Australian research advanced through significant NHMRC grants

12 December 2018
Congratulations to researchers awarded NHMRC grants
Congratulations to all Australian researchers who were awarded 2019 NHMRC Project Grants today, especially our Stem Cells Australia members. 

13 researchers from across 6 universities and medical research institutes were awarded NHMRC Project Grants totalling over $13 Million, for their work in advancing our understanding of the kidney, eye, brain and heart, as well as unravelling how cells mature into other cell types. A special congratulations to Elizabeth, Alexander and Matt who are Early Career Researchers. 

The NHMRC is Australia’s leading expert body promoting the development and maintenance of public and individual health standards. The NHMRC Project Grants support the investigation of new research ideas. 

Congratulations to all NHMRC awardees. Read more about the projects being undertaken by Stem Cells Australia members below.
  • Dr Alexander Combes, an Early Career Researcher from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MRCI) will investigate the regulation of nephron progenitor identity, self-renewal and commitment at a single cell level.
  • Professor Peter Currie, Director of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (AMRI) at Monash University aims to define the molecular basis of macrophage-mediated muscle stem cell activation.
  • Dr Partha Das from Monash University will be dissecting TAF5L and TAF6L functions in embryonic stem cells, reprogramming and neurodevelopment.
  • Professor Nick Di Girolamo from the University of New South Wales aims to improve diagnostics and therapeutics for corneal blindness.
  • Professor Caroline Gargett from the Hudson Institute of Medical Research at Monash University, is developing a cell-based therapy using a woman’s own endometrial stem cells to repair the damaged tissue after pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Professor Bob Graham from the University of New South Wales and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute investigate the genetics, cell biology and vascular reactivity of Spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) patients to better understand and treat SCAD.
  • Dr Robin Hobbs from Monash University and ARMI will assess the role of a recently discovered cell population in male fertility and testis repair and define genes required for its function.
  • Professor Melissa Little, from MCRI will improve the protocol to develop human kidney tissue that is able to expand and function after transplantation. Ultimately, this research hopes to develop stem-cell derived replacement kidney tissue.
  • Dr Elizabeth Ng, an Early Career Researcher at the MRCI will use human pluripotent stem cells and to model bone marrow failure
  • A/ Professor Clare Parish from the Florey Institute will examine human stem cells as an alternative donor source of dopamine neurons, and also employ their carefully engineered scaffolds to support these stem cells prior to, and following, transplantation into models of the disease.
  • A/Professor Enzo Porrello from MCRI is aiming to understand the regenerative potential of the human heart in development and disease and determine whether it is possible to re-activate the neonatal regenerative program in the adult heart for heart repair.
  • Dr Matt Rutar, an Early Career Researcher from The University of Melbourne aims to lend new insight into how innate immune pathways drive noxious inflammation in AMD, which will help guide the development of novel anti-inflammatory therapeutics to help ease its socio-economic burden on Australians.
  • Professor David Thorburn from MCRI seeks to improve genomic technologies for rare-disease diagnosis, so that nearly 100% of children with inherited disorders of energy generation can be diagnosed.