Macquarie University secures Ideas Grants for innovative cross-faculty health and medicine research

11 December 2019

In a highly competitive first round, Macquarie University researchers from across medicine, science and engineering and business have been awarded key NHMRC funding to support innovative research for improved treatment of chronic ill health and vision impairment.

As the Institutional Lead, the University has successfully secured two NHMRC Ideas Grants worth almost $2,000,000. NHMRC Ideas Grants aim to recognise early and mid-career researchers for innovative and creative research.

Macquarie University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Sakkie Pretorius, congratulated the University’s researchers for securing the grants.

“I am excited for our researchers who were awarded funding by the NHMRC via the Ideas Grant scheme, and to see the high-quality multidisciplinary research projects that will be conducted.

“This funding will enable Macquarie’s continued commitment to conducting research with world-changing impact,” says Professor Pretorius.

Professor Deborah Schofield, Dr Rupendra Shrestha and Professor Simon Kelly, from GenIMPACT: Centre for Economic Impacts of Genomic Medicine, within Macquarie Business School, along with their collaborators Professor Robert Tanton and Associate Professor Li from NATSEM, University of Canberra, Dr Hannah Carter from Queensland Institute of Technology, Professor Lennert Veerman from Griffith University and Associate Professor Megan Passey from University of Sydney, were awarded $1,028,940.00.

The team will develop a new economic model called ProductiveLifeMOD. The model will be an international first providing a powerful tool to comprehensively model the productivity costs of chronic ill health and stimulate the productivity benefits of new treatments and policy options.

Dr Vivek Gupta, Professor Stuart Graham, and Dr Nitin Chitranshi, from the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Dr Mehdi Mirzaei, from the Australian Proteome Analysis Facility (APAF) in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, were awarded $652,052.00.

This team will be harnessing the neuroprotective effects of Retinoid X Receptor (RXR) in glaucoma. They aim to modulate RXRs using ocular gene therapy and pharmacological approaches and demonstrate that this target can be used as a novel therapy in glaucoma.

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