NHMRC grants support five new projects

Improving Health and Wellbeing

Deakin health research has received another funding boost.

More than $4.9 million in funding has been awarded to Deakin University health researchers in the latest round of Project Grants announced by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Researchers from the Centre for Innovation in Mental, Physical and Clinical Treatment (IMPACT), the Centre for Molecular and Medical Research (MMR), and the Centre for Population Health Research (CPHR) have received five Project Grants.

According to Deakin Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Peter Hodgson, this success reflects the University’s increasing reputation for innovative health research.

“Much of our health research is rated well above world standards by the Australian Research Council’s Excellence in Research Australia ratings,” he said.

“This latest round of funding success demonstrates that our researchers are continuing to make an important difference in many areas of health, from tackling obesity to developing improved treatments for cancer and diabetes.”

Congratulations to the following researchers and their teams:

“The efficacy of adjunctive Garcinia mangostana Linn. pericarp for bipolar depression: A 24-week double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.” Led by Dr Olivia Dean from IMPACT, this study will investigate how the rind of the tropical fruit mangosteen may reduce symptoms of bipolar depression.

“Pre-entry priming of HIV.” Led by Professor Johnson Mak from MMR, the successful completion of this project may fundamentally change the description of a virus with the potential to open up new ways for the design and development of an HIV vaccine.

“Preventing obesity and promoting healthy body image in Australian secondary schools: a web-based system tailored to individual needs.” A/Prof Joanne Williams from CPHR and her team will trial the individually tailored web-based adolescent body image and weight management program “Staying Fit Australia” in schools to assess its effectiveness in reducing overweight/obesity prevalence and improving body image, compared to usual health curriculum.

“The role of GAPDH acetylation in liver metabolism and type 2 diabetes.” This study, led by A/Prof Sean McGee from MMR, aims to develop new and efficient ways to treat Type 2 diabetes by better understanding the role certain enzymes in the liver play in glucose metabolism.

“A Phase II Study of continuous, low-dose LBH 589 (Panobinostat) in Patients with Refractory Solid Tumours, including CNS tumours.” Led by Prof David Ashley, also from MMR, this investigator-initiated clinical trial aims to improve the clinical outcomes of young adult and paediatric patients with refractory or relapsed osteosarcoma, neuroblastoma and malignant rhabdoid tumours.