Another great boost to medical research

Medicines Australia has welcomed today's announcement by the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott, of $5 million in grants to 21 of Australia's leading medical research teams.

The grants have been awarded under special programs of the National Health and Medical Research Council designed to promote collaboration between Australia's researchers and high technology medical research industries.

The grants are headlined by a $90,500 grant to the research team of Australian of the Year, Professor Ian Frazer. The grant to Professor Frazer's team at the University of Queensland will be invested in research into the development of better therapeutic vaccines to fight cancer.

The Chief Executive Officer of Medicines Australia, Mr Kieran Schneemann, said the latest round of grants build on the Federal Government's announcement in the recent Budget that it will invest an additional $905 million in health and medical research during the next four years.

"This latest announcement is another building block toward furthering Australia's worldleading health and medical research sector," Mr Schneemann said.

"Australia has had some stunning recent successes in health and medical research - highlighted by the pending launch of the world first vaccine for cervical cancer.

"The benefits of investing in health and medical research are leading to real benefits for Australian patients.

"The success of our health and medical research requires a partnership between government, researchers and industry - today's announcement is the latest example of the success of our Australian partnership," Mr Schneemann said.

Medicines Australia also welcomed the even distribution of the grants across Australia - with grants going to researchers in five states and one territory.

It also congratulates Professor Frazer for becoming a joint winner of the prestigious William B Coley prize for distinguished research in tumour immunology, as awarded by the United States' Cancer Research Institute.

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