La Trobe celebrates funding success with three women researchers receiving $3.8 million in the recent round of National Health and Medical Research Council’s (NHMRC) Investigator grants
La Trobe’s Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) Professor Susan Dodds commented that this result was a great outcome for the University.
“This funding shows the NHMRC’s ongoing commitment towards achieving gender equity in their research funding and I am extremely proud to see the work of three high calibre women from La Trobe recognised. These significant awards will allow these researchers to take their projects to the next level; I can’t wait to see how their work progresses.” Professor Dodds said.
NHMRC Investigator Grants
Dr Joanne Kemp - $1,576,390
La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, School of Allied Health, Health Services and Sport
Most research studies focus on hip pain affecting the elderly, however there is compelling and increasing evidence that hip pain in younger adults – those aged 18-50 – is creating a substantial burden. Young people with hip-related pain demonstrate features of early osteoarthritis (OA) which can then lead to further issues later in life. Dr Kemp will lead an international team who will seek to understand the hip osteoarthritis issues faced by this demographic and interrogate methods of reducing this burden and transforming clinical practice.
Dr Pamali Fonseka - $655,150
Department of Biochemistry and Chemistry, School of Agriculture, Biomedicine & Environment
Currently, chemotherapy is the mainstay to treat metastatic breast cancer. Yet, many patients respond poorly to the chemotherapeutic drugs resulting in treatment failure. In addition, due to prevailing side effects such as severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, and constant fatigue it can make patients incapable of daily activities after chemotherapy. Dr Fonseka’s research will explore utilising milk extracellular vesicles-based drug delivery as an alternative strategy to treat breast cancer and ultimately reduce the harsh side effects of chemotherapy.
Dr Anne-Marie Laslett - $1,576,390
Centre for Alcohol Policy Research (CAPR), School of Psychology and Public Health
Alcohol harms not only the drinker but also others, for instance, through foetal alcohol spectrum disorders, traffic injuries, public and domestic assault, and child maltreatment. Alcohol’s harm to others (AHTO) was estimated in 2008 to affect 73% of Australians and cost $20 billion a year. Dr Laslett’s research over the next five years will investigate AHTO nationally and internationally to model and leverage policy change.