Health and Medical Research Council

ACT Health's Health and Medical Research Strategy aims to enhance health and medical research efforts in the Territory.

The Strategy, as originally outlined in the Health Action Plan 2002, involves three elements:

About the HMRC

The ACT Health and Medical Research Council was established in September 2003 as a high level advisory body to provide strategic advice to the Minister and ACT Health on developing the ACT health and medical research sector.

A key component of this work includes oversighting the development and implementation of the Health and Medical Research Support Program.

The Council represents the broad stakeholder interest in health and medical research in the ACT.

Chair

Professor Scott Henderson, Professor Emeritus, ANU.

Members

  • Dr Charles Guest, Chief Health Officer;
  • Professor Paul Gatenby, Director of Research, Canberra Hospital;
  • Professor David Ellwood, Associate Dean of the Canberra Clinical School;
  • Ms Elizabeth Grant, Chair of the ACT Health Ethics Committee;
  • Dr Paul Dugdale, Director, Chronic Disease Management;
  • A/Professor Gordon Waddington, University of Canberra;
  • Professor Sue Thomas, Pro Vice-Chancellor Research, University of Canberra;
  • Mr Ian Macdonald, Consumer Representative;
  • Professor Jane Dahlstrom, Anatomical Pathologist, ACT Pathology;
  • Dr Christine O'Keefe, CSIRO Preventative Health National Research Flagship.

Secretariat

The Health and Medical Research Council Secretariat is located in the Population Health Executive Office.

Policy Framework

The ACT Government has recently made the following policy commitment to supporting the development of health and medical research in the ACT:

The ACT Government will work with the ACT health and medical research community in the following four endeavours:

1. Supporting the development of the health and medical research community in the ACT and surrounding region in a way that builds on our local advantages; including planning for the coherent development of research facilities, communication technology, training in research and major research collaborations.

2. Ensuring a whole of government approach that coordinates the evolution of the ACTs health and medical research effort with industry development and commercial investment.

3. Pursuing the ACTs interests in the development of national health and medical research policy and playing a strong part in the implementation of that agenda on behalf of the nation.

4. Encouraging policy and practice oriented research by the health and medical researchers; and supporting research and evidence based policy and practice in the provision of health care.

2009-2010 research

Congratulations to the researchers who successfully sought grants in the ACT Health and Medical Research Program funding round for 2009/10.

The 2009 call for applications received twenty-seven applications, twenty-five for Category 1: Project Development Grant and two for Category 2: Short-Term Fellowship. All applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council. Details of the successful research projects can be found below.

Funding recipients

The ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, noted that:

"This support will help the ACT to maintain its reputation for scientific excellence in health and medical research".

Funding was awarded to the following applicants in the 2009/10 funding round:

HMRC 2009-10 Funding Program Recipients

Dr Ben Rattray

University of Canberra

The role of eccentric exercise and nutrition in the treatment of systemic inflammation and chronic disease.

This project aims to provide insight into improving exercise treatment of chronic disease, specifically in a diabetic population.

Ms Donna Hodgson and Dr Catherine Hungerford (supervisor)

University of Canberra

Evaluation of implementation of the recovery model of care in Mental Health ACT (ACT Health): Stages one and two.

This project aims to facilitate improvement of mental health service delivery to consumers and carers in the ACT.

Dr Alison Calear

Centre for Mental Health Research

Pilot trial of the e-couch GAD module in schools

This project aims to significantly reduce the prevalence of anxiety disorders in adolescents and to prevent the many ill effects associated with anxiety.

Dr Danny Rangasamy

The John Curtin School of Medical Research and Australian National University

Activation of L1 Retrotransposon is associated with breast cancer development

This project aims to improve diagnosis testing of breast cancer and to make the various grades and stages of breast cancers easier to classify.

A/Prof Alison Kent

Canberra Hospital

Renin and Aldosterone in neonates (Renal Study)

This project aims to provide insight into to the mechanisms involved in hypertension and diabetes during pregnancy and this effect on neonates, particularly the link to development of cardiovascular disease later in life. Also this research aims to guide development of therapeutic approaches to this issue.

2007-08 Research

Congratulations to the researchers who successfully sought grants in the ACT Health and Medical Research Program funding round for 2007/08.

The call for applications in 2007 received 21 applications, fifteen for Large Project Development Grants and six for Short-term Fellowships. All applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council.

 

The call for applications in 2007 received 21 applications, fifteen for Large Project Development Grants and six for Short-term Fellowships. All applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council. Details of the successful research projects can be found below.

Congratulations to the researchers who successfully sought grants in the ACT Health and Medical Research Program funding round for 2007/08.

The ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, noted that:

"This support will help the ACT to maintain its reputation for scientific excellence in health and medical research.

Funding was awarded to the following applicants in the 2007/08 funding round:

Funding recipients

Prof Ian Ramshaw

Australian National University The Development of a Cross-strain and Cross-subtype Pre Pandemic Influenza Vaccine
This project aims to develop a cross-strain and cross-subtype vaccine based on cell-mediated immune responses to internal influenza antigens to provide coverage against H5N1, H1N1 and H3N2  

Dr Matthew Cook

The Canberra Hospital and Australian National University Regulation of cutaneous mast cell-mediated inflammation
This project aims to examine how IgE, T cells and intrinsic signalling influences mast cell activation and their effect on atopic dermatitis using a unique mouse model  

Dr Kevin Saliba

Australian National University Riboflavin utilisation by malaria parasites as an antimalarial drug target
This projects aims to determine whether the mechanisms by which the malaria parasite acquires and utilises riboflavin (vitamin B2) can be targeted by riboflavin analogues to kill the malaria parasite, both in vitro and in vivo.  

Ms Jennie Yaxley

The Canberra Hospital and University of Canberra Development of graduated home-based wobble-board strength and balance training programs
This fellowship will enable the researcher to develop and tiral a Sequential Wobbleboard Exercise Program, that progressively challenges balance through gradual increases in instability.  

Dr Ljubov Simson

University of Canberra Adult Stem Cell Release by Novel Small Modified Sugars
This project aims to develop, optimise and characterise a panel of novel small modified sugars that have been identified to initiate adult stem cell release  

Prof Klaus Matthaei

Australian National University New Mouse Model for Interferon Action in Human Viral Diseases
This project aims to generate a new mouse model that will allow the analysis of the antiviral activity of p150, an interferon (IFN)-induced isoform of the adenosine deaminase ADAR1 and its contribution to IFN side effects

2008-09 research

Congratulations to the researchers who successfully sought grants in the ACT Health and Medical Research Program funding round for 2008/9.

The 2008 call for applications received 21 applications, seventeen for Large Project Development Grants and four for Short-term Fellowships. All applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council. Details of the successful research projects can be found below.

Funding recipients

The ACT Minister for Health, Katy Gallagher MLA, noted that:

"Encouraging and developing local researchers in the health and medical sector is fundamental to ensuring that their wealth of knowledge and expertise remains within the Territory".

Funding was awarded to the following applicants in the 2008/09 funding round

HMRC 2008-09 Funding Program Recipients

Dr Narci Teoh  
Australian National University and the Canberra Hospital  
   
Pathogenic significance of micro particles in liver ischemia reperfusion injury  
This project aims to elucidate the pathogenic significance of micro particles in liver ischemia reperfusion injury (IRI) and develop new approaches to prevent liver damage during hepatobiliary surgery, liver transplantation and shock. The findings will have applications to other organs which are also susceptible to ischemia reperfusion injury.  
   
Dr Juleen Cavanaugh  
Australian National University  
The Aussie Normals  
   
This project aims to establish a database of cell lines, DNA and clinical and biochemical phenotypes of 2000 healthy Canberrans and then generate new reference ranges for 100 biochemical tests being conducted at ACT Pathology. The database will be available free of charge to pathology services Australia wide.  
   
Dr Hilary Warren  
Australian National University and the Canberra Hospital  
   
NK cells and monoclonal antibody therapy in lymphoma patients  
   
This project will assess the number, phenotype and function of natural Killer (NK) cells in lymphoma patients prior to rituximab therapy, both at the time of diagnosis and following chemotherapy, to relate these findings to clinical outcome. The aim is to develop treatment protocols for NK cells to augment rituximab therapy for treatment of B cell lymphoma.  
   
Associate Professor Christian Lueck  
The Canberra Hospital  
The Anticoagulation in Cardio-Embolic Stroke (ACES) Trial  
   
This project aims to set up a multicentre Australian study (based in Canberra) to investigate the optimal timing of anticoagulation in acute, presumed cardio-embolic ischaemic stroke. The study will assist doctors in making a clinical decision about when to commence anticoagulation in a patient who has just suffered an acute, presumed cardio-embolic ischaemic stroke.

 

2004-05 Research

Congratulations to the researchers who successfully sought grants in the ACT Health and Medical Research Program funding round for 2004/5. Details of their projects are listed below.

Applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council. Professor Scott Henderson, Chair of the Council, commented on the high standard and diversity of the projects.

Funding recipients

The 2005 call for applications received 19 applications. Applications were assessed by the ACT Health and Medical Research Council. Professor Scott Henderson, Chair of the Council, commented on the high standard and diversity of the projects.

Funding was awarded to the following applicants in the 2005 funding round.

Professor David Elwood & Ms Joanna HoltWomen's Hospitals Australasia Inc. A Prospective Cohort Study of Morbidity Following Significant Postpartum Haemorrhage (PPH)This project aims to investigate the impact of PPH on short and medium term morbidity using standard instruments to assess various aspects of maternal health. $50,000
Professor Roger Dean & Dr Ruth FoxwellUniversity of Canberra DOPA as a Potential Therapeutic for Diseases of Oxidative StressTo test whether sacrificial and enzymatic antioxidants are under control of DOPA in human cells and to determine the range of proteins which are regulated by DOPA. $50,000
Dr Rosemary MartinSchool of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (BaMBi)ANU Diagnostic Proteomic Approach to Identification of Hypoxic-Ischaemic Neonatal Brain Injury in RatsThis study will use a proteomic approach to examine changes in protein expression with time after an hypoxic insult in an animal model of neonatal asphyxia. $49,156
Dr Christine KilhamUniversity of Canberra A Collaborative Therapeutic Intervention for Children with AutismThis fellowship will assist services to better and more consistently meet the needs of young children with autism and their families. $28,476
Dr Pam MegawUniversity of Canberra Molecular Changes in the Retina During the Development of MyopiaThe aim of this project is to characterise the molecular changes in the eye during the development of myopia as the basis for defining the mechanism of action of atropine, and for the development of alternative therapies. $24,000

2003-04 Research

The 2004 call for applications received 20 applications. This demonstrated the strength and diversity of the ACT health and medical researcher community.

The recently established ACT Health and Medical Research Council assessed applications. Professor Scott Henderson, Chair of the Council, was highly impressed with the calibre and scope of applications received.

Funding recipients

Funding was awarded to the following applicants in the 2004 funding round.

Professor Ian Hendry,
John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU $16,592
Protein 14-3-3 in the CSF of newborn rats following hypoxia-ischaemia
This grant will be used to undertake pilot research activities to assist in the development of a large research project proposal. Ultimately this research may lead to better treatments for babies who have suffered brain damage during childbirth

Dr Jane Dixon,
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU $42,492
Obesity Prevention and Monitoring in the ACT: a collaborative response
This research will assist the development of a major research proposal for the establishment of a Territory-wide obesity-prevention demonstration project. Such a project would be a national first in obesity research.

Assoc Prof Christian Lueck,
Dept of Neurology, The Canberra Hospital $45,520
Development of the ACT Hub of an Australian Neurovision Network
This research will assist the development of a major research proposal to create a Neurovision Centre in the ACT as part of the Australian Neurovision Network

Assoc-Prof Anne-Louise Ponsonby,
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, ANU $14,756
Australian Multi-Centre Study of Environment and Immune Function: Research Collaboration Meeting
The grant will be used to host a two-day meeting for clinicians and researchers participating in the multi-centre trial to discuss project developments and advances in the field.

Dr Buddhima Lokuge,
ANU Medical School $25,267
Implications of Trade Agreements for the provision of medicines in Australia
This Fellowship grant will be used to examine the impact of commitments made under the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement in relation to the provision and regulation of medicines in Australia

Dr Julie Christie,
Research School of Biological Sciences, ANU $5,200
The Role of Oxygen and Fibronectin in Streptococcal Infective Endocarditis
This Fellowship grant will be used to develop a greater understanding of the mechanisms involved in streptococcal infections

Ms Melissa Parker,
Research Centre for Nursing Practice, The Canberra Hospital $29,500
Menstrual Disorders in Teenage Women
This Fellowship grant will be used to research menstrual disorders affecting the younger female population in the ACT

Dr Looi,
Research Centre for the Neurosciences of Ageing, ANU Medical School $50,000
Australia, New Zealand & Thailand Early Parkinson’s Disease Project (ANZATEP)
This seed funding will assist the development of a major research proposal. This study will advance knowledge of the natural course of Parkinson’s Disease, its impact on patients and their families and therefore, better inform the treatment of and provision of care for those suffering with Parkinson’s Disease.

Dr Croaker,
Department of Paediatrics & Child Health, The Canberra Hospital $18,400
Investigation of Membrane Lipids in the Pathogenesis of Hirschsprung’s Disease (HSCR)
This seed funding will assist the development of a major research proposal. The researcher will attempt to demonstrate a causative role for an abnormal lipid composition in HSCR, opening the way for a treatment to reduce risk of HSCR in families carrying HSCR susceptibility genes

A/Prof Gordon Waddington,
The University of Canberra $50,000
The Effects of Wobble Board Training in Active Older Adults
This seed funding will assist the development of a major research proposal. The proposed project will test the effects of wobble board training on the falls history, discrimination of different extents of ankle inversion movements (a balance related index), and the bone activity markers in older community subjects

Dr Marlene Eggert $50,000
The Effect of Diabetic Food Choice Restraint on Mental Health
This Fellowship grant will be used to help diabetes professionals to implement strategies to effectively deal with the mental health impact food choice restriction on people with diabetes