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QIMR receives record NHMRC grants

The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) has received its largest-ever number of project grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

“We are delighted with the results”, exclaimed QIMR’s Director Professor Michael Good. “QIMR achieved a 41% success rate with 26 successful applications. Although the national figures have not been released for this year, the data over the last 10 years has averaged 24% nationally. This ranks QIMR significantly higher than the national average, which reinforces QIMR’s position as one of the Australia’s leading medical research institutes”.

The NHMRC 2010 Project Grants were announced today in Canberra by The Hon. Mark Butler MP, Parliamentary Secretary for Health. The grants are awarded to universities and research institutions across the country to enable Australian best and brightest health and medical researchers to advance their research.

QIMR achieved project grants totalling over $14 million for projects spanning a range of debilitating diseases including prostate cancer and melanoma, to arthritis and psychiatric disorders.

According to Professor Michael Good, “Our aim is to improve the health of all through medical research, but research is costly and funding is highly competitive. The project grants are a substantial component of our funding and are essential to support Australia’s research community.”

“The achievement of the funding is timely with QIMR moving into a growth phase. The construction of our new 15 floor research facility will enable us to attract another 400 scientists and students.”

“However there is always a significant gap between the funding we receive and the actual cost of research. For every dollar we receive from grants, we need another 65 cents to make the research happen. That’s why we rely on the generosity of corporate partners and the community to help bridge the funding gap”.

For young QIMR researcher Dr Manuel Ferreira, this NHMRC project grant provides the opportunity for Australian scientists to make a real difference and undertake internationally competitive research into the genetic causes of asthma.

“By bringing together Australia’s leading asthma researchers we plan to analyse genetic data from 1,000s of patients with cutting-edge technologies to better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying this disease. With 10-15% of Australians suffering from asthma we hope our research will ultimately lead to improved disease prevention and management.

“This funding will also kick-start what we expect to be a fruitful long-term collaboration across asthma research groups, which would simply not be possible without grant funding.”