$10 million to fast track medical research in WA

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The program seeks to spark health innovation. Image - Canva.

$10 million will be shared across some of Western Australia’s leading researchers to help kickstart medical and health breakthroughs, with grant funding awarded to 51 projects via the Research Excellence Awards 2022 program.

The program recognises and supports high-performing health and medical researchers across the state.

The health issues across the projects range from the monitoring of heart disease and stroke to lung health in young children, along with reducing the burden of infectious disease in Aboriginal children.

Recipients have been awarded grants to use over a two-year period ranging from $110,000 to $340,000. A proposal must be submitted to outline how funds will be spent to facilitate their research.

The funding can be used strategically to find opportunities that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their projects, providing stability for research support staff and improving their chances of success in national grant applications.

Projects to bolster health innovation and commercialisation in WA

The program is an initiative of the state government’s Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Fund, which has been designed to facilitate health and medical research that will develop commercialisation and innovation in WA.

Innovation and Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson noted that Western Australia has some of the most dedicated researchers in the world.

“They are leading health and medical breakthroughs and we as a Government are proud to support and accelerate their progress,” said Mr Dawson.

“It’s tremendous to see continued funding for WA researchers through the McGowan Government’s flagship initiative to support health and medical research and innovation.

These awards are a chance to recognise outstanding WA researchers by providing funding for further growth in research opportunities.

Stephen Dawson, Innovation and Medical Research Minister

“I’d like to congratulate all 51 grant recipients and wish each recipient further success in their future endeavours.”

Recipients Lions Eye Institute Professor David Mackey said the Research Excellence Awards 2022 is a fantastic initiative of the FHRI Fund, and explained how the organisation will utilise its funding.

“This funding will help support and retain Western Australia’s current top medical researchers and allow researchers to develop pilot data for applications to national research funding bodies such as the NHMRC and the MRFF,” he said.

“Myopia, nearsightedness, is increasing in the younger generation in many higher income countries.

“Our team at the Lions Eye Institute, in collaboration with the Raine Study and the Busselton Healthy Aging Study, has found that spending more time outdoors decreases the risk of developing myopia.

“However, we need to find the sweet spot of decreasing the risk of myopia without increasing the risk of skin cancer.

“The Research Excellence Awards will allow us to conduct pilot studies in school-aged children to prepare for future nationally funded intervention studies.”