Bright ideas attract major funding

By Rob Clancy, staff writer

Hudson Institute researchers have had some great success in the recent NHMRC Grant rounds.
NHMRC Ideas Grants 2023

Hudson Institute researchers have had some great success in the recent NHMRC Grant rounds.

Our researchers have been awarded $8 million for six new NHMRC Ideas Grants to work on research projects ranging from the use of nanotechnology to treat pelvic organ prolapse, new strategies for still birth prevention through to cancer and hypertension.

Our researchers have also been awarded prestigious NHMRC Investigator Grants worth almost $7.5 million for three fellowships covering cancer, perinatal brain injury and the transition of newborn babies from the womb to the world.

NHMRC Ideas Grants

Dr Jason Cain from the Developmental and Cancer Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023

Exploiting epigenetic dysregulation to develop differentiation therapy in solid tumours.

Associate Professor Jason Cain

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2027

Amount: $1,914,192

Co-investigators: Alejandro Sweet-Cordero

Lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) is treated with chemotherapy and immunotherapy which is largely ineffective. The team show LUAD patients may benefit from epigenetic differentiation therapy. This project utilises human and mouse models of LUAD to define the mechanisms of epigenetic differentiation therapy in order identify biomarkers predictive of response, and synergistic therapies. These studies will demonstrate the utility of epigenetic differentiation therapy in LUAD, leading to successful translation.

Professor Richard Ferrero in the lab at Hudson Institute

How H. pylori hijacks the nucleus: A new paradigm for cancer-causing bacteria

Professor Richard Ferrero

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2027

Amount: $1,024,608

Co-investigators: Dana Philpott

Bacterial cell walls are decorated by ‘blebs’, or vesicles, which are released to the surrounding medium during growth. These vesicles play important roles in communication between bacteria and host cells. Vesicles from the stomach bacterium, H. pylori, carry a protein with cancer-causing properties. The proposed research project will demonstrate how these vesicles alter host cell functions, leading to cancer. This research will describe a new mechanism by which bacteria can cause cancer.

Dr Shayanti Mukherjee from the Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Transforming treatment for pelvic organ prolapse with nanotechnology

Dr Shayanti Mukherjee

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2027

Amount: $1,399,616

Co-investigators: Jerome Werkmeister, Anna Rosamilia, Brayden Wood and Kamila Kochan

Pelvic organ Prolapse (POP) is a hidden, debilitating disorder affecting 25 per cent of women causing sexual, bladder and bowel dysfunction. POP is the herniation of the uterus, bladder, or bowel into the vagina due to childbirth injury. Surgical treatment often fails and the use of vaginal mesh has been banned due to unacceptable side effects. There is no cure and no means to identify early damage. The team is developing novel 3D printed therapies using stem cells and nanotechnology to prevent POP.

A project that led to lower rates of stillbirth among people of South Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck leads a projects that lower rates of stillbirth among people from South Asian origin.

Elucidating the role of the endometrium in predicting pregnancy outcomes

Dr Miranda Davies-Tuck

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2026

Amount: $1,282,018

This program of work will uncover the role of the endometrial environment in stillbirth, elucidating the foundation of placental issues and ultimately lead to new strategies and interventions for stillbirth prevention.

Professor Vincent Harley researching at Hudson Institute

Improving the diagnosis of differences of sex development (DSD)

Professor Vincent Harley

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2026

Amount: $1,208,612

Co-investigators: Eric Vilain

Disorders of sexual development (DSDs) are surprisingly common, with an estimated frequency of one per cent. However, half of DSD cases remain genetically undiagnosed. The team will identify new causes of DSD.  The DNA from patients will be sequenced and patient-specific cell culture systems developed to understand alterations in sex development. The team expect to identify novel DSD genes which will be incorporated into DSD panels globally to raise diagnostic yield, which is currently at 40 per cent.

Professor Peter Fuller at Hudson Institute

Molecular and functional dissection of mineralocorticoid receptor signalling

Professor Peter Fuller

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2023-2027

Amount: $1,232,404

Co-investigators: Timothy Cole

The steroid hormone aldosterone controls salt balance and hence, blood pressure. It also has been shown to have a significant role in cardiac failure. Although drugs that block the aldosterone receptor are beneficial in the treatment of heart failure, they are limited by potassium retention in the kidney. In order to develop tissue-specific blockers of the aldosterone receptor, it is necessary to identify mechanisms by which the receptor can be activated and/or blocked in these tissues.

Hudson Institute congratulates all this year’s recipients of NHMRC Ideas Grants.

Funders | National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

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