20 Mar 2023

Central Clinical School awarded $7M through MRFF for medical research

The Australian Government has awarded more than $53M through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to 21 Monash researchers for research into cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, dementia, cancer, primary health care, nutrition and more.

Four of these projects, totalling over $7M, were awarded to Central Clinical School researchers.

Professor Terence O’Brien received $3M for a world-first trial of a drug treatment for poorly controlled epilepsy. This new drug is the first potentially curative drug for people with epilepsy who are resistant to control with current anti-seizure drugs.

Associate Professor Natasha Smallwood received $2M for a primary care technology-enabled intervention to improve symptom self-management for people with chronic respiratory illness.

“Breathlessness is a common, distressing symptom experienced by people with lung conditions,” A/Prof Smallwood said. “It is hard to treat as it persists despite treating the lung condition. A few hospital teams have developed effective ways to support patients to improve their breathing, but access to this care is limited. Using technology (e.g. websites, apps, telehealth), this research will test whether this breathlessness care can be effectively provided in primary care to enable more people with lung diseases to benefit.”

Other research projects receiving MRFF grants include: 

  • Better biomarkers for dementia diagnosis: NfL and Voice Acoustic analysis In Dementia Diagnosis (NAVAIDD), led by Professor Amy Brodtmann: $1,589,171.41
  • Intracerebral delivery of Neuropeptide Y through human induced pluripotent stem cell (NPY-hiPSC-NPs) for treatment of epilepsy, led by Professor Terence O’Brien,  $679,315.42.

The MRFF supports researchers with conducting ground-breaking medical research discoveries to help improve diagnosis, treatment and care for people with various health conditions.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Senior Vice-President Professor Rebekah Brown said the MRFF grants were a testament to the strength and impact of Monash research.

“The MRFF grants recognise the commitment of Monash researchers and their dedication to solving some of the world’s most pressing health and medical problems.”

“Congratulations to our incredibly talented researchers, especially our early and mid-career researchers who won awards in the competitive new category. Thank you to the Medical Research Future Fund and the Australian Government for its continued support of research.”

Monash University’s 21 funded projects are among a total of 193 projects announced by Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler MP.

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