Victoria: $3m in medical research grants unveiled

Ten medical research projects will share in almost $3 million in Victorian government grants, with the use of analytics and spatial genomics to improve immunotherapy among the projects to receive funding.

Funded through the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund, the grants announced on Friday support projects across public health services, research institutes and universities.

The fund was introduced in 2017 to “fast-track innovative projects from research to real-world impact”, and has supported a total of 122 projects worth $22 million through six previous rounds.

Under the latest round (round seven), up to $500,000 was to be made available for “early-stage research proposals for projects that demonstrate potential for translation at a later stage”.

Funding of up to $100,000 was also offered to projects to “fast-track translation of research to products or practices into clinical or health practice”, according to the Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.

Of the 10 projects worth $2.9 million announced on Friday, two each will be undertaken by Monash University and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, which has the backing of the University of Melbourne.

The Swinburne University of Technology, Western Health, La Trobe University, the Bionics Institute, Melbourne Health, and Northern Health picked up the remaining six grants.

Monash will use its grants to develop an “adaptive platform” for reducing postoperative infection, and an accelerated care model for patients experiencing chest pain.

Murdoch Children’s will, meanwhile, focus on “long read sequencing to shorten the diagnostic odyssey”, and a project that will evaluate the feasibility and commercial viability of a concussion clinic for children.

Other grants include the use of “intelligent analytics and spatial geonomics to improve immunotherapy treatment” (La Trobe), and “virtual sailing as a new intervention for people with major depressive disorder”.

Medical Research minister Ben Carroll said the funding adds to the $1 billion in medical research funding dolled out by the government since 2015, cementing the state as a world leader.

“Life-changing research doesn’t just happen overnight – it’s the hard work of medical research teams who strive each day to deliver better health outcomes,” he said.

“Their dedication is why Victoria is a global leader in medical research.”

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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