NHMRC Ideas Grants success

By Hudson Institute communications

Hudson Institute has been successful in the NHMRC Ideas Grant round. Our researchers have been awarded four NHMRC Ideas Grants, totalling almost $4.1 million.

Ideas Grants fund innovative and creative health and medical research from discovery to implementation. Congratulations to the researchers and their teams. Their research will improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of a range of Australian and global health challenges.

Dr Sam Forster from the Microbiota and Systems Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Should you be eating that? Food-derived bacteria and their role in treating disease

Dr Samuel Forster

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2021–2025

Amount: $1,402,179

Co-investigators: Nicole Kellow, Marina Iacovou

Preliminary data suggests that the average Australian adult consumes more than 10 million bacteria per day in their diet. Clinical application of medicines based on the microbes that exist as part of microbiomes are now a reality. Despite rapid advances, more understanding of how bacteria are transmitted and recolonise after disruption is essential. This project seeks to understand these relationships, and how they can be exploited to develop the next generations of microbiome based medicine.

Professor Paul Hertzog from the Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling Research Group at Hudson Institute

The role of interferon epsilon in ovarian cancer

Professor Paul Hertzog

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2021–2025

Amount: $1,108,015

Ovarian cancer is difficult to diagnose, patients present with late stage disease and often either are or become resistant to chemotherapy. To improve disease outcomes, this program provides  new insights into ovarian cancer development and progression through a basic research program to understand the factors that can drive it. Our researchers discovered a new protein, interferon epsilon, which is produced naturally by cells lining the female reproductive tract where it protects against infections and  the development of cancers. This project will characterise  IFNe effects on the process of inflammation which recruits and activates immune cells to attack the tumour cells.

Edward Giles from the Regulation of Interferon and Innate Signalling Research Group at Hudson Institute

Interferon Epsilon as a novel regulator of host-bacterial interaction in homeostasis, infection and inflammation

Dr Edward Giles

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2021–2024

Amount: $843,088

Co-investigators: Eveline de Geus

Gut infections are a leading cause of death worldwide and healthcare use in Australia. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is incurable and affects 1 in 200 young Australians. Type I interferons (T1IFNs) are important to control gut infections and IBD by interacting with particular bacterial species in the gut. Our researchers discovered one T1IFN, IFNε, in human gut and that it protects against models of IBD in mice. The project will use mouse and human samples to find bacterial or interferon treatments for infections and/or IBD. Through this work we hope to have a much better understanding of how common infections as well as the “healthy” microbiome influence our immune response in order to develop novel, precision therapies.

Professor Vincent Harley from the Sex Development Research Group at Hudson Institute

Improving the diagnosis of Disorders Sex Development (DSD)

Professor Vincent Harley

NHMRC Ideas Grant 2021–2023

Amount: $818,995

Co-investigators: Eric Vilain

At birth, Disorders of sexual development (DSDs) are surprisingly common, and can result in genital abnormalities, gender mis-assignment, infertility and psychological trauma. Using their expertise in human genetics, molecular cell and developmental biology, our researchers will find genes important for sex development, identify gene defects that cause DSD, and study their functions. The project team will liaise with clinicians to translate these findings to help children with DSD through accurate diagnosis and medical care.

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“Thank you Hudson Institute researchers. Your work brings such hope to all women with ovarian cancer knowing that potentially women in the future won't have to go through what we have!”

Alana Chantry