Monash University receives $41m for 38 projects in NHMRC Ideas Grants

Monash University has received more than $41 million for 38 projects in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grants – the most of any Australian university for the second year in a row.

Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care the Hon Greg Hunt MP announced the grants yesterday as part of $239 million in funding for 248 research projects, which will help advance understanding of a wide range of health and medical issues faced by Australians.

Monash projects to be awarded funding include improving therapeutic delivery of RNA, research into brain injury in intimate partner violence, a treatment for prostate cancer, the effects of early exposure to bushfires on adult brain structure and function, fertility treatment, and psychedelic treatment of anorexia nervosa.

The Ideas Grant scheme is designed to support innovative research projects addressing a specific question, and provide particular opportunities for early and mid-career researchers.

Monash University President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Margaret Gardner AC welcomed the funding, and thanked the Federal Government and NHMRC for its ongoing commitment to such critical and life-changing research.

“The Ideas Grants support innovative and creative research in health and medical research, from discovery to implementation,” Professor Gardner said.

“The number of grants awarded to Monash researchers demonstrates the strength of their projects in advancing knowledge and outcomes in areas that will have significant benefits for Australians, and is a reflection of the University’s commitment to fostering thriving communities.”

Some of the Monash projects funded under the 2021 Ideas Grants scheme include:

Neuropharmacology of decision-making: causal brain network modelling across species, $2.01m

Lead: Professor Mark Bellgrove, Director of Research at the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health

Positive allosteric modulation of anti-convulsant G protein-coupled receptor signalling to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, $1.98m

Lead: Dr Lauren May, Senior Researcher in Drug Discovery Biology

Brain injury in intimate partner violence: Insight into a silent pandemic, $1.92m

Lead: Associate Professor Sandy Shultz, Van Cleef Centre for Nervous Diseases, Department of Neuroscience, Group leader, Shultz research lab.

A novel single treatment for two serious complications of allogeneic stem cell transplantation: acute graft-versus-host disease and sinusoidal obstruction syndrome, $1.86m

Lead: Professor Harshal Nandurkar, Head of the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases

Developing novel CAR T cell therapy approaches to treat prostate cancer, $1.74m

Lead: Associate Professor Renea Taylor, Research Fellow in the Department of Physiology and Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of complex I dysfunction and mitochondrial disease, $1.37m

Lead: Professor Mike Ryan, Pro-Vice Chancellor (Research) and Director of Research Infrastructure

The effects of early exposure to bushfires on adult brain structure and function, $1.32m

Lead: Dr Farshad Mansouri, Senior Lecturer, Physiology, Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute

Phase-Contrast Neuroimaging for Early Detection of Brain Injury at Birth, $1.06m
Lead: Associate Professor Marcus Kitchen, ARC Future Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the School of Physics and Astronomy

The full list of recipients can be found here.

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