08:26am Sunday 12 July 2020

Researchers to tackle major public health issues

Monash Warwick Alliance funding available to academic staff and students

The 114 NHMRC-funded projects range across a number of categories, including public health, clinical medicine and science, and basic science.

The ‘IV iron for Treatment of Anaemia before Cardiac Surgery (ITACS Trial)’, led by Professor Paul Myles, received $2.2 million in NHMRC funding. The international trial has 1000 enrolled patients who are scheduled to have open-heart surgery. Professor Myles said patients with anaemia have a greater risk of complication after cardiac surgery, however existing anaemia treatments (such as transfusions) also carry risks.

“Our study will determine whether a single iron injection given to anaemic patients in the weeks before their surgery can reduce complications, and restore their full health in the weeks and months after surgery,” he said.

An impressive $4.4 million was allocated to research led by Professor Steven Webb of the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. Professor Webb’s trial assesses interventions to reduce mortality and morbidity for patients with Severe Community Acquired Pneumonia (Severe CAP). Severe CAP leads to 7000 ICU admissions and 1400 deaths each year. The trial will identify optimal treatment methods for the overall population and defined sub-groups.

Senior Research Officer in the Stroke and Ageing Research Group Dr Monique Kilkenny will use the NHRMC funds to assess stroke treatment and interventions.

“Stroke is a major cause of death and disability and evidence-based stroke care is proven to reduce death and disability and is cost effective,” said Dr Kilkenny.

“For the first time, we will analyse a national linked dataset, including 40 hospitals and 17,000 patients to understand the continuum of stroke care including emergency presentations and admission episodes.”

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Edwina Cornish said continued success in attracting grant funding was testament to the talent and dedication of the University’s researchers. 

“The scope of funded projects reflects the University’s reputation as a global leader in research that makes a bigger difference to the challenges of the era,” Professor Cornish said.

The NHMRC funding is targeted at supporting new innovations and clinical trials that will improve public health interventions and treatment outcomes.

Monash University

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