What is the Genomics Health Futures Mission?

The Genomics Health Futures Mission will invest $500 million in genomic medicine research from 2018–19 to 2027–28. ‘Genomics’ is a technology that can transform clinical medicine.

Genomics can use information about genes to:

  • identify genetic disorders
  • diagnose rare diseases more quickly (about 80% of all rare diseases are genetic in origin)
  • predict their likely response to different treatments, so doctors can more precisely tailor treatment for individuals
  • predict their risk of developing disease, which can guide prevention strategies
  • classify cancerous tumours to guide treatment choices

The Genomics Health Futures Mission will build on existing research to demonstrate the benefits of genomics and related technologies for patients and the health system. As the use of genomics becomes more widespread, there will be increasing opportunities to tailor and refine the management of disease. This means more expensive and avoidable diagnostic procedures and treatments will stop.

Why is the Genomics Health Futures Mission important?

The Genomics Health Futures Mission will fund research to integrate genomic knowledge and technology into clinical practice. This research will support clinical use of genomics that is:

  • safe
  • cost-effective
  • equitable
  • sensitive to the associated ethical, legal and social issues of using genomic information in health care

The Genomics Health Futures Mission aims to:

  • ensure Australians live longer and healthier lives through access to genomic knowledge and technology
  • position Australia as a global leader in genomics research
  • deliver improved diagnostics and targeted treatments
  • avoid unnecessary health costs
  • improve patient experience and outcomes

The Genomics Health Futures Mission will bring hope to Australians suffering diseases that are life threatening and currently untreatable.

What are the goals of the Genomics Health Futures Mission?

The goal of the Genomics Health Futures Mission is to save or transform the lives of more than 200,000 Australians through genomic research to deliver better testing, diagnosis and treatment.

It will:

  • help Australia move towards routine use of genomics in healthcare
  • support new clinical trials and technology applications allowing Australian patients to benefit from the latest medical research
  • create a new highly skilled workforce and new career pathways
  • support new industries
  • talk with the Australian community to share the value of genomics
  • listen and respond to the perspective of communities on issues like privacy, family impact, and the legal and social aspects of using genomics in health care
  • develop secure data storage, access, analysis and sharing to benefit Australians

How will we meet these goals?

See the initiative snapshot for details of how we plan to meet these goals.

MRFF snapshot – Genomics Health Futures Mission

This snapshot shows this mission at a glance. It includes budgets, early funding priorities and grant timelines, as at November 2019. Researchers and other stakeholders can use it to plan for upcoming opportunities and see how the mission will be established, expanded and embedded over time.

Early investments under the Genomics Health Futures Mission include:

  • Mackenzie’s Mission, the Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project. This project offers genetic screening to couples to:
    • identify couples with an increased chance of having children with serious genetic conditions
    • test for conditions where early treatment can improve a child’s health
  • ProCan. This project is developing a comprehensive research database of genomic information related to cancer. It will help develop technologies and tools to more precisely diagnose and treat individual cancer patients. This will improve survival rates and avoid unnecessary treatments that will not work for each patient. ProCan involves cancer researchers across Australia and around the world.

Who works with us on the Genomics Health Futures Mission?

The Genomics Health Futures Mission Expert Advisory Committee provides advice on priorities for research investment through the Mission by developing a Roadmap and Implementation Plan. Public consultation on the Roadmap and Implementation Plan opened on 14 December 2020 and will close on 23 April 2021. Submissions through the consultation will be used to inform any further development of the Roadmap and Implementation Plan by the Expert Advisory Committee.

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funds the Mission.

Our Health and Medical Research Office oversees this and other MRFF initiatives.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources administer this initiative.

Apply for funding

We list grants on GrantConnect when they open. If you want GrantConnect to notify you about future MRFF grants:

  • register with them
  • enter ‘MRFF’ in the keyword section of your GrantConnect profile

Status

Upcoming grants

There are currently no upcoming grant opportunities.

Open grant rounds

The 2020 Genomics Health Futures Mission grant opportunity opened on 16 December 2020 and will close on 3 March 2021.

Grants being assessed

No grant rounds are currently being assessed.

Grants awarded

We have awarded the following grants under this initiative, as at 30 October 2020.

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator/s

Total Funding

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

Mackenzie's Mission: The Australian Reproductive Carrier Screening Project

Professor Edwin Kirk, Professor Martin Delatycki, and Professor Nigel Laing

$19,982,540

University of Sydney

ProCan: The human cancer proteome project

Not applicable

$20,400,000

University of New South Wales

Developing synthetic DNA reference standards (sequins) to ensure accuracy in emerging genomic techniques

Doctor Ira Devison

$1,443,588

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Statistical methods for analysing next generation sequencing data

Doctor Yunshun Chen

$639,750

The University of Queensland

The history of the human genome and the mechanisms of genomic disease

Doctor Adam Ewing

$1,554,485

Macquarie University

Cascade testing in intellectual disability: social and economic impact

Not applicable

$486,897

Monash University

Preventing mitochondrial disease using genomics

Not applicable

$499,417

Monash University

Moratorium on Genetic Testing and Life Insurance: Monitoring the impact

Not applicable

$500,000

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

A Centre for Ethics of Paediatric Genomics to Improve Paediatric Care

Not applicable

$463,471

Swinburne University of Technology

Towards a trusted genomic respository: Tackling commercialisation fears

Not applicable

$484,000

University of Melbourne

Achieving Equity in Genomic Health for Indigenous Australians

Not applicable

$499,990

The University of Queensland

We need to talk: Genomics and disability

Not applicable

$497,213

University of Tasmania

Genome Editing: Formulating an Australian Community Response

Not applicable

$460,631

University of Tasmania

Returning Raw Genomic Data: Patient Autonomy or Legal Minefield?

Not applicable

$388,026

Queensland University of Technology

Genomic architecture of chronic disease in Australia’s First Peoples

Not applicable

$1,368,256

University of Melbourne

SUPER-NEXT: Complete genome profiling for cancer of unknown primary

Not applicable

$4,993,323

University of Melbourne

Precision Medicine for a Life-Threatening Infantile Epilepsy

Not applicable

$4,079,947

The University of Queensland

Whole Genome Sequencing in high-risk breast cancer patients

Not applicable

$2,801,185

University of South Australia

Genomic autopsy of perinatal death

Not applicable

$3,401,790

Murdoch Children's Research Institute

National rapid genomic diagnosis program for critically ill children

Not applicable

$4,848,331

The University of Queensland

Host gene expression signatures to diagnose sepsis in children

Not applicable

$2,406,970

University of New South Wales

PreGen: Filling the Gap – antenatal genomics and newborn care

Not applicable

$4,828,094

University of Melbourne

Precision Public Health in Australia through Integrated Pathogen Genomics

Professor Benjamin Howden

$9,999,499

University of New South Wales

H2Seq: Viral genomics for public health interventions in HIV and HCV

Professor Anthony Kelleher

$6,629,162

Monash University

Genomics, Digital Health and Machine Learning: the SuperbugAi Flagship

Professor Anton Peleg

$3,403,772

University of Melbourne

META-GP: Delivering a Clinical Metagenomics Platform for Australia

Associate Professor Deborah Williamson

$6,984,360

Total

$104,044,697

We publish the details of all MRFF grants we have approved after they have been tabled at budget estimates, supplementary budget estimates or additional estimates. This means there is a delay between us approving grants and the details appearing here.

Related information

The Genomics Health Futures Mission aligns with work led by Australian Governments to implement the National Health Genomics Policy Framework 2018–2021.

Contact

For more information contact us.

Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) contact

Contact for more information about the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), or to provide feedback on the MRFF website.

General enquiries:
MRFF [at] health.gov.au
MRFF website or newsletter feedback:
HMRO [at] health.gov.au

View contact

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funds high quality health and medical research to build research capability, support researchers, encourage the translation of research into better health outcomes and promote the highest ethical standards for health and medical research.

help [at] nhmrc.gov.au

View contact

Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Contact the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays).

Medical Research Future Fund enquiries
MRFF [at] industry.gov.au

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Last updated: 
22 December 2020