Three researchers from the Centenary Institute have been awarded grants under a $200 million scheme developed by the Federal Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). The process is highly-competitive, with only 320 medical research projects nationwide achieving success.
Head of Centenary’s Molecular Cardiology Program and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Cardiologist, Professor Chris Semsarian, has been awarded a Practitioner Fellowship, which will include $585,000 in funding for five years from 2019.
Professor Semsarian is working to identify new genes in families with inherited heart disease and sudden cardiac death by using state-of-the-art whole genome sequencing, with the aim of improving patient care and outcomes.
“It is a tremendous honour to receive such a prestigious award, which recognises the wonderful and dedicated researchers in my team. We are all united by the ultimate goal to improve the care of our families with life-threatening inherited heart diseases,” says Professor Semsarian.
Dr Jodie Ingles, Head of Centenary’s Clinical Cardiac Genetics Group in the Molecular Cardiology Program, has been awarded a Career Development Fellowship from 2019-2022 worth $437,000.
Dr Ingles’ ongoing research is focused on improving our understanding about how genetics influences heart disease, how to better provide psychological support to families after sudden cardiac death in the young, and developing tools to help patients make more informed decisions about their care.
While Professor Warwick Britton, Head of Centenary’s Tuberculosis Research Program, has been awarded nearly $2.5 million to fund a new Centre for Research Excellence in Tuberculosis Control on both sides of our border (TB-CRE).
Tuberculosis is currently the deadliest infectious disease worldwide, with about 1.7 million deaths in 2016. The fresh funding by the NHMRC will allow a core group of Australian researchers to continue working towards controlling the disease not just domestically, but within our region.
“This CRE is important in forging the collaborative research and training that is essential to reach the WHO goals of improved tuberculosis control,” says Professor Britton.
Research from the Centenary Institute has found that the human enzyme DPP4 does not enable COVID-19 infection in our bodies.
Professor John Rasko AO has led a world-first clinical trial into engineered stem cell treatment use, treating 15 patients with steroid resistant acute graft-versus-host disease.
Centenary Institute research has discovered that the lack of an enzyme in the liver called sphingosine kinase 2 results in pronounced insulin resistance and glucose intolerance, both symptoms of early stage type 2 diabetes.