Pain relief targeted in new research funding

18 Feb 2014

Researchers from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) have been awarded over $10 million from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to investigate pain relief, dengue fever vaccinations and asthma treatments.

It forms part of $26 million awarded to The University of Queensland (UQ) from the NHMRC for health and medical research.

UQ was awarded 18 grants and took pride of place in the grants round, receiving more funding than any other Australian research institution.

UQ Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Max Lu congratulated the researchers who secured strong success rates for UQ applications.

“These grants are smart investments in the health of Australians and of our global neighbours,” Professor Lu said.

“While the health outcomes matter most, the funding will also encourage employment, exports and productivity; bring Australia new investments from global sectors including big pharma; lift international regard for Australian researchers; and help attract more top-shelf researchers and students to Australia."

IMB's Professor Richard Lewis leads a $9.2 million Program Grant to relieve chronic pain using new peptides from cone snails and spiders, which includes researchers from RMIT and The University of Sydney.

Professor Peter Koopman is an investigator on a $5.5 million Program Grant led by Professor Andrew Sinclair from the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute on disorders of sex development, conditions where the development of the reproductive system varies from what is considered typical.

Three IMB researchers were awarded Development Grants to undertake cutting-edge research at the early proof-of-principle or pre-seed stage:

  • Professor Ben Hankamer for research into dengue virus vaccine production ($591,894),
  • Associate Professor Mark Smythe for development of treatments for allergic asthma and related disorders ($328,781),
  • Professor David Craik for the development of peptide-based pain therapeutics (574,503).

Media: Bronwyn Adams, 07 3346 2134, 0418 575 247,