25 September 2007

UQ has increased its national medical research funding by 10 percent, receiving more than $44.6 million under the latest round of National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) grants.

UQ secured more than half of Queensland’ s NHMRC 122 grants which were worth more than $87.4 million.

The University placed fourth in the nation. The University of Melbourne topped the grants with $67 million followed by the University of Sydney ($55 million) and Monash University ($49 million).

NHMRC grants are one of the premier grant schemes for health and medical research which have been distributed annually across more than 50 universities and institutes across Australia.

UQ has received 66 grants, made up of:

• 54 Project grants ($27.25 million)
• 2 Australia Fellowships ($8 million)
• 1 Program grant ($5 million)
• 1 Equipment grant ($724,000)
• 7 Fellowships (Five Research Fellowships, two Practitioner Fellowships - $3.55 million)
• 1 Development Grant ($97,000)

UQ has so far recorded a 10 percent increase in NHMRC funds compared with last year’s grants.

Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced $561.4 million of NHMRC funding this morning in Sydney at the Heart Research Institute.

UQ received the only two prestigious Australia Fellowships, each worth $4 million, for researchers Professor Wendy Hoy and Dr Matthew Cooper.

UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) secured several grants including Professor John Hancock’s $5 million NHMRC Program Grant for molecular and cell surface research. Professor Glenn King is a Chief Investigator on four successful NHMRC grants announced today.

Other major UQ awards included almost $1.7 million for health and social science researchers to extend the Mater-University of Queensland Study of Pregnancy (MUSP).

The study will go beyond motherhood with a 27-year follow up of the mental health of mid-aged women to understand the development of anxiety disorders, depression and substance use.

Associate Professor Elizabeth Eakin’s group, from the School of Population Health, received $1.2 million for a study to evaluate the impact of a phone counselling program to help people with Type 2 diabetes exercise, eat a healthy diet and lose weight.

Associate Professor Eakin also secured a $537,500 NHMRC Research Fellowship.

UQ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor David Siddle congratulated the researchers who were improving their success rate for grant applications.

“Our researchers are demonstrating the value of their work and getting more of the grants they apply for to undertake important research of public benefit,” Professor Siddle said.

“The breadth and excellence of their work is outstanding across disciplines and in all UQ Faculties and Institutes.”

Other major UQ projects included:
• $763,850, for the Australian Genomewide Association Study in Osteoporosis to identify genes involved in osteoporosis, Professor Matthew Brown (Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology and Metabolic Medicine)

• $593,250, to understand how functional nerve cells in the brain are regulated, Professor David Adams (School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences), Professor Brent Reynolds (Queensland Brian Institute)

• $537,750, for a West Nile virus replication and host response study, Associate Professor Alexander Khromykh (School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences), Dr Roy Hall (School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences, Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences)

• $483,750, to provide essential groundwork for the development of new antimicrobials that inhibit bacterial cell division, Professor Glenn King (Institute for Molecular Bioscience)

• $469,375 to investigate the efficacy of novel, non-robotic devices to train reaching post stroke, Dr Sandra Brauer (School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences)

• $445,500, to develop antimicrobial agents to combat antibiotic-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus (Golden Staph), Professor Glenn King (Institute for Molecular Bioscience)

More information on UQ grand recipients can be found here
MEDIA: Miguel Holland at UQ Communications (07 3365 2619, m.holland@uq.edu.au)