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QIMR Berghofer scientists secure over $18 million from NHMRC

The groundbreaking skin cancer study QSkin is among 29 QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute projects to be awarded more than $18 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) yesterday.

The 10-year study of more than 40,000 Queenslanders, led by Professor David Whiteman, has secured more than $3 million to advance our understanding of the genetics of non-melanoma skin cancer.

“This is wonderful news and I’d like to thank the NHMRC for their support of a project of vital importance to all Australians,” Professor Whiteman said.

“Cancers of the skin are the most common tumours in humans, and their diagnosis and treatment impose the largest costs on Australia’s cancer budget,” Professor Whiteman said.

“While much has been learned about the roles of sunlight and skin type as risk factors for skin cancer, relatively little is known about the genes conferring risk. This funding will allow us to compare the genetic profiles of over 6000 patients with skin cancer to 3000 people without skin cancer to pinpoint the genes responsible for skin cancer.”

Professor Whiteman was also among 10 QIMR Berghofer scientists who received research fellowships.

QIMR Berghofer Director Professor Frank Gannon said securing 29 grants from the NHMRC was a great result for the Institute.

“As ever, the NHMRC has funded the best and most relevant research, and today we see grants for projects across all our program areas. It is particularly pleasing that new recruits to QIMR Berghofer have been successful as it means that we are building on our solid foundations to make the Institute even more successful.”

“And I’d like to take this opportunity to congratulate our researchers who’ve had their futures secured with NHMRC Fellowships.”

In all, the Federal Government announced $559 million in NHMRC funding for medical researchers to generate new discoveries across Australia.