School researchers win major NHMRC research grants
Researchers from UQ's School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences and their collaborators from the University of Adelaide, Griffith University and UQ's Diamantina and Molecular Bioscience Institutes have been awarded National Health and Medical Research Council program and development grants worth more than $22 million.
The February announcement sees the funding of work to develop new vaccines and investigate novel treatment strategies for infections and chronic disease.
Professor Bostjan Kobe and Professor Mark Walker are partners on a Program Grant Protein glycan interactions in infectious diseases, worth $8.8M, led by Professor James Paton from Adelaide.
Visiting Paton's laboratory, Federal Minister for Health, the Honorable Peter Dutton, spoke of the team's innovative work in the area of infectious diseases research.
“Their research into how microorganisms cause disease could pave the way to improved vaccines and drugs," said Mr Dutton.
"This would have a significant global impact, given that infectious disease claims more than ten million lives around the world each year.”
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Professor Walker also leads a project to develop a safe vaccine against group A streptococci. Co-investigators on the $752,779 grant are SCMB's Professor Istvan Toth and Dr Peter Moyle of UQ's School of Pharmacy.
Investigation of immunoregulation for treatment of disease is a $11,797,530 program grant team led by Professor Ranjeny Thomas of the Diamantina Institute, on which SCMB's Prof Phil Hugenholtz is a chief investigator.
The School's Professor Paul Young is a collaborator on two development grants totalling nearly $1.4M. He and IMB and AIBN colleagues will conduct innovative research into the development of a low-cost vaccine and delivery system against dengue virus, and the development of micropatch kits to capture and detect disease-related biomakers from the skin for diagnostic monitoring, without the need for needles, trained practitioners or expensive laboratory infrastructure.
Photo: Group A Streptococcus (green) shown to be growing inside of a cell (red), caputured by a fluorescence microscope.