Two Swinburne researchers have been awarded a share of $239 million for three-year research projects funded as part of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Ideas Grant scheme.
Professor Sarah Russell’s and Associate Professor Elisabeth Lambert’s projects are one of 248 that have been provided funding from the Morrison Government to enhance understanding of a wide range of health issues and improve the lives of Australians.
The grants are awarded to research that can deliver important health outcomes and contributes to Australia’s leading reputation for improving the lives of patients worldwide through health and medical research.
Recognition of innovation
Swinburne's Chief Scientist, Professor Virginia Kilborn congratulates Professor Russell and Associate Professor Lambert on being awarded a NHMRC Ideas Grant.
‘These grants are not just deserved recognition, but essential for their ongoing research, which is using innovative technology to develop real health solutions. Their projects are significant, and we anticipate they will contribute to huge advances in medical science. Swinburne is proud to support these talented researchers to make a positive impact on the lives of many people in Australia affected by severe illness and disease.'
Combatting illness via technology
Associate Professor Lambert, with Swinburne colleagues Dr Will Woods, Dr Tatiana Kameneva and Professor Murray Esler from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, were awarded $683,535 for her project ‘Identifying brain pathways regulating sympathetic nervous outflow in human hypertension’. Led through the Iverson Health Innovation Research Institute at Swinburne, the research will focus on understanding the physiological processes involved in disease development. It can then guide treatment approaches for diseases where hypertension is a contributing factor, such as heart disease, stroke, dementia and kidney disease and diabetes.
'We will use the most advanced technologies in neuroimaging and artificial intelligence to identify the brain regions that contribute to activation of the peripheral nervous system to gain insight into the mechanisms driving increases in blood pressure in patients with hypertension,’ she says.
Professor Russell’s research titled ‘Understanding latent fate programming in T cells’ was granted $802,328. The project aims to determine how best T cells can be used to treat infections and cancer effectively and provide a general framework on how fate is controlled in multicellular organisms. With Swinburne Professors Damien Hicks and Federico Frascoli, Professor Russell will investigate what controls the effectiveness of T cells in their natural response when the body is faced with infection or cancer using a single cell analysis.
‘The grant will fund us to complete the toolkit we need so that we can learn from our single cell imaging approach. We have some data ready to analyse, and once we have all the data processing and analytical tools in place, we will be able to perform many more experiments.
‘That has been the dream for many years now, and we are so excited that it is finally going to come true!’