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Record funding keeps the shine on health and medical research

The Australian government has invested a record AU$673.3 million in health and medical research through the National Health and Medical Research Council.

The funding, announced on 17 October, will be divided between 1,140 grants supporting researchers, projects and institutions throughout the country.

“Health and medical research is an area where Australia shines. We are renowned internationally for our outstanding contribution to health, including the development of a rotavirus vaccine to protect children against this gastro killer, the first humid cribs for premature babies and more recently, the cervical cancer vaccine,” said Mark Butler, the mental health minister.

“The grants announced today will ensure that young researchers have a solid foundation for their future career, experienced researchers can continue to run innovative research projects and clinicians can integrate their clinical skills into research practice,” he added.

According to an NHMRC news release, Victoria received more than any other state, with AU$278.2m awarded for 472 grants.

The University of Sydney was the most successful research institution, receiving AU$87.8m for 149 grants.

Priority areas in the latest funding round included age-related diseases, indigenous health and mental health.

Dementia, Parkinson’s disease, bone disease and other major age-related conditions will receive a total of AU$47m.

Projects focusing on improving the health and wellbeing of aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will get AU$39.8m.

Research into mental health disorders that reportedly affect one in five Australians during their lifetime will be supported by funding of AU$35.7m for 61 research grants.