20 May 2020

Congratulations to CCS's NHMRC Investigator grant recipients!

L-R top row: Prof Helmut ButzkuevenProf Paul Fitzgerald,
Dr Emma Halmos. L-R bottom row: Prof Anne Holland,
Dr Jason OngA/Prof Anneke van der Walt
NHMRC Investigator grants were announced this morning by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, Monash receiving in total close to $47M. See Monash announcement.

Twenty-six researchers from the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences received funding for their projects. See Faculty story.

Congratulations to Central Clinical School's NHMRC Investigator grant recipients! See more about the CCS projects, below. The grant income for the school from this round totals $10M across the period 2021-2025.

Commiserations to our researchers whose grants were ranked very highly, but nonetheless missed out.

Professor Helmut Butzkueven, Department of Neuroscience
Leadership Level 1 (L1) $2,238,220
Revolutionising Multiple Sclerosis care and trials through e-health

Prof Butzkueven's research focuses on people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) using smartphones to self-monitor their disease. The program involves over 20 large specialist MS centres all over the world, and will include more than 4000 people with MS. There are two ambitious aims. The first is to re-invent the way we conduct clinical trials to make them much cheaper, faster and more accessible. Secondly, we believe smartphone-based neurological self-evaluations can detect treatment failure faster than standard care. If this is correct, a simple test on a smartphone will optimize treatment decisions and result in much less MS disability.

Professor Paul Fitzgerald, Department of Psychiatry
Leadership Level 2 (L2) $2,016,312
Brain stimulation therapeutics for mental health disorders: from concept to clinical application

Common mental health disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD) affect large numbers of Australians but are poorly treated with existing therapies.  Various non-invasive brain stimulation therapies have demonstrated value in the treatment of MDD and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is now being used widely in clinical practice. However, there are significant limitations with TMS therapy that the proposed research will address: 1) improving the clinical use of repetitive TMS (rTMS); 2) developing a more sophisticated version of treatment for more treatment-resistant patients; 3) testing a highly accelerated version of rTMS therapy for patients who need a very rapid clinical response, such as those with substantial suicidal ideation; 4) developing a new therapy using closed-loop transcranial alternating current stimulation for use at home in a much broader spectrum of patients with MDD.

Dr Emma Halmos, Department of Gastroenterology
Emerging Leadership Level 1 (EL1) $447,602
The role of a low emulsifier diet to treat Crohn's disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel condition. The only current dietary treatment for Crohn's disease, is removing food and replacing it with nutritional complete liquid.  While it is highly effective for Crohn's disease treatment, the dietary treatment is short-term and not always a patient-friendly option. More targeted diets are needed. There is strong evidence in animals that emulsifiers, commonly added to food to stabilise a product, induces inflammation in the bowel, but evidence is lacking in humans. Dr Halmos will explore the effects of emulsifiers on the intestines of humans through designing low and high emulsifier diets and analysing their effects on health in healthy and Crohn's disease participants across three trials.

Professor Anne Holland, Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine. Leadership Level 1 (L1) $2,238,220
Optimising patient & health system outcomes in chronic respiratory disease

Chronic lung disease is Australia's most common cause of avoidable hospital admissions. A range of non-drug treatments is recommended to reduce health care utilisation and improve patient wellbeing. However, they are grossly underutilised, due to implementation barriers and evidence gaps. This research program aims to improve the health and wellbeing of people with chronic lung disease by optimising the delivery and uptake of evidence-based, non-drug treatments. This will include clinical trials (pulmonary rehabilitation, oxygen therapy, self-management), health economic analyses and implementation studies. 

Dr Jason Ong, Melbourne Sexual Health Centre
Emerging Leadership Level 2 (EL2) $1,562,250
Leaving no-one behind: community-driven approaches to eliminate HIV in Australia

Eliminating HIV from Australia is possible with effective HIV prevention methods like treatment as prevention (TasP) and pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP). However there are inequities in our HIV response with declines of new infections in Australian-born men who have sex with men but not in overseas-born Australian men. Dr Ong's Investigator Grant will fund a program of research to inform HIV policy by using crowdsourcing methods to identify and share solutions from the community and evaluating the value of the proposed solutions.

Associate Professor Anneke van der Walt, Department of Neuroscience
Emerging Leadership Level 2 (EL2) $1,562,250
Multi-dimensional monitoring of cognition and cerebellar function to prospectively define disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS).

People with MS commonly develop cognitive and cerebellar function changes that are known to predict loss of employment, earlier onset of significant disability and lower quality of life. These clinical domains represent wide neural network inefficiency and failure and are frequently, and more severely, impaired in secondary progressive MS (SPMS). Neither cognitive nor cerebellar decline is currently included in standard monitoring and treatment-failure paradigms. Prof van der Walt's research program aims to systematically validate and implement digital and neuroimaging biomarkers of cognition and cerebellar function in MS to detect progression earlier and improve medical decision-making and long-term outcomes of MS. This program will be implemented as a multi-centre study of 1000 people with MS with accumulated disability.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thankyou for your comment. We moderate all messages and may take a little time to review your comment. Please email inquiries to ccs.comms@monash.edu.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...