December 13, 2019  Print

WIMR and University of Sydney researchers have received Ideas Grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). This vital funding will help WIMR researchers investigate treatments, preventions and cures for some of the biggest disease challenges of our time.

Grants were awarded to:

Associate Professor Andrew Harman, Centre for Virus Research
Associate Professor Harman’s research will use cutting-edge technologies to define unique HIV target cells present in both healthy and inflamed anogenital tissue. The aim is to define their interaction with HIV in the first minutes to hours after exposure.
This will be important for both vaccine and cure design.

Associate Professor Julianne Djordjevic, Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology
Associate Professor Djordjevic will investigate how a key fungal product (IP7) allows fungi to spread to other organs via the blood stream. This will help researchers develop drugs to block IP7 production, and stop the spread of deadly fungal infections, which kill millions of people worldwide each year.

Associate Professor Eddy Kizana, Centre for Heart Disease
Associate Professor Kizana’s work focuses on the use of gene therapy to combat cardiac health problems.

Through two Ideas Grants, Associate Professor Kizana and his team will create vectors (carriers that deliver genes) to efficiently deliver therapy to the human heart.
Associate Professor Kizana is also using gene therapy techniques to develop a ‘biological pacemaker’, which could help treat bradycardia (irregular heart rhythm). Biological pacemakers could replace the current treatment, electronic pacemakers, which require surgery for implantation, are prone to complications, and may require battery replacements. 
NHMRC grants are highly competitive, with only a select number of projects funded in each round. Congratulations to our researchers.  

The full list of Ideas Grant recipients is available on the NHMRC website.