24 Aug 2018

Monash brain research success in major national grants

Associate Professor Sandy Shultz, the recipient of
 a 2018 NHMRC Career Development Fellowship.
by Anne Crawford

Researchers in Monash University’s new Department of Neuroscience have been recognised in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants worth more than $1.3million.

The Department, part of Monash University’s Central Clinical School (CCS), will be officially opened by Hon. Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health, on 30 August. It attracted almost half of the grants awarded to CCS scientists.

The research fellowships were among nationwide funds totalling almost $192 million announced yesterday by the Federal Health Minister, the Hon. Greg Hunt.

Head of the Department of Neuroscience, Professor Terry O’Brien, congratulated the researchers for the work and advances in research that went into gaining the grants.

“It is gratifying to see the hard work of these talented basic and clinical early and mid-career researchers be recognised by them receiving these highly competitive national medical research fellowships,” Professor Terry O’Brien said.  “I have no doubt that these awards will see their already impressive research careers rise to even greater heights.”

The funds will support projects investigating brain injury such as that associated with the concussion experienced by sportspeople, a novel therapy for a common form of the epilepsy, and research into genetic factors involved in epilepsy. See detail in the following links:
Dr Zhibin Chen is joining the department in December this year. He will use his Early Career Fellowship ($327,192) to develop dynamic modelling of long-term prognosis in epilepsy. His project aims to identify the main risk factors associated with antiepileptic drug treatment responses, development of adverse effects and drug-resistant epilepsy. It will create an algorithm and scoring system to predict dynamic long-term treatment responses to be evaluated in real-world clinical practice. The scoring system Dr Chen will develop could have broad application and be used as a basis for modelling dynamic outcomes of other non-communicable chronic diseases.

Monash University attracted $28.5 million across the seven schemes announced by the Federal Government.

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