14 Sept 2021

Congratulations to CCS NHMRC Investigator Grant recipients

L-R: Professor Paul Myles, Dr Shalini Arunogiri, Dr Andrew Neal, Dr Margaret Lam, Professor Mark Fitzgerald

Congratulations to our five successful National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant recipients! Commiserations to our many researchers whose grants were ranked highly, but nonetheless missed out. See detail below of CCS recipients. 
Overall, Monash University was awarded over $43 million to support 30+ researchers, and our Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences won 26 Investigator grant fellowships worth $37.4M. See Faculty and Monash lists here. See detail of NHMRC funding round outcomes released 14 September.

Professor Paul Myles
, Head of the Department of Anaesthesia and Perioperative Medicine, won a Leadership 3 grant of $3,241,612 for his project in the Clinical Medicine and Science category, titled "Improving the Impact and Efficiency of Perioperative Clinical Trials".    

More than 2 million Australians undergo surgery each year. A high proportion are elderly and many have chronic medical conditions that increase the risk of serious complications, ongoing disability, and death. My research aims to improve the design and usefulness of large clinical trials in perioperative medicine and surgery. Simpler designs that allow faster recruitment and completion at much lower cost, and better value because the trial outcomes are focussed on what matters to the patient.

Dr Shalini Arunogiri, Deputy Head of Department, Department of Psychiatry, won an Emerging Leadership 1 grant of $450,370 in the Clinical Medicine and Science category for her project "Transforming outcomes by investigating integrated treatments for methamphetamine use and trauma". 

Methamphetamine use disorder is associated with a $5 billion burden annually in Australia, in part due to untreated co-occurring mental health problems. This program of research will address a gap in the treatment of methamphetamine use, by firstly quantifying the prevalence and impact of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder in people who use methamphetamine; and secondly, by testing two new targeted approaches for trauma and methamphetamine use. 

Dr Andrew Neal , a Research Fellow in Professor Patrick Kwan's group in the Department of Neuroscience, won an Emerging Leadership 1 grant of $650,740 in the Clinical Medicine and Science category for his project titled "Stereo-EEG and precision neuropsychology: optimising epilepsy surgery and minimising neurocognitive risk". 

To guide safe and successful epilepsy surgery, many patients may require sensors to be placed in the brain to map seizures. Electrical impulses can also be delivered through these sensors to test the function of different brain regions so that important brain structures are not removed. However, we do not know the best way to test language and memory. This project will develop a new method to assess brain function in patients with epilepsy in order to improve surgical outcomes. 

Dr Margaret Lam, a Research Fellow in Professor Kat Holt's group in the Department of Infectious Diseases, won an Emerging Leadership 1 grant of  $650,740 for her project in the Basic Science category, titled "Dissecting the impacts of the bacterial host versus plasmid on the AMR burden". 

This project will use an innovative approach of experimental evolution and the latest DNA and RNA sequencing technology to study how AMR plasmids spread and evolve in multidrug-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae strains within different clinical settings. Expected outcomes include enhanced knowledge in bacterial-plasmid co-evolution critically needed for targeted surveillance, detection and control strategies to curb the spread of AMR.

Professor Mark Fitzgerald, Director of the National Trauma Research Institute, won a Leadership 2 grant of $1,500,000 in the Clinical Medicine and Science category for his project titled "Reducing Resuscitation Errors". 

Error-free decisions made during resuscitation are fundamental to the subsequent recovery of the critically ill.  A computer-assisted, resuscitation decision support system has already been shown to reduce clinical errors and improve outcomes during the resuscitation of the severely injured.  This project will research and develop the system to include cardiac, stroke, sepsis, pediatric, toxidrome and obstetric emergencies and ascertain the effectiveness in these domains as well.  

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