Federal funding for targeted solutions

Aug 13 2018

Pradeep Tanwar, Michelle Bovill and Brett Nixon

Researchers from the University of Newcastle and HMRI have received more than $1.4 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Council (NHMRC) to support the Australian Government’s new male and female health strategies.

The National Male Health Strategy and the National Women’s Health Strategy aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Australian men and women over the next decade.

Two of 29 new medical research projects will be led by the University of Newcastle as the first commitment of the National Women’s Health Strategy.

Associate Professor Pradeep Tanwar received a $483,404 Career Development Fellowship to develop a Translational Research Program in Gynaecological Cancers.

Associate Professor Tanwar’s work in abnormal reproductive development has demonstrated that molecular signals integral to reproductive tract development are the same signals that are disrupted during disease, driving the pathogenesis of ovarian and endometrial cancers.

Using this knowledge, he will seek to develop new treatment methods for ovarian and endometrial cancers to improve clinical outcomes.

Michelle Bovill received a $338,192 Early Career Fellowship to explore non-pharmacological strategies for smoking cessation to support Aboriginal mothers quit smoking during pregnancy.

Using Indigenous research methodologies, this project will combine Aboriginal knowledges, wisdom and expertise with scientific knowledge through a cluster trial in Aboriginal Medical Services to engage with Aboriginal mothers.

Under the National Male Health Strategy, University and Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) reproductive expert, Professor Brett Nixon, received $649,175 to investigate male infertility.

Professor Nixon’s research will improve understanding of the molecular and cellular processes regulating sperm function and determine how these processes become severely disrupted in cases of male infertility.

Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), Professor Kevin Hall, said the funding was recognition of the leading research taking place within the University and in conjunction with key research partners.

“This funding will help our Hunter researchers develop and deliver new solutions to significant health challenges that affect all Australians. It will also help foster the capabilities of our promising and talented academics to deliver equal health outcomes for all population groups that may be dealing with poor health conditions.”

More information can be accessed via the NHMRC website.

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