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 Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) funds the Mission.

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

The Genomics Health Futures Mission Expert Advisory Committee is developing a roadmap for the Mission.

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 grants.

Open grant rounds

There are no grant rounds currently open.

Grants being assessed

We are currently assessing projects and expect to announce grant recipients in the first quarter of 2020. These focus on:

  • cancers (including lung cancer and mesothelioma) and diseases with high mortality and low survivability
  • paediatric acute care research in critically ill children
  • ethical, legal and social issues related to the use of genomic information in health care
  • pathogen genomics

Grants awarded

We have funded the following projects under this initiative, as at 30 September 2019.

Funded Institution

Project Name

Chief Investigator/s

Total Funding

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (leveraging Australian Genomics)

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 (administering for the Children's Medical Research Institute)

ProCan: The human cancer proteome project

Not applicable

$20,400,000

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Statistical methods for analyzing next generation sequencing data

Dr Yunshun Chen

$639,750

University of New South Wales

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

Dr Ira Devison

$1,443,588

Total

 

$42,465,878

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 feedback:
HMRO [at] health.gov.au

View contact

Last updated: 
24 December 2019