Associate Professor Gilda Tachedjian (front right) with members of her laboratory team
Burnet Institute researchers have shared in $190 million for 320 health and medical research grants awarded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
This includes a $100 million investment in fostering career development and supporting
leading health and medical researchers in full-time research.
Burnet’s Principal for Sexual and Reproductive Health, Associate Professor Gilda Tachedjian, has been awarded a Research Fellowship valued at $706,370 to advance the development of an entirely new drug class for HIV.
While antiretroviral drugs have transformed HIV from a death sentence into a chronic disease, HIV/AIDS remains a major global threat with an estimated 37 million individuals living with HIV in 2014.
Public health organisations recommend dramatic scale up of drugs for HIV treatment and prevention. However, a major threat is that drug options will be exhausted in the long-term due to drug resistance and toxicity.
Dr Anna Bowring and Dr Tim Spelman have been awarded NHMRC Early Career Fellowships.
Dr Bowring receives $408,768 to assess and compare methodologies for identifying and reaching vulnerable adolescent girls and young women and female sex workers in Sub-Saharan Africa to determine the most effective methods of HIV prevention and treatment service delivery.
Dr Spelman’s $318,768 grant will facilitate research into the new generation hepatitis C virus treatments.
These treatments are highly efficacious, but their high cost means multi-pronged approaches will be needed to reach elimination targets.
This project will use statistical and mathematical modelling to inform real world health economic evaluations determine the most cost-effective response to inform health policy in Australia and globally.
Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the NHMRC grants would play a vital role in funding new research for treatments of diseases that affect Australians.
“Health and medical research is a powerful investment and one that delivers immense benefits through better health and health care,” Ms Ley said.
“The researchers we have funded are at the leading edge of health and medical research from which considerable benefits will flow.
“Congratulations to these grant recipients and I look forward to seeing the outcomes of this work in improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians.”