$5.1 million in ARC funding announced

La Trobe University researchers have been awarded $5.1 million in Australia Research Council grants, further cementing its reputation for innovative and high quality research.

Among the issues to be tackled will be developing new ways of combating malaria ($331,000), the creation of a sting-less honey bee ($220,000), examining Australia’s biodiversity evolution during the Age of dinosaurs ($600,000) and understanding how proteins get into mitochondria ($328,348).

These projects are among the 15 Discovery Project grants and two Linkage Project grants awarded to researchers working in the fields of Psychology, Historical Studies, Computation Theory, Biochemistry, Literature Studies, Archaeology, Medical Biochemistry, Geology, Astronomy, Geology, Biotechnology, Atmospheric Sciences, Mathematics and Physiology.

‘This result shows the breadth of research undertaken across many different faculties and confirms that La Trobe researchers are tackling issues that are of great importance to our nation,’ said Deputy Vice Chancellor Research, Professor Tim Brown.

The other successful grants include:

  • The Enigmatic Mr Deakin, a new single volume biography of Alfred Deakin to re-enliven this former Prime Minister’s place in Australian history ($106,000)
  • Suburban Archaeology, a focus on the historical archaeology of the emergent middle class Australia ($631,000);
  • Understanding stigma and mental health, a new look at eating disorders and how to reduce the associated stigma ($214,000)
  • Language processing in children with high functioning autism, an investigation into what impedes language development in children with autism ($150,000)
  • Complexity in algebra and algebra in complexity, a scientific analysis into what makes some mathematical tasks more difficult than others ($255,000)
  • Cities of words, a look at women’s cultures of reading and writing in colonial Melbourne ($266,000)
  • Potassium channel blocker in humans, a potassium channel blocking peptide employed in sea anemones as a toxic component of their venom is also found in human proteins. Researchers will investigate the human protein, which has possible roles in prostate and other cancers ($340,000)
  • New analgesics, diseases in which voltage-gated sodium channels are contributors to death and illness and this research will look at new ways to treat such diseases – in particular new analgesics ($350,000)
  • Plasma layers, waves and fountains, the ionised layers of the earth’s upper atmosphere bend radio waves emitted by high frequency radio allowing detection of targets beyond the horizon. This research will provide direct support to our national security including the $1.8billion Australian coastal surveillance radars used to tracks ships and planes ($68,558)
  • Human responses to long term landscape and climate change in the Willandra Lakes, this research will investigate the impact of past global climate change on this fragile semi-arid ecosystem ($652,000)
  • The coldest region on earth gets even colder; this project will investigate the observable atmospheric indicators of climate change ($95,000)
  • New geometric and entropy techniques for differential equations, among the three practical outcomes from this research will be better predictability of sale movement responsible for land degradation ($195,000), and
  • Fast and slow twitch skeletal muscle fibre types. This project will contribute new knowledge about how skeletal muscle works ($300,000).
The Australian Government created the ARC Discovery and Linkage Projects to encourage research in areas of national importance.

Summaries of the funding outcomes are at the ARC website.