Research into leukaemic stem cells, childhood brain cancer DIPG and therapies for neuroblastoma will get a boost from Australia’s peak medical research funding agency, NHMRC.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) is the nation’s peak medical research funding agency and every year, research institutes across Australia wait nervously to hear how they fared in their applications for research funding.

The latest grant announcement from NHMRC on 3 December revealed $483M funding for the medical research sector as 601 new grants were awarded across four funding schemes, including $123M of funding for cancer research.

We’re pleased to share that the Institute has a had a very good year, achieving a 40% funding rate for NHMRC Project Grants, more than double the national average for the sector of 15.2%. Not only that, they represent a spread of grants:

  • for early to mid to late career researchers
  • across the translational research spectrum from basic science to preclinical testing of new treatments
  • for research into leukaemic stem cell formation, deregulation of cell-division in neuroblastoma and combining DFMO with other polyamine-depleting agents to explore therapeutic effects for brain cancer and neuroblastoma, and more.

Our young researchers, like Dr Han Shen, were among the successful recipients and his research into the incurable brain cancer DIPG will receive $325K over three years starting in 2017. This research aims to find future DIPG treatments by boosting the effects of radiotherapy.

Accelerated advancement

To top things off, a few months ago Professor Maria Kavallaris achieved accelerated promotion to NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, a highly prestigious and competitive role which acknowledges her global standing in children’s cancer and nanotechnology research.

Professor Maria Kavallaris leads our Tumour Biology and Targeting Program and is Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW. Also this year, she received a fellowship from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.

Congratulations to all our 2016 NHMRC grant and Fellowship recipients!

The Institute’s NHMRC funding and fellowship success this year is a great endorsement of our research standing and very welcome news. But it’s worth noting that grants don’t cover all our research costs. Children’s Cancer Institute also relies on community support for our work. Every dollar from government and granting bodies like the NHMRC must be matched with a dollar raised by the community through partnerships, donations and fundraising. That’s why we actively seek community support  – to help cover the indirect costs of our work to complete the research vital to uncover a cure for childhood cancer.

Read more in our media release.

Top image: Brain cancer researcher and NHMRC New Investigator grant recipient Dr Han Shen in the lab.



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