NHMRC Ideas Grant success

Hudson Institute has had outstanding success in the NHMRC Ideas Grant round. Our researchers have been awarded nine NHMRC Ideas Grants, totalling almost $8.5 million.

Ideas Grants fund innovative and creative health and medical research from discovery to implementation. Congratulations to the researchers and their teams. Their research will improve the understanding, prevention and treatment of a range of Australian and global health challenges.

Role of A1 in repressing mitochondrial apoptosis to limit pathogen clearance

Dr Kate Lawlor

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2022

Amount: $789,536

Macrophages detect pathogens to trigger an appropriate inflammatory response. However, many pathogens have evolved mechanisms to evade the immune system, such as the up-regulation of host pro-survival proteins. This project will investigate which pro-survival proteins limit inflammation upon pathogen signaling, and how activation of macrophage cell death impacts the clearance of life-threatening bacterial and viral infections.

A new strategy in the search for treatments for early onset preeclampsia

Professor Guiying Nie

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $851,840

Co-investigators: Sarah Catt

Preeclampsia (PE) is a life-threatening disorder of pregnancy. The only current effective treatment is to deliver the baby, often prematurely. The causes of PE are intrinsically linked to the placenta, the organ connecting the fetus to the mother and nourishing the fetus in the womb. This project focuses on an enzyme that is produced only by the placenta. The team will investigate how this enzyme, which is altered in PE, contributes to the disease and its potential as a target for treatment.

Developmental events affecting male fertility and reproductive pathologies

Professor Kate Loveland

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $1,430,398

Co-investigators: Ewa Rajpert-De Meyts, Hans-Christian Schuppe, Andreas Meinhardt, Kristian Almstrump, Anne Jorgensen, Jingtao Guo

This international research collaboration explores how the testis forms and functions normally, and applies this knowledge to understand how the most common testicular pathology of young men, testicular germ cell tumours, arise.

Reducing the risk of pulmonary hypertension in infants with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia

Dr Kelly Crossley

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $920,076

Co-investigators: Philip DeKoninck, Ryan Hodges, Marta Thio

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect associated with abnormal development of the airways and blood vessels in the lungs. For these babies, their lungs are often too small for adequate gas exchange and many of these babies will not survive after birth. The team are investigating new ways of supporting these infants immediately after birth in order to prevent complications that are important factors for survival.

Treating inflammation in the male reproductive tract

Professor Mark Hedger

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2024

Amount: $1,225,116

Co-investigators: Andreas Meinhardt

Excessive inflammation, which is caused by infection, trauma or spontaneous immune dysfunction can produce damage in most organs, leading to potentially severe, life-long health problems. This research examines the contribution of proteins, called activins, to the onset of inflammation in the male reproductive tract. A naturally-occurring activin-blocking protein, called follistatin, will be examined to determine if this can be a novel therapy for male reproductive disorders.

Dr Michelle Tate from the Viral Immunity and Immunopathology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Finding the balance—reducing inflammation during severe influenza infections

Dr Michelle Tate

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2022

Amount: $581,520

Co-investigators: Ashley Mansell

Highly pathogenic influenza A virus infections are associated with high mortality rates. There is a critical need to find new drugs to reduce this impact of flu on the community. This project will identify drugs that have previously been shown to be safe in humans, that can be used to reduce damaging inflammation and mortality associated with severe influenza infections.

Microbiome derived candidates to revolutionise treatment of inflammatory bowel disease

Dr Sam Forster

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $997,926

Co-investigators: Edward Giles

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) incidence is increasing worldwide. It affects more than 100,000 Australians, costing more than $3 billion per year. The team have developed a new way of taking samples from the gut and looking at the bacteria within normal and damaged gut tissue. Importantly, they have found promising bacteria to develop as a new way to treat or even cure IBD in the near future.

Dr Shayanti Mukherjee from the Endometrial Stem Cell Biology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Advancing women’s urogynecological health using micro/nanotechnologies

Dr Shayanti Mukherjee

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $1,168,385

Co-investigators: Jerome Werkmeister, Bayden Wood, Anna Rosamilia

Pelvic organ prolapse (POP) is a hidden, debilitating gynaecological disorder affecting 25 per cent of women causing sexual, bladder and bowel dysfunction. POP is the herniation of the uterus, bladder, or bowel into the vagina due to childbirth injury. Surgical treatment often fails and the use of vaginal mesh has been banned due to unacceptable side effects. At present, there is no cure. The team are developing novel bioengineered therapies using stem cells and nanotechnology to repair the damaged tissue.

Dr Jun Yang from the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Research Group at Hudson Institute

Screening for primary aldosteronism: outcomes, economics and biomarkers

Dr Jun Yang

NHMRC Ideas Grant: 2020–2023

Amount: $571,199

Co-investigators: Michael Stowasser, Grant Russell, Stella Gwini

Hypertension is a major cause of strokes, blindness, heart attacks and kidney failure. Primary aldosteronism (PA) is a curable cause of hypertension. Unfortunately, PA often goes undiagnosed as most doctors do not screen for it, leading to hypertension that is difficult to control and high risk of strokes and heart attacks at a younger age. This project will find out exactly how many people in our community have PA and find new cost-effective ways to make the diagnosis earlier.