Date published: 
21 June 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Morrison Government is investing $5.9 million in eight vital medical research projects to find new and innovative treatments for incurable diseases including leukaemia, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

The ground breaking research, funded through our Government’s landmark Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), aims to harness stem cells to apply personalised treatments for a range of diseases and conditions.

The University of Melbourne will receive $952,000 to investigate a promising experimental therapy for Parkinson's disease using stem cells to replace the cells lost as the disease progresses.

This ground breaking research is about developing the optimum way of transplanting these cells into the brain.

Stem cells have the potential to treat many types of incurable diseases, bringing hope for new treatments and a cure where previously there was none.

The eight research projects (detailed below) will also help with the development of new practical treatments for Australians with other debilitating conditions including fatty liver disease, skin loss, muscle wasting disorders and macular degeneration.

Table showing the grant recipients, their projects, and how much each is funded.
Recipient Project Amount
University of Melbourne

Using stem cells to treat Parkinson’s disease

University of Melbourne Researching new therapies to target leukaemia $894,180
University of Melbourne Using a patient’s own stem cells to screen for age-related macular degeneration $881,906
Monash University Using muscle stem cells to treat muscle injury and wasting disorders $824,480
Curtin University Researching new methods to print skin to repair skin loss $737,689
Monash University Using stem cells to treat an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of blood vessels $588,396
Monash University New personalised treatments for epilepsy $556,460
Monash University New treatments for fatty liver disease $472,680

The $5.9 million in funding is part of the Morrison Government’s $150 million commitment over nine years to transform stem cell research into practical treatments through the Stem Cell Therapies Mission. Research is due to begin next month and run for two years.

The Government’s MRFF is a $20 billion investment, which was announced in 2015.

Further information on the MRFF is available at

Former ministers: