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Curtin professor recognised with NHMRC National Excellence Award

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Curtin University Professor John Mamo’s innovative research has been recognised at the National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Excellence Awards in Canberra.

Professor Mamo from the Faculty of Health Sciences, and heads up the Vascular Biology Research Unit, was awarded the Marshall and Warren Award, which acknowledges the most innovative and potentially transformative research project in the NHMRC’s Project Grant scheme.

Professor Mamo was one of 20 research grant recipients whose goal is to deliver breakthroughs in areas such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer and immune disease.

Professor Mamo is renowned for his research in revealing that diets high in saturated fats can significantly increase the likelihood of a person developing Alzheimer’s disease.

“The study found that some dietary fats damaged the ‘blood-brain-barrier’, an important membrane that regulates what is normally allowed in and out of the brain, like important nutrients,” Professor Mamo said.

“Before now, there had been no dietary driven approach to the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Research so far has been palliative and more needs to be done.

“I think sometimes we treat Alzheimer’s like terminal cancer and that is not sufficient.”

As winner of this award, Professor Mamo will now receive funding to identify if cerebral capillary dysfunction is associated with cognitive defects and to investigate whether novel bioactive compounds reduce cerebral capillary dysfunction and cognitive decline in older aged mice.

Professor Mamo said it was a great honour to be recognised for doing something that he is so passionate about.

“I also congratulate the other 19 researchers awarded for their outstanding contribution to the success of medical research in this country,” Professor Mamo said.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Development Professor Graeme Wright said John is an excellent researcher who has contributed substantially to his discipline and also to Curtin University.

“I heartily congratulate John on this achievement,” Professor Wright said.

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