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New funding to have lasting impact on health outcomes in Australia and globally

Media release: 
04/09/2019

SYDNEY, SEPT 4 - Researchers from The George Institute for Global Health have been awarded almost $6m in Investigator Grants in the latest round of funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The successful projects are focusing on key areas that represent significant global health burdens including stroke, sepsis, sex and gender differences in cardiovascular disease, and injury.

The Investigator Grant scheme is one of NHMRC’s new flagship funding schemes designed to encourage innovation and creativity in research, provide opportunities for talented researchers at all career stages to contribute to the improvement of human health, and minimise the burden on researchers of application and peer review so they can spend more time producing high quality research.

Executive Director of The George Institute Australia, Professor Bruce Neal, said: “These awards not only recognise the outstanding quality of our researchers, but also support us in our mission to address some of the biggest health challenges of our time.”  

The successful researchers were:

Professor Craig Anderson – Generating new evidence and improving health systems to improve the management of stroke across the globe

Prof Anderson said: “This grant will allow continuation of a sustained program of initiating and conducting, innovative and efficient, international, large-scale, randomised controlled trials and population/registry studies to produce high quality evidence to improve the prevention and management of stroke, and other aspects of cardiovascular disease.”

Dr Candice Delcourt - Improving stroke care in regional and rural Australia

Dr Delcourt said: “There is a significant gap between guideline-based recommendations and practice in the management of acute stroke and transient neurological attacks in regional and rural Australia. During the next 5 years, I will develop, assess and implement pathways aimed at patients, primary care providers, and regional hospitals and specialists to reduce these gaps and improve health outcomes for regional and rural Australians who experience stroke.”

Dr Caroline Lukaszyk - Sex and gender differences in long term health outcomes following injury in Australia

Dr Lukaszyk said: “Although global estimates report higher fatality rates among men for the vast majority of injury types, emerging evidence suggests women have poorer mobility outcomes, poorer psychological outcomes, and a decreased ability to selfcare following all types of injury. This research will investigate how sex and gender influence long-term health outcomes among men and women following injury in Australia to informing effective injury prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services that meet the needs of both men and women, promoting equitable care for both sexes.”

Professor John Myburgh - The impact of sepsis in critically ill patients: antimicrobial and neuroendocrine initiatives to reduce the burden of disease

Prof Myburgh said: “The grant will be used to research the impact of sepsis in critically ill patients, particularly antimicrobial and neuroendocrine initiatives to reduce the burden of disease. These initiatives include discovery trials of effective antimicrobial treatments in mechanically ventilated patients and those with septic shock, studies of genomic and metabolomics profiles in these patients, health economic analyses and strategies to implement key findings in clinical practice and health policy.”

Professor Mark Woodward - Compiling the evidence for sex differences in cardiovascular disease

Prof Woodward said: “Despite sterling efforts by the National Heart Foundation, and its international equivalents women continue to be relatively under-recognised in cardiovascular disease. One reason for this is likely to be lack of knowledge amongst women and their carers. Evidence suggests that ignoring sex differences in CVD has sometimes led to worse outcomes in both sexes. This project, thus aims to use very large databases to reliably quantify the incidence of, and effects of risk factors on, major sub-types of CVD in adult women of all ages, and contrast with men of a similar age.”