National grants totalling more than $6 million dollars have been awarded to the State's premier medical research facility, the Western Australian Institute for Medical Research (WAIMR), in support of a range of ground-breaking, world-first research projects.

Nine WAIMR scientists have shared 10 research grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Research Council (ARC) announced last week placing the Institute's success rate well above the rest of the State.

WAIMR Director Peter Klinken said he was delighted his team had achieved a strong result in this latest funding round and hoped its success would continue in future years.

"This is an excellent result - I congratulate all the teams that have obtained grants this year - the NHMRC and ARC are key sources of income for our researchers and this level of funding is crucial to the success of their work," he said.

"Consistently, we've been able to achieve great results from our funding applications - this year half of all WAIMR researcher's grant applications were successful, which is twice the national average, and testament to the cutting-edge projects and brilliant minds we have here at the Institute.

"This funding allows our laboratories to take the next step forward in their research into the causes behind and finding cures for a number of chronic diseases, and offer benefit to all West Australians as well as the rest of the world.

"Dr Kevin Pfleger is leading a team that's showing it's among world-leaders in the field of molecular endocrinology and identifying drug targets after being awarded more than $800,000 in grants.

"For the second year running, our Head of Cancer Epidemiology, Associate Professor Lin Fritschi, secured $776,975 for a crucial study looking at a potential link between shift work and breast cancer.

"Another young WAIMR team is also making an impact, having scooped two grants Dr Aleksandra Filipovska and Dr Oliver Rackham will undertake important projects that look into the mitochondria including research that aims to improve chemotherapy treatments."

Professor Leon Flicker and Professor Osvaldo Almeida's team at WAIMR's WA Centre for Health and Ageing will share in a combined amount of more than $2.2 million for their ongoing work into healthy ageing.

Other WAIMR recipients of NHMRC and ARC research grants include: Associate Professor Ruth Ganss - to continue her world-leading work in reversing blood vessel growth in cancer tumors.

Deputy Director Professor John Olynyk - to study the genetics of hemochromatosis, a common iron overload condition.

Deputy Director Professor Peter Thompson - for research aimed at easing the burden of atherothombotic disease. ###

Source: Sarah Hayward
Research Australia

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