23 September 2009

A UQ researcher has become one of only two Queenslanders to be appointed to a national research committee.

Professor Melissa Little, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience, has been appointed to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Research Committee.

The group advises on medical and public health research in Australia, as well as making recommendations on research grant applications and funding.

“I am honoured to be appointed to such an influential committee, and I look forward to helping steer the direction of medical research in Australia,” Professor Little said.

Professor Little's current research investigates the molecular basis of normal kidney development, as well as studying how kidneys respond to damage. She aims to establish new ways to diagnose and treat both acute and chronic kidney disease, applying her knowledge of stem cell biology to her research into how damaged kidneys repair and regenerate.

This work led Professor Little to create the Renal Regeneration Consortium, while her work on stem cells saw her serve a period as Chief Scientific Officer at the Australian Stem Cell Centre.

Professor Little’s other scientific achievements include winning the Gottschalk Medal, and the GlaxoSmithKline Australia Award for Research Excellence. In 2006 Professor Little received both an Eisenhower Fellowship and a Smart Women – Smart State Award.

Professor Little joins 15 other researchers on the committee, which will serve a three-year term to June 2012. Dr Mick Adams, an indigenous health advocate, is the other Queensland researcher appointed.

Professor James Best, Head of the School of Medicine at the University of Melbourne, will chair the committee.

Media: Professor Little (07 3346 2054)