunlop

Description:

In Australia, up to 95% of people entering AOD treatment smoke tobacco which is five times the national smoking rate. Although treatment clients are interested in quitting and make quit attempts, they find it difficult to remain quit in the long-term. Novel relapse prevention approaches are required for this high smoking prevalence population.

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PhD Scholarship Top-Up
Scholarship
Researchers:

Rutger De Zoete, Associate Professor Susan Snodgass

Jennie Thomas Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Zachery McPherson, Associate Professor Mark McEvoy, Laureate Professor Nick Talley

Description:

Glaucoma is a blinding neurodegenerative illness that is responsible for a significant proportion of the worlds blindness. World wide its prevalence is growing, as the population ages, and the number of people with glaucoma is expected to reach 80 million world wide by the end of the decade.

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Reducing the impact of back pain in miners
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Can miners at risk of long-term low back pain be identified and provided with a low back pain prevention intervention to prevent the development of persistant pain co-existing lifestyle health risks?

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The role of dietary inorganic nitrate and nitrite in cardiovascular disease prevention
Project Grant
Researchers:

A/Prof Mark McEvoy

Description:

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. Nitric oxide is a major signaling molecule in the circulatory system, and is a key blood vessel dilator. Reduced nitric oxide (NO) availability in the circulatory system is thought to have a major role in cardiovascular disease development.

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'Future' Medical Research Travel Grant
Travel Grant
Researchers:

Jacqueline Coombe

Description:

Jacqueline’s PhD is focussed on better understanding contraceptive use in Australia. While broad patterns of contraceptive usage are clear, in Australia particularly, we know little about women’s preferences for certain methods, how women make decisions about what method to use and how this translates to contraceptive practices in real life.

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Award for Research Excellence - John Wiggers
HMRI Award for Research Excellence
Researchers:

Viruses, Infections / Immunity, Vaccines & Asthma
Viruses, Infections / Immunity, Vaccines & Asthma
Viruses, Infections / Immunity, Vaccines & Asthma

Discovering genetic predictors of inflammatory activity in a group of female Australian lupus patients.
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Glenn Reeves, Professor Caroline Blackwell, Marline Squance

Description:

Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is a common relapsing remitting inflammatory autoimmune illness affecting at least 1 in a 1000 of the population. Interplay of genetic and environmental factors has been established as playing a role in the pathogenesis of the disease.

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Novel Use Of Cyoprobe Transbronchial Lung Biopsies In The Diagnosis Of Interstitial Lung Disease
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Christopher Grainge

Describing the bacterial flora of the middle ear in health and disease
Project Grant
Researchers:

Conjoint Professor Caroline Blackwell

Description:

If persistent, painful ear infections of childhood can lead to long-term hearing and learning difficulties. Our multidisciplinary team has established an international reputation for studies of the slowly-growing Alloiococcus otitidis, present in over half of chronic ear infections among Indigenous and non-Indigenous children and some acute infections in which none of the usual bacterial pathogens that cause middle ear infection can be detected.

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A novel approach in restoring the airway epithelium integrity in asthmatics
Project Grant
Description:

Asthma affects more than 300 million people worldwide, with Australian’s suffering more from asthma (one in ten) than almost any other people in the world. Asthma is a major burden on Australia’s health care system and the economy. It can affect people of all ages - some people get asthma when they are young, others when they are older.

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Hypoxia Inducible Factor (HIF)-1 mediated integrin induction and epithelial wound healing in inflammatory bowel disease.
Scholarship
Researchers:
Description:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterised by chronic, immune-mediated inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) and encompasses a number of conditions including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD). Due to the seriously debilitating nature of IBD, novel therapeutics to improve IBD patient quality of life is a significant healthcare need.

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Investigating the role of microbiomes in COPD
Project Grant
Researchers:
Description:

Smoking leads to lung inflammation that causes emphysema - a major health problem in Australia. Emphysema progressively declines even if smoking stops and there are no treatments.

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Understanding how immune cells repair the kidney after acute kidney injury
Project Grant
Description:

Acute kidney injury is increasing in incidence globally and there is a strong association between acute kidney injury and the development of chronic kidney disease.

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Development and pilot study of an evidence-based internet intervention to improve symptoms, functioning and health-related quality of life in children with functional abdominal pain
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Scott Nightingale, Dr Milena Heinsch, Associate Professor Maria Kangas (Macquarie University), Professor Mike Jones (Macquarie University)

Description:

Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy, or CBT, is one of the few effective therapies for children with functional abdominal pain. But CBT sessions can be costly and difficult to access, particularly as multiple sessions are required.

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Prader-Willi Syndrome: assessment of central hypothyroidism using novel biomarkers (serum micro-RNA)
Project Grant
Researchers:

Dr Komal Vora, A/Professor Patricia Crock, Dr Vicki Maltby

Description:

HCRF has funded Dr Komal Vora’s study into Prader-Willi Syndrome – a complex genetic disorder that affects development and growth of the child, manifesting as cognitive disability, obesity, short stature and a chronic feeling of hunger.

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The role of microbiome development in the early origins of asthma in a high risk population
Project Grant
Description:

Children born to mothers with asthma are three times more likely to develop asthma themselves than those with asthmatic fathers, which suggests that a risk factor extends beyond genetics. There is emerging evidence that bacteria in the infant’s gut can impact immune function and contribute to the types of immune responses that are seen in asthma.

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Brand new assay for prediction of anaphylaxis risk
Project Grant
Description:

Food allergies cause an enormous health burden to our community and peanut allergy is the most severe and persistent food allergy.

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Greaves Family Postgraduate Scholarship in Medical Research
Scholarship
Researchers:

Kurtis Budden

Description:

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a condition of persistent, progressive lung destruction caused by inhalation of damaging particles. Many current treatments are expensive, come with side-effects, or have very little effect on some patients.

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Award for Mid Career Research - Jodie Simpson
HMRI Award for Mid Career Research
Specifically targeting the airways to prevent virus-induced asthma attacks
Project Grant
Description:

Current therapies prevent only ~40% of asthma exacerbations. These figures are in the context of clinical trials - real life asthma exacerbations are even less likely to be prevented.

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Investigation of the role of mechanical forces in respiratory disease
Project Grant
Researchers:

Associate Professor Christopher Grainge