NHMRC Investigator Grant Emerging Leadership success

Hudson Institute is happy to announce the success of our researcher, Dr Doug Blank, in the new NHMRC Investigator Grant round.

Ground-breaking research into what makes newborn babies begin breathing has been rewarded with an Emerging Leadership grant worth $450,370. Dr Doug Blank and his team at Hudson Institute’s Ritchie Centre have received the grant for their study, Improving Neonatal Resuscitation, which aims to investigate simple ideas to make birth safer for the baby.

Improving Neonatal Resuscitation

Dr Doug Blank

NHMRC Investigator Grant Emerging Leadership (Level 1)

Amount: $450,370

More than 5 per cent of all babies worldwide need help breathing in the seconds after birth. Failing to breathe kills more than 1 baby every minute. Dr Doug Blank’s grant will investigate simple ideas that may make birth safer for the baby, including

  • understanding how the baby begins breathing air after birth,
  • augmenting the respiratory drive of premature babies to spontaneously breathe after birth, and
  • helping babies breathe before cutting the umbilical cord so that they are still being supported by their mother.

Dr Blank, who is also a Research Fellow at Hudson Institute of Medical Research and Monash University, and a Neonatologist at Monash Children’s Hospital, says a key aspect of his research involves deferring the point at which the umbilical cord is clamped, so placental circulation can be maintained longer in babies with breathing difficulties.

“The breathing efforts of the newborn and the placental circulation are critically under-utilised potential resources that can be harnessed anywhere in the world. My vision is to transform the advances in scientific knowledge into clinical realities globally.”