8 Oct 2020

$3.4M MRFF funding for preventing superbugs using Genomics, Digital Health and AI

The SuperbugAi Flagship schema: From now to the future [click on the image to enlarge it]

Congratulations to Professor Anton Peleg and his team from the Department of Infectious Diseases, The Alfred Hospital and Central Clinical School, Monash University, who have been awarded $3.4M from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Genomics Health Futures Mission for a project called "Genomics, Digital Health and Machine Learning: the SuperbugAi Flagship". The funding was announced as part of the federal government budget broadcast on Tuesday 6 October.

This innovative project will integrate the most transformative technologies in healthcare; genomics, electronic healthcare data and artificial intelligence, in order to diagnose, treat and prevent antimicrobial resistance in hospitals and the healthcare system. 

The research also aims to create a tracking and response system to lead to earlier detection of superbugs, personalised treatment for patients and prevention of outbreaks. SuberbugAi has the potential to save patient lives, prevent superbug spread, and improve healthcare quality, resource utilisation and costs.

Professor Peleg said, "I am delighted with the government's recognition of and commitment to managing and solving a huge problem - that is, microbes successfully fighting back against our antimicrobials - through transformative technologies in healthcare. Antimicrobial resistance is a problem that is only going to get worse if we do nothing.

"We have an outstanding cross-disciplinary and cross-campus group of investigators. We're all looking forward to undertaking the project and hopefully bringing new innovations to how we prevent and treat superbugs."

In addition to research lead Prof Peleg, the group includes CCS Department of Infectious Diseases researchers Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Prof Kat Holt, A/Prof Trish Peel, Dr Andrew Stewardson, Dr Nenad Macesic and Dr Adam Jenney; and associated researchers Prof Allen Cheng (School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine), Dr Darshini Ayton (SPHPM), A/Prof Jiangning Song (Biomedicine Discovery Institute), Prof Chris Bain (Human Centred Computing), Prof Geoff Webb (Monash Data Futures Institute), Adj A/Prof Rhonda Stuart (School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health) and Adj Clin Prof Tony Korman (SCSMH).

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