Menzies secures $1.8m in funding for the NT


Menzies School of Health Research has just secured an additional $1.8 million to tackle local health issues such as petrol sniffing, melioidosis and heart disease in Aboriginal Australians.

Almost $1.7 million was awarded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), with a further $119,000 from the Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation.

Petrol sniffing was given the biggest boost with $625,000 from NHMRC to fund a three year project, which will build on recent Menzies findings concerning recovery of brain damage with abstinence from petrol sniffing.

Research into melioidosis, a potentially fatal bacterial disease of the tropics, gained further funding to establish new DNA testing to identify the disease at an earlier stage to allow faster treatment and fewer deaths.

Dr Shelly Walton was awarded a prestigious NHMRC Career Development Award to increase understanding of the biology of the scabies mite, which causes major health problems in remote Aboriginal communities and in many developing countries throughout the world. Dr Walton's lab based research is geared towards aiding early identification of scabies, vaccine development, and investigating the escalation of scabies mite resistance to current treatment methods.

Grants awarded by NHMRC to Menzies School of Health Research

MSHR Researcher Title
Dr Sheree Cairney $625,000 Project Grant. Neurocognitive and social changes associated with unleaded petrol sniffing and abstinence from further sniffing
Dr Wendy Gunthorpe $189,875 Project Grant. Strong souls study this study aims to help determine if social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of Aboriginal Australians contribute to high death rates from cardiovascular disease.
Prof Bart Currie $437,750 Project Grant Continuation of the Darwin prospective melioidosis study.
Dr Shelley Walton $436,250 Career Development Award Strategies to improve the diagnosis, prevention, treatment and control of scabies.

Grants awarded by Channel 7 Children's Research Foundation:

MSHR Researcher Title
Dr Peter Fagan $42,000 Grant. Development of a rheumatic fever diagnostic test to augment current diagnostic procedures and increase early and correct diagnosis. This work involves cloning, expression and purification of antigens from the human heart which were identified as cross-reacting with sera from rheumatic fever patients
Dr Amanda Leach $42,000 Grant. Implications of nonencapsulated Streptococcus pneumoniae carriage for maintenance of antibiotic resistance genes and the efficacy of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (Prevenar) for pneumococcal disease
Dr Shelley Walton $35,000 Grant. An immunodiagnostic assay for scabies.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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