Date published: 
30 June 2021
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

The Morrison Government is investing $180 million in ground-breaking medical research projects around Australia to improve the lives of Australians and their loved ones.

Funded through the Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund, 106 medical research projects will receive funding to improve health outcomes, including for Australians with cancer, dementia, brain injuries, heart problems, neurofibromatosis and many others.

$18.7 million will be provided through the Stem Cell Mission for 17 projects that will address illnesses facing many Australians and their families, including heart disease, COVID-19, epilepsy and childhood cancer.

The Murdoch Children’s Institute will receive almost $1 million to evaluate the potential of a bioengineered heart tissue to be used for congenital heart repair in children. This project will radically transform patient outcomes and improve the quality of life of children affected by heart disease.

Through the Genomics Health Futures Mission, 17 researchers will receive a share of $46.5 million for genomics research, which will support health clinicians to identify genetic disorders and diagnose rare diseases faster, positioning Australia as a global leader in this area.

Australian researchers fighting against paediatric and childhood cancers will also receive $18.4 million as part of the 2020 Paediatric Cancer Grant Opportunity and 2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity, to improve treatment, therapies and survival rates for Australian kids.

To improve health outcomes for Australian patients, we’re investing $12.9 million in seven research projects that will use data to improve access, quality, safety and efficiency of our primary health care system as part of the 2020 Primary Healthcare Research Data Infrastructure grants.

Monash University will receive $9.6 million to focus on discovery research projects, including next-generation precision oncology, tumour immunotherapy and epigenomics, which will help make a real world difference for the thousands of Australian kids each year facing a cancer diagnosis and the fight of their lives.

Cancer remains the leading cause of death in Australia. We’re providing $21 million through the 2020 Improving Diagnosis in Cancers with Low Survival Rates Grant Opportunity to eight projects, which aim to improve the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer, liver cancer, lung cancer, as well as cancers where the primary site or origin is unknown.

We are supporting home grown research into cardiovascular health, with $20.1 million in new funding to support 16 projects from real-time cardiac monitoring, to after stroke care for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients, from medicine management for stroke patients to arm strength and rehabilitation.

We’re providing $17 million for 11 research projects as part of the Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Mission, which will help senior Australians maintain their health and quality of life as they age, keep their independence for longer and access quality care when they need it.

Seven projects will receive a share of $7.4 million to improve the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people through the 2020 Indigenous Health Research Grant Opportunity.

Australian researchers at the University of Melbourne are investigating further COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Through the COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Research grants, we’re providing $6 million to the University for two projects to help protect Australians against future pandemics.  

The 2020 International Clinical Trial Collaborations grant opportunity is providing $5.6 million for three projects, which will bring international clinical trials into back pain, caesarean births and Hodgkin lymphoma.to Australia.

$4.6 million will also be provided through the 2020 Neurofibromatosis Research grant opportunity to four Australian research projects looking into neurofibromatosis - a devastating genetic condition that can cause cancer, blindness, deafness, and chronic pain.

To help improve the lives of Australians who have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI), we’re providing $3.3 million to six projects through the Traumatic Brain Injury Mission.

These grants are part of the Morrison Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future, which is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system.

Further information about the MRFF is available at www.health.gov.au/mrff

2020 Genomics Health Futures Mission Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

The Australian Functional Genomics Network

$6 million

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

A national large-scale automated reanalysis program to increase rare disease diagnosis

$3 million

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

New technologies for improved diagnosis of ataxia and the repeat expansion disorders

$653,000

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Mitochondrial Diagnostic Network for Genomics and Omics

$3 million

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

The Australian Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN-Aus): An internationally networked national approach for transforming diagnosis for individuals living with rare diseases

$3 million

James Cook University

The KidGen National Kidney Genomics Program – improving genomic outcomes for Australian families with genetic kidney disease

$3 million

University of Western Australia

Closing the gap in diagnosis of neurological disorders including ataxias and neuropathies – a trans-Australia collaboration

$3 million

University of Melbourne

Genetic mosaicism as a stable and robust blood DNA biomarker for precision risk assessment for cancer

$2.1 million

University of Melbourne

Precision Diagnosis for the Remaining 50% of Unsolved Developmental and Epileptic Encephalopathies

$3 million

University of Melbourne

Diagnosis, discovery and novel phenotype characterisation using multimodal genomics in patients with inherited bone marrow failure and related disorders

$3 million

University of Melbourne

Evaluating clinically relevant biomarkers to improve early detection and treatment of head and neck cancer

$2.2 million

University of Melbourne

Novel predictive disease modelling using liquid biopsies to improve outcomes in melanoma

$2 million

University of Sydney

Genomic risk prediction and risk-tailored screening and early detection for common cancers

$3 million

Monash University

Population genomic screening of young adults to prevent cancer in Australia

$3 million

University of Queensland

Improving genomic testing rates for inoperable lung cancer patients

$2.5 million

Flinders University

A liquid biopsy DNA methylation blood test for personalised treatment of patients with gastrointestinal cancers

$2 million

Macquarie University

Integrated Multimodal Precision Liquid biopsy to Enhance MElanoma and NSCLC Treatment (IMPLEMENT)

$2 million

2020 Stem Cell Therapies Mission Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Evaluating safety and efficacy of bioengineered heart tissue for congenital heart repair

$999,000

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

New therapies preventing heart damage during chemotherapy

$879,000

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Stem cell models of glomerular kidney disease for understanding disease and developing treatments

$934,000

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

 

Insights into CDKL5 neuronal regulation: pathways to improving neurological outcomes for CDKL5 Deficiency Disorder

$854,000

University of Melbourne

Stem cell therapies for digestive disease

$584,000

University of Melbourne

iPSC clinical trials - population wide screening of patient iPSC’s to reassess high value drug targets for motor neuron disease

$1 million

University of Sydney

Induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes: a new therapy for “no-option” end stage heart failure

 

$5 million

University of Sydney

Stem Cell Derived-Retinal Organoids to Test Novel Genetic Therapies

$498,000

University of Sydney

 

Improving decisions about access to stem cell interventions

 

$800,000

Monash University

Locally administered extracellular vesicles for perianal fistulising Crohn's disease

$936,000

The University of Adelaide

A Precision Medicine Based Approach to Treat Craniosynostosis in Children

$441,000

The University of Adelaide

Developing an Evidence-Based Model for Building Trust in Australian Stem Cell Research and Therapies

$995,000

University of Wollongong

Novel SMART AAV vectors for gene therapy for Friedreich’s Ataxia

$983,000

The University of Queensland

Transforming the paradigm of epilepsy care with precision medicine

$1 million

University of South Australia

Identification and assessment of new treatment options for the childhood cancer Neuroblastoma

$982,000

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Limited

Engineered human stem cells for mutation-specific eradication of myelofibrosis

$853,000

The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

the sySTEMs initiative: systems biology-augmented, stem cell-derived, multi-tissue panel for rapid screening of approved drugs as potential COVID-19 treatments

$998,000

2020 Paediatric Cancer Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

Monash University

The Victoria Paediatric Cancer Consortium: A multi-institutional partnership to catalyze advances in childhood cancer research and clinical implementation

$9.6 million

2020 Childhood Cancer Research Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

University of New South Wales

Improving outcomes for children with high risk cancer

$1.5 million

University of New South Wales

Rationalised inclusion of HDAC inhibitors with standard-of-care chemotherapy to improve outcomes for primary and relapsed neuroblastoma

$614,000

University of Melbourne

Studying the origins, maintenance and resistance mechanisms of poor prognosis paediatric leukaemia at single cell resolution to develop novel therapeutic approaches.

$1.5 million

University of Sydney

Alternative Lengthening of Telomeres (ALT): Target discovery to treatment

$1.48 million

The University of Adelaide

Adolescents with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia: Focussing on the gut microbiota, its role in therapeutic response and potential as an effective adjunct therapeutic in this high-risk group

$1.29 million

University of South Australia

ABOLISH Neuroblastoma: Defining the Aetiology and underlying BiOLogy of neuroblastoma to Innovate and SHape new options for prevention, diagnosis and treatment

$1.42 million

St Vincent's Institute of Medical Research

Reducing tumour incidence in adolescents with germ-line mutations in RECQL4

$958,000

2020 Primary Healthcare Research Data Infrastructure Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

The University of Queensland

Improving surveillance infrastructure for Indigenous primary health care

 $2 million

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Limited

Registry of Senior Australians: Improving Care and Outcomes in Aged Care

$2 million

University of Melbourne

Platform to Enhance Prostate Cancer Shared care Integration (PEPSI)

 

$2 million

Monash University

 

Optimising health information exchange during aged care transfers

  $2 million

The University of Adelaide

Imagendo: Diagnosing endometriosis with imaging and AI

$2 million

Kimberley Aboriginal Medical Services Limited

Regional collaboration to create a Kimberley Health Evidence Data Platform.

 $1 million

Menzies School of Health Research

Territory Integrated Care: Primary health data Linkage Using Software

$2 million

2020 Improving Diagnosis in Cancers with Low Survival Rates Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

University of New South Wales

 

Microbial based biomarkers powered by artificial intelligence for early detection of liver cancer in Australia. The Australian Liver Cancer Microbiome Consortium

$4 million

University of South Australia

 

Predicting and Preventing Ovarian Cancer: a machine learning approach

$1.3 million

The University of Queensland

 

Implementing a Multivariate Index Assay for the Earlier Detection of Ovarian Cancer

$2.7 million

The University of Queensland

 

Lung cancer screening for early detection

$2.8 million

University of Sydney

 

Ready to screen. Targeting the high-risk population to improve lung cancer diagnosis

$2 million

University of Western Australia

 

The IC3 Trial: Identifying Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer in Primary Care

$3.2 million

Swinburne University of Technology

 

Solving Unknown Primary cancER Earlier Diagnosis (SUPER-ED): A stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial implementing a new model of care to support earlier diagnosis

$2.4 million

Flinders University

 

Shining Light into the “unknown” on Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with Cancer of Unknown Primary

$2.4 million

2020 Cardiovascular Health Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

Monash University

Statins and Progression of Coronary Atherosclerosis in Melanoma Patients Treated with Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

$1.7 million

Monash University

ECMO-Rehab: A Randomised Controlled Trial of Early Cardiac Rehabilitation to Improve Survival and Recovery in Critically-ill Patients on ECMO

$663,000

Monash University

New models of rehabilitation to improve work and health outcomes after stroke

$1 million

The University of Newcastle

Stroke in patients with large Ischaemic Core: Assessment of Reperfusion therapy Impact on Outcome (SICARIO)

$1.5 million

The University of Newcastle

Yarning up After Stroke

$485,000

University of Sydney

Safety and Tolerability of AZD6482 in Reperfusion for Stroke (STARS)

$2.7 million

University of Sydney

LesioLogic

$1.1 million

University of Sydney

Digital solutions for heart failure best practice care

$937,000

University of Sydney

Guardian Angel: Implementation of a peer support program for people with heart disease

$656,000

University of Melbourne

REACHING FOR YOUR WORDS: A Phase IIa umbrella trial of integrated UPper limb & Language Impairment and Functional Training (UPLIFT) after stroke.

$993,000

University of Melbourne

Improving life after stroke with tailored support: Innovation in use of national registry data

$506,000

The University of Adelaide

The SPRINTS Project: Stroke – Prevention of Reperfusion Injury and Neuroinflammation – a Therapeutic Strategy

$2.6 million

University of New South Wales

Development of novel, clinically viable strategies for reducing cardiac damage and preventing future events in myocardial infarction (MI) survivors by targeting inflammation

$2.8 million

University of New South Wales

CardiacAI: Deep learning to predict and prevent secondary cardiovascular events

$545,000

The University of Queensland

Measuring, Monitoring, and Motivating Adherence to Self-Managed Aphasia Treatment

$389,000

The University of Queensland

Development of drugs to prevent ischemic injuries of the heart and brain

$1,499,560

2020 Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Grant Opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

The University of Queensland

Alignment, Harmonisation, and Results: translating Core Outcome Measures to Improve Care (COM-IC) for People Living with Dementia into Australian practice

$999,000

The University of Queensland

Technology Assisted and Remotely Delivered Anxiety Psychotherapy Intervention for People living with Dementia and Their Care Partners (Tech-CBT)

$1.6 million

National Ageing Research Institute

Drawing out care: Using animation and digital technologies to support Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) family carers and people living with dementia

$798,000

Monash University

Knowledge brokers for evidence translation to improve quality use of medicines in residential aged care

$2 million

Macquarie University

 

SENSEcog aged care: Hearing and vision support to improve quality of life for people living with dementia in residential aged care

$1.2 million

Flinders University

Creating partnership in iSupport program to optimise carers’ impact on dementia care

$1.4 million

University of New South Wales

Development, validation and implementation of a computerised tool to assess instrumental activities of daily living

$1.3 million

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Blood testing to predict and discriminate dementias

$4 million

University of Melbourne

Music Attuned Technology Care eHealth (MATCH): A music based mobile eHealth

$2 million

University of Melbourne

Development and Implementation of the National Infection Surveillance Program for Aged Care (NISPAC)

$998,000

University of Melbourne

IMpleMenting Effective infection prevention and control in ReSidential aged carE (IMMERSE)

$758,000

Indigenous Health Research Fund - 2020 Indigenous Health Research

Institution Project Funding 

The University of Adelaide

Working with Aboriginal families and health and social service providers to assess the feasibility of a novel care package to reduce cannabis and alcohol use and social stress in pregnancy

$675,000

The Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research

Developing cultural sensitivity and capability through communication training for mental health professionals

$705,000

University of New South Wales

Understanding how cultural resilience impacts Aboriginal health & quality of life

$560,000

University of Sydney

Understanding the contribution of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and wellbeing to health: Implementation of the What Matters 2 Adults wellbeing measure

 

$998,000

La Trobe University

Healing the Past by Nurturing the Future: Trauma-integrated perinatal care to improve health outcomes for Indigenous parents and infants in a rural setting

$1.5 million

University of Sydney

VOICE - Validating Outcomes by Including Consumer Experience. Developing a patient reported experience measure for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people accessing primary health care

$1.4 million

The Sax University

Indigenous Led Evaluation of Aboriginal Programs (ILEAP)

$1.5 million

 

2020 COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Research Grant Opportunity – Round 3

Institution Project Funding 

University of Melbourne

AdaptiVax-CoV: A novel adaptable SARS-CoV2 VLP vaccine to produce broad humoral and T cell responses to S, E and M viral proteins

$3 million

University of Melbourne

Chimeric next generation COVID vaccines

$3 million

2020 International Clinical Trial Collaborations

Institution Project Funding 

Macquarie University

Determining the impact of a new primary care model for low back pain: A cluster randomised trial

$2.1 million

University of Melbourne

The C*STEROID Trial: An international, randomised placebo-controlled trial to determine the effect of antenatal corticosteroids on newborn health when given prior to planned caesarean section birth from 35+0 to 39+6 weeks of pregnancy

$2.2 million

University of Sydney

RADAR: A randomised PET-adapted study of bleomycin-free treatment of early stage Hodgkin lymphoma

$1.4 million

2020 Neurofibromatosis Research grant opportunity

Institution Project Funding 

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

Malignant Peripheral Nerve Sheath Tumour Genomics in Neurofibromatosis 1 (MaGeN)

$1.6 million

The University of Newcastle

The Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) Cutaneous Neurofibroma Consortium: Identifying Genetic modifiers of disease burden to inform treatment pathways

$1.6 million

Monash University

Defining NF1 clinical variation at the microscale to discover new therapeutic targets

$818,000

Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

A randomised control trial of remote microphone listening devices in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 and central auditory deficits

$599,000

2020 Traumatic Brain Injury Mission

Institution Project Funding 

Curtin University

An informatics approach to predict outcomes and monitor intervention efficacy following moderate to severe traumatic brain injury

$500,000

University of Sydney

From injury to long-term physical activity for people living with traumatic brain injury

$407,000

Monash University

PRECISION-TBI – Promoting evidence-based, data driven care for critically ill moderate-to-severe TBI patients

$499,000

Monash University

The Australian Traumatic Brain Injury National Data (ATBIND) Project

$366,000

Monash University

Exercise therapy for mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS) across the lifespan

$500,000

University of Tasmania

Transforming Awareness, Literacy & Knowledge of Traumatic Brain Injury (TALK-TBI)

$1 million

Ministers: