Funding for response to infectious diseases research: NHMRC

05 July, 2016

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has announced almost $5 million in funding that commenced 1 July 2016 for the Centre of Research Excellence in Infectious Disease Emergency Response Research.

The centre is led by Professor Sharon Lewin of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute), a joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The centre will establish the Australian Partnership for Preparedness Research on Infectious Disease Emergencies (APPRISE), a national network of leading Australian researchers that will deliver a coordinated and evidence-based response to infectious diseases.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the new centre will play an important role in Australia's readiness to respond to future pandemics and other infectious disease emergencies.

"History tells us that new infectious diseases will continue to emerge but that we cannot predict when, where or how. The purpose of this significant NHMRC grant is to establish national capability to respond rapidly when such threats do emerge by undertaking the research needed to inform the public health response," Professor Kelso said.

NHMRC has also awarded almost $10.5 million to support 15 Partnership Projects that range from optimising primary care management of knee osteoarthritis to eliminating hepatitis C transmission.

Professor Kelso said the research supported by these grants would develop practical solutions to a range of issues that affect the health and wellbeing of our community.

"These grants fund partnerships between researchers and those who deliver or make decisions about health care services. They ensure the research is designed to address important issues at the coalface of health care delivery and that the outcomes of the research are put into practice," Professor Kelso said.

Another important initiative announced is the Targeted Call for Research into Engaging and Retaining Young Adults in Interventions to Improve Eating Behaviours and Health Outcomes. $3.5 million will be dedicated to five grants to identify effective lifestyle intervention programs for 18-24 year olds to reduce the risk of obesity.

"All grants announced today will support Australian research on some of the most urgent health issues facing our community. NHMRC is proud to support the work of these outstanding researchers and we look forward to seeing the outcomes of their research," Professor Kelso concluded.

The funded grants are part of approximately $850 million that NHMRC will deliver to support health and medical research in Australia this year.