$12.7 million to support Newcastle’s vital health research

Oct 17 2011

The University of Newcastle has attracted $12.7 million in research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the highest allocation for any university outside a capital city.

Announced today by the Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler, the NHMRC funding forNewcastle will support 21 research projects and four fellowships.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Calford, said the NHMRC’s support for Newcastle’s researchers was helping to deliver crucial outcomes for some of the nation’s greatest health challenges.

“Today’s announcement by the Australian Government bolsters Newcastle’s outstanding research performance in oncology and immunology, and acknowledges our growing strength in research delivery across mental health, Indigenous health and stroke.”

Newcastle’s 21 successful research projects include:

  • $1.1 million to Professor Amanda Baker and her team to trial a health behaviour intervention to improve nutrition for head and neck cancer patients
  • $1.1 million to Professor Paul Foster and his team for two projects – to investigate the causes behind some asthma patients’ resistance to steroid treatment; and to research molecules known as microRNAs and their potential role in a new treatment for asthma
  • $1.4 million to Associate Professor Jennifer Bowman and her team to evaluate an integrated smoking cessation program for people with a mental illness
  • $1.7 million to Professor Roger Smith and his team for research into understanding the origins of diabetes and kidney disease in Aboriginal children and their mothers
  • $1.1 million to Professor Chris Levi and his team to conduct an international comparison of the care, risk and outcomes for people who have brief episodes of stroke symptoms and minor strokes.

The NHMRC also announced four fellowships to the University of Newcastle:

  • Career Development Fellowships to Dr Mark Baker ($430,000) and Dr Neil Spratt ($390,000)
  • An Early Career Fellowship of $300,000 to Gerard Kaiko
  • An Established Career Fellowship of $580,000 to Professor Ron Plotnikoff

For a complete list of the University’s successful research projects, visit www.newcastle.edu.au and www.nhmrc.gov.au

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