Issue 20
Monday, 20 November 2017
Charles Darwin University
E-news
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt
Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion, Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt

Funding win for Menzies to close the gap

By Melody Song

Menzies School of Health Research has secured more than $12 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for nine new and ongoing research projects into Indigenous child health and chronic disease.

The funding was announced by Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion and Minister for Indigenous Health Ken Wyatt AM, at Menzies’ Royal Darwin Hospital campus.

Menzies Director Professor Alan Cass welcomed the announcement, saying the funding will enable researchers to address important health issues including maternal immunisation and identifying key stages to prevent chronic disease from early childhood.

“We’re about identifying critical health issues and finding ways to tackle them,” Professor Cass said. “Through our research, based on good science, we aim to make the maximal difference.”

The funding will provide major support for Menzies to undertake a trial of maternal immunisation to prevent pneumonia in infants and to continue a 30-year ground-breaking cohort study of 686 Aboriginal children born to mothers at the Royal Darwin Hospital.

Menzies PhD candidate and ear health researcher Jemima Beissbarth was awarded a scholarship to study vaccine and antibiotic selective pressures on the microbiology of otitis media in Indigenous children in Northern Australia.

Two other potential Menzies PhD candidates also received NHMRC scholarships.

Dr Anna Wood received funding to carry out research into diabetes and cardiovascular risk among Indigenous women after pregnancy complicated by hyperglycaemia while Dr Simon Smith was successful in his funding application to study community-acquired pneumonia in tropical Australia. 

The NHMRC is the principal funder of health research in Australia.