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Funding boost to help Curtin researchers fight disease on two fronts

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Two ground-breaking projects aimed at fighting malaria and rare genetic diseases led by Curtin University researchers have been awarded more than $5 million in Federal Government funding.

The Federal Government today announced the funding as part of the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

The first project, led by John Curtin Distinguished Professor Peter Gething from Curtin’s School of Population Health and Telethon Kids Institute, was awarded $2.89 million to find new strategies to tackle malaria, a leading cause of death in Africa. The research will build on cutting-edge geospatial modelling through the Malaria Atlas Project to plan more effective control measures.

The other project, led by Professor Oliver Rackham from Curtin’s Medical School, Curtin Health Innovation Research Institute and Perth’s Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research harnesses synthetic biology to create innovative gene therapies for difficult to treat diseases. The work, supported by a $2.69 million dollar grant, includes the development of protein-based gene therapies to potentially cure inherited genetic diseases and cancer.

Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research Professor Melinda Fitzgerald congratulated Professors Gething and Rackham.

“This substantial investment recognises the significance of both these projects which address critical health challenges and carry the potential to make an extraordinary difference to the lives of people worldwide,” Professor Fitzgerald said.

“Curtin is extremely proud of its research capabilities and successes and remains unwavering in its dedication to advancing high-calibre research that has real-world impact. This NHMRC funding allows us to continue ensuring our great work turns into improvements in health outcomes.”

NHMRC Investigator Grants support the highest-performing researchers at all career stages to continue their significant work leading to health and medical advances.

For more information on the NHMRC grants, visit here.

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