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Funding boost for vital Curtin health research

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Fast-tracking new drugs to treat children battling aggressive cancer is one of three Curtin University research projects awarded more than $2.8 million by the Federal Government in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants announced today.

Adjunct Associate Professor Rishi Kotecha from Curtin Medical School, Telethon Kids Institute and Perth Children’s Hospital is working towards more effective therapies to improve survival rates of children with leukaemia. Despite advancements in modern therapies, the prognosis for children with certain subtypes of leukaemia remains poor.

Associate Professor Kotecha and his team will use the NHMRC grant of more than $1.48 million to develop unique preclinical models to evaluate novel drugs for high-risk paediatric leukaemia and fast-track promising treatments from the lab to global clinical trials.

The NHMRC has also awarded Dr Robyn Williams from Curtin Medical School almost $675,000 to codesign an Aboriginal Community led framework for addressing Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, a condition caused by drinking alcohol during pregnancy.

The plan aims to improve the understanding and management of the disorder among healthcare workers in Aboriginal Medical Services. Key components include the development of the Solid Families intervention program, early childhood screening and mental health support.

A third project led by Associate Professor Zoe Bradfield from Curtin School of Nursing will receive almost $675,000 to measure maternity care experiences and outcomes in Australia. The study ‘Measuring what Matters to Australian Mothers’ seeks direct input from mothers to understand what’s important to them and ultimately improve the safety and quality of maternity care.

The Investigator Grant Scheme provides funding for Australia’s highest-performing researchers, across the spectrum of health research to continue their significant work targeting prevention, treatment, management and cure.

For more information on the NHMRC grants, visit here.

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