Eliminate Dengue Program recognised for research excellence by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council


Right to left: Eliminate Dengue Global Lead, Professor Scott O'Neill, with Eliminate Dengue Brazil Lead, Dr Luciano Moreira. Credit: Eliminate Dengue Brazil/Fiocruz

Monash University’s Eliminate Dengue Program (EDP) was awarded the top ranking Program Grant at the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Excellence Awards tonight.

EDP was selected by peers after meeting the highest national and international standards for its innovative technology to protect against mosquito-borne diseases. The NHMRC’s Program Grant Scheme supports teams of high calibre researchers to pursue broad based, multidisciplinary and collaborative research activities.

EDP uses Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacteria to reduce transmission of harmful mosquito-borne diseases, including dengue, chikungunya, and Zika. Pioneered by Australian scientists led by Program Director Professor Scott O’Neill, the not-for-profit research collaboration is currently applying its technology in six countries, with plans to significantly expand in near future.

In March 2017, EDP was awarded AUD$7 million by NHMRC to support ongoing work to protect areas of Northern Queensland from outbreaks of dengue and Zika, and development of the technology for large scale international deployment. EDP is also working to make its self-sustaining Wolbachia method more affordable for at-risk communities, targeting a cost of US$1 per person.

“EDP is delighted to be recognised for its innovative research and contribution to improving the lives of people in Australia and around the world,” Professor O’Neill said.

“Thanks to ongoing support and collaboration with research bodies such as NHMRC, EDP is able to use this Australian-led research to benefit people around the world as we scale up.

“As a sustainable, long-term approach, we believe our Wolbachia method has the potential to greatly reduce the global burden of mosquito-borne diseases.”

Each year, NHMRC provides more than $800 million in funding for medical research in Australia. The Eliminate Dengue Program is one of 23 funding recipients to be recognised at the NHMRC Research Excellence Awards.  

For more information about the Eliminate Dengue Program and the use of Wolbachia, please visit eliminate dengue.