The Albanese Labor Government is investing over $24 million in health and medical research focusing on women’s health to develop targeted treatments and improve health outcomes.
Breast and ovarian cancer, endometriosis and the mental health impacts of infertility treatment are among 23 projects funded in the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2022 Ideas Grant funding.
Among the recipients is Associate Professor Stacey Edwards who, with her group at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, will explore how DNA variation contributes to ovarian cancer.
Recent studies have identified human DNA markers linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer but the critical genes that drive this risk are not yet known.
With around 1,800 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in Australia each year and a 5-year survival rate below 50%, there is an urgent need to improve options for treatment of women with this disease.
With her Ideas Grant, Associate Professor Edwards will identify these genes and determine how they contribute to cancer development. These genetic insights will open up new avenues to prevent and treat this low-survival cancer.
Other project recipients include:
- Associate Professor Anna Calkin from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute has been awarded more than $1.4 million to investigate the differences between men and women in the heart’s response to exercise.
- Dr Fiona Cousins from Monash University will use her grant of more than $1.1 million to investigate the use of an immune modulator as an innovative treatment for endometriosis, a chronic and debilitating condition that affects 1 in 9 women.
- Professor Hamish Scott from the University of South Australia has been awarded more than $1.4 million to improve understanding of the causes of pregnancy loss using novel genomic techniques and by studying genetic variation in the placenta.
The full list of projects can be found here.
The funding announced today is part of a $241 million investment in research through National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2022 Ideas Grant scheme.
QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE GED KEARNEY MP
“Every Australian deserves access to quality healthcare that caters to their needs. Investing in research that supports women’s specific health concerns is critical.”
“These grants in health and medical research, looking at important health issues such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis and pregnancy, will improve health outcomes for women across Australia.”
QUOTES ATTRIBUTABLE TO NHMRC CEO PROFESSOR ANNE KELSO AO
“Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in Australia, while ovarian cancer is one of the most challenging to treat. Research has underpinned the extraordinary advances made to date in understanding, diagnosing and treating these diseases. It is critical that we continue to invest in research to prevent and treat these and other important issues in women’s health.”