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Newcastle University to receive $12.2 million medical research boost

The Australian Government has announced significant support for medical research at the University of Newcastle with $12.2 million to fund 19 major medical research projects.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Federal Coalition Government is today announcing significant support for medical research at the University of Newcastle with $12.2 million to fund 19 major medical research projects.

Provided through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), these grants will allow Newcastle University to continue its work in driving innovative, high quality research into the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases including asthma, emphysema and influenza.

Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said the Government was committed to improving health outcomes for all Australians, and that the University of Newcastle was a deserving recipient of the funding.

“The University of Newcastle has an exceptional record of producing high-quality health and medical research,” Minister Hunt said.

“The funding announced today will assist in key health areas, especially indigenous health and those suffering from chronic disease.”

The grants include $1 million for Associate Professor Christopher Grainge and his team to investigate ways to reverse the symptoms of asthma and improve treatment.

Assistant Minister for Health, Dr David Gillespie, said the 19 projects will play an important role in translating research findings into health outcomes in Australia.

“This investment will continue the Federal Coalition Government’s focus on medical research and support Australia’s talented researchers to find solutions to health challenges which ultimately are going to improve patients’ health and lives,” Minister Gillespie said.

Pro Vice-Chancellor Health and Medicine, Laureate Professor John Aitken said the funding will allow researchers at the University of Newcastle to improve the health of communities in both Australia and internationally.

“This significant support from NHMRC reflects the remarkable talent, leadership and ingenuity of our researchers whose critical work is addressing major health and medical challenges,” Professor Aitken said.

“Cancer, stroke and respiratory diseases are just some of the important issues that will be the focus of our research projects as a result of today’s funding announcement, and we thank NHMRC for this support.”

List of grant recipients

Shows the grant recipient names, their project and the grant amount.
Recipient Project Grant

Prof Philip Hansbro

Elucidating the role and potential for therapeutic targeting of TLR7 in emphysema and COPD $925,780
Prof Philip Hansbro

Defining the roles and targeting interferon-epsilon as a new therapy for influenza in asthma and COPD


Dr Chantal Donovan

Targeting remodelling in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), chronic asthma and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) $386,634

Prof Amanda Baker

Quitlink: Accessible smoking cessation support for people living with severe and enduring mental illness $1,141,189

A/Pr Frederick Walker

Microglial paralysis in post-stroke neurodegeneration: help or hindrance? $512,351

A/Pr Frederick Walker

Stroke induced disturbances in glymphatic clearance: implications for brain repair? $491,688

Dr Heather Lee

Targeting cancer-initiating cells with DNA methyltransferase inhibitors: single-cell analysis to decipher molecular mechanisms and improve efficacy $175,000

A/Pr Brett Graham

Excitatory interneurons: a sensory amplifier for pathological pain $649,848

A/Pr Christopher Grainge

How does bronchoconstriction worsen asthma? $1,064,746

Dr Kirsty Pringle

Maternal Recognition of Fetal Sex in the Regulation of Labour $455,821

Dr Gerard Kaiko

Functional characterisation of novel metabolites in asthma and identification of new biomarkers $818,464

A/Pr Christopher Dayas

Cognitive inflexibility and the development of pathological habits in brain diseases $871,742

Prof Xu Dong Zhang

Role of lncRNA IDH1-AS1 in regulating c-Myc driven-glycolysis and tumorigenesis $675,585

A/Pr Joerg Lehmann

First ever system to continuously and directly measure the internal anatomy to guide breast cancer radiation treatment under deep inspiration breath hold $404,109

A/Pr Murray Cairns

Complete genomics for mechanistic insight and precision treatments of schizophrenia $1,133,341

A/Pr Murray Cairns

Network biomarkers of traumatic stress resilience and sensitivity $638,407

Prof Brett Nixon

Elucidating the role of epididymosomes in the transfer of fertility-modulating proteins and regulatory classes of RNA to maturing spermatozoa $531,978

A/Pr Gillian Gould

Translating evidence based smoking cessation care for pregnant Indigenous smokers $179,118

Mrs Rachel Sutherland

A randomised trial of an intervention to facilitate the implementation of evidence based secondary school physical activity practices $179,118

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