ANU wins $8 million for innovative medical research

The Australian National University (ANU) has won more than $8 million to fund various medical research and technology innovation projects, which will help better detect brain disease and heart attacks.

Most of the funding is from two rounds of funding through the MTPConnect BiomedTech Horizons program and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which have been announced by Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP.

MTPConnect, which is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to assist with the growth of medical technologies, biotech and the pharma sector in Australia, has awarded funding to projects led by Professor Ted Maddess and Entrepreneurial Professor Mark Kendall.

Professor Maddess said his team's project, which is part of the University's Our Health in Our Hands program, has the potential to transform monitoring and diagnosis of brain and eye diseases.

"MTPConnect, ANU and our commercial partner Konan Medical have provided $1.41 million in joint funding to create opportunities for much more precise and appropriate medical intervention," said Professor Maddess, from the John Curtin School of Medical Research.

Professor Kendall leads the University's first partner innovation company, Wearoptimo, which has also received $1 million from MTPConnect to develop microwearables to instantly detect cardiac biomarkers in the skin.

"This exciting technology will provide a way of identifying cardiac events, such as heart attacks, in real time in a simple, user-friendly wearable format. Their ultimate use in people could provide early detection of major cardiac events, allowing early interventions that saves lives," he said.

ANU also received eight grants worth a total of $6.1 million, as part of the NHMRC's new 'Ideas' funding scheme, which aims to support innovative research projects. These projects will help deliver improved healthcare outcomes for all Australians.  

Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Mick Cardew-Hall said the Government's investment in these ANU projects will help to improve the lives of millions of people who suffer from chronic and debilitating illnesses.

"My heartiest congratulations to all of the ANU researchers and their teams in securing funding to enable them to continue their vitally important research to address areas of high unmet medical need," Professor Cardew-Hall said.

"The latest rounds of Government research funding are a wonderful outcome for ANU, and a testament to the University's exceptional researchers and the vital work that they undertake."

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Updated:  15 January 2020/Responsible Officer:  Science Web/Page Contact:  Science Web