La Trobe gets $8m for vital research

La Trobe University has received almost $8 million in new Australian Research Council (ARC) grants from the Federal Government.

Albury-Wodonga student begins at LIMSThey include ten key University research projects funded by more than $3m worth of Discovery Grants – up 25 per cent on last year – and one of only 17 Outstanding Researcher Awards nationally.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Keith Nugent said: ‘This is clear endorsement of the high calibre and national relevance of work carried out by La Trobe researchers.’

The University has also obtained seven prestigious Future Fellowships valued at $4.8 million, ranking third highest in Victoria.The fellowships are awarded for research of critical national importance to boost Australia’s innovation capacity.

‘Our Future Fellowship applications had a success rate of nearly 37 per cent,’ said Professor Nugent.‘This is more than double the national average success rate of 16 per cent – and higher than any other university by almost ten percentage points.’

The new research projects will make a difference in fields such as health, medicine, food production, the economy - and our historical appreciation of the mining industry.

They include:

  • Developing new super-sensitive X-ray techniques for studying protein molecules in cell membranes to help design highly targeted pharmaceutical drugs
  • Probing the biochemistry of host-pathogen interaction to help fight infectious disease,cancer and boost plant production
  • Identifying disturbances in signals passing between cells to seek new treatments for serious mitochondrial and degenerative brain diseases
  • Assessing child health issues relating to body image and dieting during their first year atschool to support the efforts of parents and teachers
  • Devising new ways of solving differential equations in high-level maths to model critical biological, chemical and physical processes
  • Identifying ‘cross-talk’ between breast cancer cells and nearby tissue, how this leads to their spread and finding new markers on cancer cells to stop such spread
  • Investigating bacterial virulence in salmonella and e-coli to enable the development of new anti-microbial drugs,
  • Improving ways to analyse information-based securities trading in risky assets and detecting false rumours for a more efficiently functioning market, and
  • ‘Red Dirt Dreaming’ - writing the first detailed national history in about half a century of Australian mining which underpins much of our progress.

La Trobe also received $0.7m to help early career researchers with studies into sleep function and colonial archaeology.

Media contact

For details about the researchers and their projects please contact Ernest Raetz, Media and Communications, Tel: 041 226 1919 or Email: e.raetz@latrobe.edu.au

Click here for more information about research at La Trobe University.

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