The Univeristy of Melbourne The Royal Melbourne Hopspital

A joint venture between The University of Melbourne and The Royal Melbourne Hospital


23 Jan 2018

Doherty Institute receives new grant to understand anaemia in Indigenous communities

A new grant from the Shepherd Foundation has been awarded to Chief Investigators Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs and Dr Sarah Hanieh from the Doherty Institute, and a team of researchers across a range of organisations, for a new project titled “Novel approaches to improve understanding of anaemia and its determination in Indigenous communities”. 

Aboriginal children suffer from increased morbidity from malnutrition, anaemia, infections that impact on their educational and long term economic outcomes. Chronic malnutrition not only increases the risk of anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies in childhood, but also the likelihood of acquiring chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease as adults.

The most likely explanation for these long term impacts on health is persistent low-grade inflammation, perhaps secondary to infections or disturbances in the gut microbial community (the gut microbiome). In this project the researchers will examine associations between anaemia, systemic inflammation and alterations in the gut microbiome in relation to modifiable environmental factors in a cohort of young children living in a non-urban community.

They have been awarded $61,582.00 in 2018 and AUD $32,853.00 in 2019 for this vital work.

Chief Investigators

  • CIA Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs, Head of the International and Immigrant Health Group (University of Melbourne) and Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician, Victorian Infectious Diseases Service (VIDS), Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity 
  • CIB Dr Sarah Hanieh, Infectious Diseases Physician, Global Health, Indigenous Health, The University of Melbourne, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Other Participants

  • A/Professor Siddhartha Mahanty MBBS, MPH. (parasitology, molecular diagnostics, lab work coordinator), Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity
  • Professor Len Harrison, DSc, DMedSci, FRACP, FRCPA, FAAHMS (inflammation, microbiome), Walter and Elisa Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI)
  • Professor Ben Howden, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPA (molecular diagnostics, microbiome) Melbourne Diagnostic Unit (MDU) and Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Sabine Braat MSc. Biostat. (statistician)
  • Dr Andre Mu, BSc, PhD (Bioinformatics), MDU, Peter Doherty Institute
  • Dr Therese Kearns-Phd, Menzies School of Health Research
  • A/Professor Julie Brimblecombe- Phd, Menzies School of Health Research, Monash University
  • Dr Wendy Page- MBBS, Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation
  • Ms Roslyn Dhurrkay- Aboriginal Health Practitioner, Menzies School of Health Research