NHMRC Project Grant success

Hudson Institute has had excellent success in the recent NHMRC and ARC Grant rounds.

Our researchers have been awarded nine NHMRC Project Grants and one ARC Discovery Grant totalling $9.8 million.  Together with our significant success in the NHMRC Fellowship round, the Institute has been awarded more than $15.1 million.  Congratulations to our researchers and their teams. Their research will improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of a range of Australian and global health challenges.

NHMRC Project Grants

Characterisation of mobile antimicrobial resistance in the human gastrointestinal microbiota

Dr Sam Forster

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2022

Amount: $878,108

Co-investigators: Dr Samuel Costello, Dr Trevor Lawley

Antimicrobial resistance is emerging at an alarming level, rendering some bacterial infections untreatable and increasing dependence on last line antibiotics. This project seeks to characterise antimicrobial resistance within the naturally occurring gut bacteria to inform clinical antibiotic selection and minimise the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance within the hospital and community setting.

Dr Robert Galinsky

Preventing inflammation-induced brain injury in preterm infants: targeting systemic tumour necrosis factor

Dr Robert Galinsky

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2022

Amount: $978,979

Co-investigators: Associate Professor Suzie Miller, Associate Professor Graeme Polglase, Professor Alistair Gunn, Dr Justin Dean

Cerebral palsy is a devastating life-long condition. A large proportion of cases are associated with exposure to inflammation at the time of preterm birth. There is no effective treatment. The study will examine how inflammation impairs brain development and function in preterm infants and test whether blocking a key inflammatory protein in the blood, called tumour necrosis factor, improves brain development.

Professor Caroline Gargett from the Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Cells and nanobiomaterials to treat and prevent pelvic organ prolapse

Professor Caroline Gargett

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2022

Amount: $1,397,337

Co-investigators: Dr Shayanti Mukherjee, Professor Jan Brosens, Professor Jerome Werkmeister, Associate Professor Anna Rosamilia

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a hidden disease burden affecting 25 per cent of all women. POP is the herniation of pelvic organs into the vagina, resulting from injury during childbirth causing sexual, bladder and bowel dysfunction years later as the condition progresses. POP has limited treatment options. This project will evaluate a novel cell-based therapy combined with degradable nanobiomaterials for treating and preventing POP using mesenchymal stem cells from the lining of the womb.

Professor Paul Hertzog

Unravelling the role of type I Interferon family in human infectious and inflammatory diseases

Professor Paul Hertzog

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2023

Amount: $1,195,066

Co-investigators: Professor Jean-Laurent Casanova

Some patients who are susceptible to specific infections have a deficiency in components of the interferon signaling pathway. Interferons are long known to protect from infections, but each component was thought to contribute broad protection, not to specific pathogens. In this project, we will characterise new specific functions of interferon components and pathways to generate new biomarkers of disease, patient response and new therapies.

Understanding how mitochondrial DNA contributes to embryo development

Professor Jus St. John

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2021

Amount: $669,790

Many women suffer from either failed fertilisation or their embryos arrest during early development. This often results because their eggs have too few copies of mitochondrial DNA otherwise known as mitochondrial DNA deficiency. Using a pig model of mitochondrial deficiency, the project will show how supplementation with autologous populations of mitochondrial DNA induces changes in the genes that an embryo expresses to promote the transition from a metabolically poor fate to a metabolically healthier fate.

Dr Kate Lawlor from the Cell Death and Inflammatory Signalling Research Group at Hudson Institute is targeting tumour cells.

Role of programmed cell death in NLRP3 inflammasome activation and Metabolic Syndrome

Dr Kate Lawlor

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2021

Amount: $646,890

Co-investigators: Associate Professor Andrew Murphy, Professor Benjamin Kile, Dr James Vince, Associate Professor James Murphy, Dr Ueli Nachbur, Associate Professor Katey Rayner

Obesity and type 2 diabetes are among the fastest growing chronic conditions in Australia and globally. This project aims to identify how different forms of cell death contribute to tissue inflammation and the development of obesity-induced type 2 diabetes. This fundamental knowledge will help direct the development of new therapies to treat these conditions.

Professor Suzie Miller from the Neurodevelopment and Neuroprotection Research Group at Hudson Institute

Optimising neurodevelopmental outcomes for fetal growth restriction

Associate Professor Suzie Miller

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2022

Amount: $1,256,312

Co-investigators: Professor Graham Jenkin, Dr Atul Malhotra, Dr Beth Allison

Fetal growth restriction (FGR) is a common pregnancy complication in which the fetus fails to thrive. FGR is associated with complex brain injury comprising altered basic cell morphology and whole brain connectivity. This project will examine the neuroprotective benefits of two treatments in a preclinical model of FGR and assess microstructural development. This will be correlated with connectivity measures from advanced diffusion MRI and functional assessments, which could be readily applied to the human brain.

Professor Giuying Nie from the Implantation and Placental Development Research Group at Hudson Institute

The magic shield of the human uterus and fate of embryo implantation

Professor Guiying Nie

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2021

Amount: $817,063

Co-investigators: Professor Luk Rombauts, Associate Professor Mary (Louise) Hull

Embryo implantation is a key step in establishing pregnancy and a bottleneck in IVF treatment to overcome infertility. For implantation to succeed, the uterus must prepare appropriately so that an embryo can attach and implant. This project will investigate a novel mechanism that regulates the uterus for implantation and its implications in improving IVF.

Associate Professor Graeme Polglase, Research Group Head, Perinatal Transition Research Group at Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Improving cardiopulmonary resuscitation of infants in the delivery room

Associate Professor Graeme Polglase

NHMRC Project Grant: 2019 – 2022

Amount: $1,289,420

Co-investigators: Assistant Professor Georg Schmolzer, Professor Martin Kluckow, Associate Professor Andrew Gill

A staggering one in five babies born in Australia require help breathing at birth. This project examines ways of improving the way in which babies are delivered by investigating the utility of giving respiratory support before the umbilical cord is cut. By introducing this simple intervention, the aim is to improve the outcomes of all babies born in Australia.

ARC Discovery Grant

Dr Sam Forster

Dr Sam Forster

Amount: $695,000

Co-investigators: Dr Katherine Gibney

In this project 1500 bacterial will be isolated from the microbiomes of metropolitan, rural and indigenous Australians. These bacteria will be genome sequenced, classified, characterised and permanently archived to provide a detailed understanding of previously undiscovered bacteria. This project should significantly enhance our knowledge of bacterial diversity and evolution and provide insights into how bacteria may move between people.

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