$55 million for medical research
The Australian Government today announced more than $55 million for health and medical research through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). More than 280 grants have been awarded to 51 research institutes, hospitals and universities across the country. Part of the funding has also been used to establish the inaugural Betty Cuthbert Scholarship and Fellowship to support research into multiple sclerosis.
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30 November 2005
The Commonwealth Government today announced more than $55 million for health and medical research through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The Training Awards and Enabling Grants will strengthen Australia’s research into the causes and treatment of diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cancer, obesity, asthma, diabetes and heart disease.
More than 280 grants have been awarded to 51 research institutes, hospitals and universities across the country. Part of the funding has also been used to establish the inaugural Betty Cuthbert Scholarship and Fellowship to support research into multiple sclerosis.
These new awards are in honour of the four-time Olympic gold medal winner - the highest number ever won by any Australian track and field athlete. Ms Cuthbert has suffered the debilitating effects of multiple sclerosis for nearly 25 years.
Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a condition of the central nervous system involving the nerves of the brain and spinal cord and, at present, there is no known cure.
The scholarship and fellowship have been jointly funded by the NHMRC and Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia and will be awarded annually to assist researchers to find a cure for this disease, which affects approximately 16,000 Australians.
The Minister announced that the Betty Cuthbert Scholarship, worth $91 800 over three years, has been awarded to Dr Mark Slee from the Brain Research Institute in Melbourne for his proposal to understand responses in human brain tissue in patients with various forms of MS.
The Betty Cuthbert Fellowship, worth $264 000 over four years, has been awarded to Dr Helmut Butzkueven, of the Howard Florey Institute in Melbourne, to continue his research into optic neuritis, the most common presenting symptom of multiple sclerosis.
This brings the Federal Government's investment in health and medical research through the National Health and Medical Research Council to about $450 million this year, double the 1999 figure.
Australia is a world leader in health and medical research - on a per capita basis, our research output is twice the OECD average.
A list of all successful recipients can be found at www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/funded/outcomes/index.htm and state-by-state descriptions of the enabling grants are available at www.nhmrc.gov.au/funding/funded/outcomes/enable.htm .
Media contacts: For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.
Nigel Harding, NHMRC, 0409 307 671
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