MIPS and CMUS researchers named in NMHRC grant announcements

Seven researchers from Monash Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have been awarded fellowships and grants in the recent National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grant period.

In the announcements, Professor Patrick Sexton has been awarded an NHMRC Senior Principal Fellowship, Doctor Denise Wootten a Senior Research Fellow B., Professor Jonathan Baell and Associate Professor Bernard Flynn have both been awarded Development Grants and Doctors Janet Sluggett and Amy Page were awarded Early Career Fellowships.

NHMRC Senior Fellowships are highly competitive, prestigious awards.  These fellowships aim to support Australia’s very best health and medical research talent in research, to further develop these leaders in their fields, contribute to the Australian research community and to build capacity of future Australian research.

Professor Sexton and Doctor Wootten, who co-run a laboratory in Drug Discovery Biology, have both been awarded Senior Fellowships. These five-year fellowships are awarded to health and medical researchers, aiming to bolster the capacity for future Australian research. Both Professor Sexton and Doctor Wootten study the key aspects of GPCR function and activation for drug discovery.

The Development Grant schemes awards funding to individual researchers to support the commercial development of a product, process or service that will result in improved health care or disease prevention.

Professor Baell from the Medicinal Chemistry theme with a focus on drug discovery into infectious disease treatment and cures. His research shows that a molecule promotes cell survival and cardio protection in ischaemia-reperfusion injury (IRI). He aims to further develop this molecule into a treatment that can be administered in a clinical setting to treat IRI.

Associate Professor Bernard Flynn, also from Medicinal Chemistry studies anticancer natural product synthesis and GPCR function, specifically chemical biology function. His research aims to expand the therapeutic application of targeted inhibitors for the treatment of metabolic diseases to treat fibrotic diseases, specifically heart failure, chronic kidney disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Doctors Janet Sluggett and Amy Page were both awarded Early Career Fellowships, given to researchers to undertake research of major significance and benefit to Australian health. ECF’s aim to provide advanced training in research and allow recipients to work on research projects with nominated advisers. These Fellowships are competitive and only provided to those with outstanding and demonstrated research ability.

Doctor Sluggett, a Research Fellow at CMUS, studies the quality use of medicines, pharmacoepidemiology and cognitive decline. She was recently awarded an Endeavour Research Fellowship to undertake pharmacoepidemiologial research in San Diego, California.  Her research aims to develop strategies for clinicians, aged care providers and policy makers in recognising and responding to major clinical risks, contributed by medicine-related hospitalisations, in Australian residential aged care facilities.

Dr Page, a teaching associate at CMUS, addresses medication prescription in elderly populations and medication-related harms in elder patients. She was named Australian Young Pharmacist of the Year in 2015. Her research aims to identify desirable clinical outcomes for older people with unplanned medicine-related hospital admissions for suspected adverse drug-related events, including falls and bleeding events.

Associate Dean of Research from the Faculty of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, Professor Peter Scammells said, “For MIPS and CMUS researchers to have been awarded not one, but seven different NHMRC awards demonstrates the impact and quality of the research output here at the faculty.”

“These awards indicate the significance of the research being conducted by each of our recipients and its acknowledgement by the wider research community. We congratulate our researchers on this outstanding achievement.”

Contact: Divya Krishnan

Phone: 0466 910 111

Email: divya.krishnan@monash.edu