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10 Nov 2015

Doherty Institute receives $16.7 million in NHMRC funding

Researchers at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity (Doherty Institute) have collectively been awarded $16.7 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for project and development grants and fellowships.

Funding has been received for ventures as diverse as University of Melbourne Associate Professor Katherine Kedzierska’s Research Fellowship on understanding immunity to influenza viruses to University of Melbourne Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs’ study on iron supplements in children in Bangladesh. Head of Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne Professor Elizabeth Hartland, was the successful lead investigator on three separate applications aimed at understanding how bacteria cause disease, totaling over $2 million.

Director of the Doherty Institute, University of Melbourne Professor Sharon Lewin, who is the Chief Investigator on a project that will look at the long-term persistence of HIV in the liver and the clinical impact on HIV-hepatitis B co-infection in Thailand, which received close to $1.4 million in funding, congratulated staff on their achievements.

“An enormous amount of work goes into these applications and competition is fierce, so to have your work accepted for funding by the NHMRC is a real accomplishment,” she said.

“The science currently taking place at the Doherty Institute is truly outstanding, whether it be in influenza, public health microbiology, international health, HIV or any area of infection and immunity.

“Many of the projects that received funding, including my own, represent cross-Institute collaboration, which is the ethos of our organisation and exactly why it was created.”

Sharon made a special mention of University of Melbourne Professor Ben Howden who received a Practitioner Fellowship for improving prevention, tracking and treatment of major infections and Dr Sarah Hanieh from the international and immigrant health group who received an Early Career Fellowship to identify infants at high risk of impaired growth and development in resource poor settings.

“Early career researchers are the future of science so it is essential their work is supported.”

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