MRFF projects

The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) supports Australian health and medical research. Read about some of our projects.


Finding new drugs for depression in bipolar disorder

People with bipolar disorder are depressed for almost half their lives but there is no effective treatment. After searching drug profiles, psychiatrist Professor Michael Berk discovered the common high blood pressure drug candesartan could help. He is testing candesartan in a clinical trial.

Responding to ethical issues in genetics research

Professor Dianne Nicol is passionate about talking to the community about ethical, legal and social issues in genetics research. We asked Dianne about becoming an expert in this field and the most urgent issues in genetics research today.

Is human gene editing good for our health? A citizens’ jury speaks

Gene editing allows us to modify our genes. This can cure diseases. But it could also be used in the future to select for traits that give social or competitive advantages. Professor Nicol asked a citizens’ jury to decide under what circumstances we should allow human gene editing.

This clinical trial is testing a new cure for a deadly rare blood cancer

In 2018 Scott Griffiths developed a deadly rare blood cancer in his brain. He believed he was going to die. But a new precision medicine developed by his doctor Professor Maher Gandhi cured Scott. Maher is conducting a clinical trial to test if his new treatment works for other patients.

Engaging childhood brain cancer survivors

Over 90% of childhood brain cancer survivors develop life threatening and disabling health conditions after they finish cancer treatment. Engage is a consumer co-designed telehealth trial that helps these survivors manage their health and improve their quality of life.

The Big Picture: Helping our medical researchers turn discoveries into products to improve our health

It takes time and money to turn a scientific discovery into a medical product ready for use. To help medical researchers along this road, in 2017 the MRFF began funding medical research commercialisation. The Big Picture asks what impact our funds are having.

Using big data to find the best health care for older Australians

Big data is giving us a whole picture of Australia’s ageing pathways for the first time. Professor Maria Inacio is working with this data from the Registry of Senior Australians. She aims to find the best aged care and health care services for older Australians.

Discovering an Australian antiviral drug for COVID-19

In 2020, 5 Australian research organisations with expertise in infectious diseases and 2 industry partners formed a consortium. Their aim: to produce an Australian antiviral drug for COVID-19. This research is growing Australia’s ability to discover, test, and manufacture antiviral drugs.

Funnel-web spider venom may provide a new drug for heart attacks

Blocked arteries cause heart attacks by reducing oxygen flow to the heart. Called ischemia, this leads to the death of heart cells. These injuries are permanent and can cause the heart to fail. A new drug could prevent this damage.

National DNA screening could save lives for people with high-risk hereditary disease gene variants

The DNA Screen study offers free DNA screening for high-risk hereditary disease gene variants to 10,000 young Australians. When the study launched it received national media coverage. Over 20,000 people registered in the first 3 days. We asked lead researcher Paul Lacaze what happened next.
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