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QIMR scientists secure over $20 million from NHMRC

A five-year study into the role of vitamin D in preventing disease is among 30 Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) projects to be awarded more than$20 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The $2.9 million D-Health project, run by Associate Professor Rachel Neale, will examine the effect a monthly vitamin D supplement has on death, cancer rates, cardiovascular health, bone fractures and mental health of 25,000 Australians.

“I am delighted to be awarded this project grant and would like to thank NHMRC for their support,” Associate Professor Neale said today.

“There is so much conflicting information and evidence about the role of vitamin D in preventing a range of diseases.

“We hope that by following 25,000 people for ten years and linking with Medicare records and Cancer Registries, we’ll be able to provide some definitive answers on this area that has been so unclear.”

The announcement comes after several years of work by Dr Neale and her team, on appropriate doses of vitamin D supplements, and how best to carry out a study the size of the D-Health project.

QIMR Director and CEO Professor Frank Gannon said the NHMRC funding for all 30 projects was a great result for QIMR.

“One of the NHMRC’s objectives is to support the best and most relevant research. This level of support is testament to the exceptional standard of QIMR researchers and underlines the relevance of our research program to the lives of all Australians,” Professor Gannon said.

“The funding will provide much needed support to continue valuable research across the Institute’s three programs namely Cancer, Infectious Diseases, and Mental Health/Complex Disorders.

“It will support 30 new research projects ranging from better understanding the genetics of endometriosis to investigating outcomes in children with liver disease to a prestigious Practitioner Fellowship for Professor James McCarthy’s work in developing drugs and vaccines for malaria by undertaking experimental studies in humans.

“I also want to take the opportunity to congratulate our researchers who have been awarded Career Development and Research Fellowships,” Professor Gannon said.