A team led by University of Adelaide researcher Professor James Paton has been awarded more than $8.7 million in federal funding to help find new ways of fighting deadly infectious diseases.
Professor Paton has won a highly competitive Program Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for research that will deepen the understanding of disease-causing bacteria and viruses and the human body.
His grant is among more than $9.9 million in total NHMRC funding awarded to the University of Adelaide for new medical research, announced today by Federal Health Minister the Hon. Peter Dutton.
"Infectious diseases remain a serious threat to human health, accounting for more than 10 million deaths each year," says Professor Paton, who is Director of the Research Centre for Infectious Diseases in the University's School of Molecular and Biomedical Science.
"Our research aims to better understand the dynamic interactions between major disease-causing microbes and their human hosts, and to directly apply this new knowledge to develop improved vaccines and new treatment strategies. These are urgently needed to combat infectious diseases in the 21st century."
The $8.7 million Program Grant is for funding to start in 2015.
“The Program Grants are the most prestigious grants awarded by the NHMRC so this is a wonderful outcome. It’s a reflection of just how highly regarded is the research that James Paton and his team are conducting,” says the University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Mike Brooks. “It’s a great start to the year for University of Adelaide research funding.”
The NHMRC funding announced today also included a Partnership Project grant of more than $350,000 for a project led by Professor Sandy McFarlane, Head of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies in the School of Population Health, called Improving the resilience, health and wellbeing of Australian firefighters. This project will be in partnership with the Metropolitan Fire Service of South Australia.
Further funding was awarded for Postgraduate Scholarships.
"Our researchers have won highly competitive funding that we know will have a direct benefit to human health and wellbeing, and that's a great outcome not only for our University but for the State and the community," Professor Brooks says.