Latest news and stories

Exceptional researchers in the fields of infectious disease, autoimmunity, chronic pain and Parkinson’s disease are among the Australian researchers honoured with National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Excellence Awards.

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Associate Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson, her husband Professor Mark Dawson and a team of clinicians are working together to develop a liquid biopsy—a simple blood test—as an alternative to invasive bone marrow or lymph node tissue biopsies to monitor blood cancers.

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In accordance with our obligations under the Privacy Act 1988, NHMRC seeks your consent as RAO to disclose your contact details (as currently stored in RGMS) on correspondence to members of Federal Parliament in relation to information about grants being awarded in their electorate.

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The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released for public consultation a draft Public Statement on community water fluoridation. NHMRC continues to support fluoridating water given fluoride’s role in reducing tooth decay.

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Wounds Australia has released the draft Pan-Pacific Clinical Practice Guideline for Prevention and Management of Venous Leg Ulcers 2ndEdition for public consultation (open from 16 March to 21 April 2017).

It will be seeking NHMRC approval of this guideline under section 14A of the National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992.

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This prestigious award recognises outstanding individual achievement by a mid-career Australian researcher and it was an honour to give Dr Elliott this award at the Medical Research Week Dinner hosted by the Australian Society for Medical Research in Melbourne.

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The Targeted Call for Research into Dementia in Indigenous Australians provides up to $10 million to support culturally appropriate research specifically addressing the health and care needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living with dementia and the impact on their families, carers and communities.

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Minister Hunt announces the NHMRC’s new research funding program. The new program will reduce the burden on researchers in applying for funding across different funding schemes by providing consolidated, five-year grants for our high-performing researchers at all stages of their careers.

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NHMRC is moving forward with changes to its grant program to ensure it continues to support the best Australian health and medical research and researchers. A restructured grant program will be implemented in late 2018 – early 2019, for peer review during 2019 and funding in 2020.

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19 separate influenza strains have emerged in humans during the past century, including seven in the past five years alone1

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NHMRC has identified a number of grants with unmet grant conditions or milestones in RGMS, which are preventing payments to Administering Institutions. 

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Please be aware that key dates for this research call have changed and supersede any previous dates for this particular call. These are now as follows:

  • Minimum data due in RGMS—5:00pm AEST 28 June 2017
  • Closing date for applications—5:00pm AEST 12 July 2017.

Further details are available on the NHMRC website.

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The Australian Government announced the first round of investments from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) in the 2017 Budget. This MRFF funding is in addition to the Australian Government’s funding of around $800m per year to NHMRC for health and medical research.

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The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Report on the Evidence: promoting social and emotional development and wellbeing of infants in pregnancy and the first year of life (Report on the Evidence).

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Professor Morgan is Lead of the Neuroscience of Speech research group at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) and Head of Speech Pathology at the University of Melbourne. She is also one of the guideline developers for MCRI’s first Clinical practice guideline for the management of communication and swallowing disorders following paediatric traumatic brain injury for children 0 to 18 years of age (communication and swallowing guideline).

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The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) today released the Ethical guidelines on the use of assisted reproductive technology in clinical practice and research, 2017 (ART guidelines).

This update replaces the 2007 ART guidelines and provides contemporary ethical guidance for the conduct of ART in the clinical setting.

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The NHMRC National Institute of Dementia Research commences its Public Lecture Tour 2017 during Brain Awareness Week with stops around the country throughout March and April 2017.

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As expected, and not surprisingly, the sector is keen to hear the outcome of the review that has been undertaken on the structure of our grant program. While a final decision has not yet been reached, I can advise that the review is in its final stages. I thank all of you who have contributed to our consultations, for your interest, constructive advice and patience throughout.

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This scheme offers two year fellowships providing for 0.5 of a full-time equivalent position, to ensure time and support for future leaders to develop the range of skills needed for leadership in research translation and implement established evidence into practice. 

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National Health and Medical Research Council CEO, Professor Anne Kelso AO, has today released a statement updating Australians on the latest evidence for the safety, quality and efficacy of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes). 

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I always wanted to become a nurse, so I used to practice on dolls and teddy bears, and sometimes younger siblings, who drew the line at some procedures-like operations’

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The NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research closes at 5pm AEDT (2pm SGT) Wednesday 22 March 2017.

Prior to the submission of applications, please ensure all eligibility requirements set out in the Section 6 of the Scheme-Specific Funding Rules and Section 7 of the NHMRC Funding Rules 2017 are met.

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‘I have just felt really privileged for most of my life, I love my work, I love what I do, and I really enjoy the people I work with, and it comes from spending part of my career in medical research. It just gives you a lot of flexibility and opportunities that you don’t get with standard clinical hospital jobs or general practice.’

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One in five Australians aged 16 to 85 will experience a mental disorder each year. Almost half experience mental disorder in their lifetime.1

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Dr Wyatt, from the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute at the University of Wollongong, is investigating how the body functions at the molecular level. Her current Project Grant explores the relationship between proteins that become toxic when they are damaged (referred to as ‘misfolded’ by researchers), and chemicals such as hypochlorite that are produced by the body during inflammation.

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Applicants are reminded that minimum data requirements for the NHMRC/A*STAR Joint Call for Research in Novel Molecular Mechanisms of Obesity and Metabolic Diseases in Singapore and Australia are due in RGMS by Wednesday, 1 March 2017 at 5:00pm AEDT.

 

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‘It is important to me to be a role model, an example of a strong resilient Aboriginal woman who can achieve anything she sets her mind to.’

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Professor McLaughlin, now working with the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, developed this world-first tiny imaging tool to fit inside a surgical needle probe used in brain biopsies.

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Professor Stephen Tong and the team of investigators are revolutionising the treatment of ectopic pregnancy, meaning most women presenting with the condition could be treated medically, rather than surgically. Not only will this make treating ectopic pregnancies safer, easier and more effective, but it may save many lives across the developing world where surgery is not possible.

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Professor Pillow and her team discovered that the preterm diaphragm is weaker than the diaphragm of babies born after a normal and complete gestation.  This may be due to increased breakdown of the muscle protein and increased susceptibility to damage from oxygen free radicals.

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Associate Professor Gordon Doig and his team showed that critically ill patients who received better nutrition were less likely to develop kidney injury. These findings represent an important first step towards global practice change and offers the potential to reduce the need for surgery, dialysis and transplantation.

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Diets around the world have significantly shifted for the worse since the 20th century and this has had a highly negative impact on the health of the global population. At the same time, the burden of mental disorders, particularly depression, has increased significantly. Associate Professor Felice Jacka and her team have established new approaches to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders by looking at what we eat.

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Professor Graham and his team embarked on their research to understand how the heart develops after birth and why heart muscle cells lose their ability to divide and make new cells. Their research markedly shifted the goal posts and showed that heart muscle cells actually retain an ability to divide until adolescence. This discovery holds great promise for new approaches to managing a range of heart conditions.

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In their NHMRC-funded research, Professor David Craik and his team aimed to stabilise peptides and thus unleash their potential as drugs and imaging agents. Using the venom of a scorpion, the team created synthetic versions of a naturally occurring peptide called chlorotoxin. In turn, these peptides were used to optimise a revolutionary tumour imaging agent for brain surgery operations.

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Associate Professor Helen Cooper’s research aims is to understand the molecular mechanisms controlling the birth of new neurons in the adult brain. In the long-term, it is hoped that these insights will help to design therapeutic approaches to treat neurodegenative diseases.

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Dr Joseph Powell and his team are investigating how differences in your DNA sequence impact on how disease starts and develops in the body. This NHMRC-funded research is important because it could lead to new approaches to prevent or to treat disease.

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Associate Professor Jane Pillow and her team sought to understand the respiratory problems of premature babies to help the sickest and smallest babies develop their lungs. This research has contributed a great deal to improving both the quality of healthcare available to premature babies at birth as well as their long-term health prospects.

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The outstanding achievements of 17 of Australia’s most talented health and medical researchers were celebrated at our annual Research Excellence Awards in Canberra.

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Across many health indicators, Indigenous Australians remain disadvantaged compared with non-Indigenous Australians. Professor Louisa Jorm linked and scrutinised the vast data held by modern healthcare systems to understand the factors influencing disadvantage for Indigenous Australians. This important research will translate it into better disease prevention and patient care for Indigenous Australians, as well as more effective health care spending.

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Associate Professor Leah Cosgrove and her team have developed a simple blood test to diagnose colorectal cancer. A reliable, non-invasive blood test could augment the National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, either as an adjunct primary screen for those unable to do the stool test, or in triaging positive subjects to colonoscopy. This could help drive a significant reduction in colorectal cancer deaths in Australia.

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Led by UNSW’s School of Women’s and Children’s Health Associate Professor Robert Gilchrist, an international team of researchers have improved an existing treatment known as in-vitro maturation (IVM).

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Professor Peter Gibson and his team set out to determine whether gluten causes problems in people who do not suffer from coeliac disease. The team found that short-chain carbohydrates called FODMAPs, not gluten, might be triggering symptoms such as bloating and stomach pain. The results have put some scientifically valid findings in this controversial area.

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Lead researcher Dr Phoebe Phillips, from UNSW’s Lowy Cancer Research Centre, said it was distressing for her colleagues when they had to inform patients that the best chemotherapy drug available could only extend their life for four months.

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The following funding rounds are now open in RGMS:

  • 2017 Global Alliance for Chronic Disease (GACD) Request for Applications (RFA): prevention and management of mental disorders for funding commencing in 2017.  Applications close 5pm AEDT on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
  • 2017 Career Development Fellowships for funding commencing in 2018.  Applications close 5pm AEDT Wednesday 8 March 2017.
  • 2017 Early Career Fellowships for funding commencing in 2018.  Applications close 5pm AEDT on Wednesday 1 March 2017.
  • 2017 Partnership Projects - Peer Review Cycle (PRC) #1.  Applications close 5pm AEDT on Wednesday 12 April 2017.
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Amendments to RGMS

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The NHMRC has decided to take the proposed National Health and Medical Research Council Enterprise Agreement 2016 - 2019 (the proposed Agreement) to a ballot of employees.  The proposed Agreement covers all NHMRC employees, other than Senior Executive Service employees.

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The 6th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation, co-hosted by the National Health and Medical Research Council and the Lowitja Institute, was held on 14-15 November, 2017.

The 5th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation was held on 23 November, 2016. The theme for this year was "Embedding research into health care: building a culture of quality".

The 4th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation  was held on 27-28 October, 2015. The theme for this year was “Policy and Research: Working together to improve the health of Australians”.

The theme for the 7th Annual NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation: partnering with The Reward Alliance will be ‘Ensuring Value in Research’.

Many of our activities and achievements are exciting, groundbreaking and newsworthy, and we keep our stakeholders and community informed with regular updates. We do this through media releases, news, speeches, events and newsletters.