SAHMRI researchers receive $12M funding boost for discovery and translational research

12 Dec 2018
SAHMRI researchers receive $12M funding boost for discovery and translational research

SAHMRI researchers have received early Christmas joy with the Federal Minister for Health, The Honourable Greg Hunt MP, today announcing $9.5 million to support research across Aboriginal Health, Infection and Immunity and Cancer.

The latest grants mean SAHMRI has been awarded total funding of more than $12 million during December, after Cancer Council SA recently announced support for eight SAHMRI-based research projects through the council’s Beat Cancer Project.

SAHMRI Executive Director, Professor Steve Wesselingh, says the latest announcements cap off what’s been a highly successful year for the institute and its researchers.

“We’ve enjoyed great successes from NHMRC including generous support from the Medical Research Future Fund, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, The Viertel Charitable Foundation and the South Australian Cancer Council (in partnership with SA Health),” Professor Wesselingh said.

“Having just celebrated our fifth birthday, we are thrilled with our accelerating trajectory. We are delivering research with genuine impact, and seeing discoveries translated into the health care system at rapid pace. The future is bright for medical research, and indeed, the health of South Australians.

Across Australia, a total of 682 grants totalling $526 million were announced today, with more than $60 million for cardiovascular disease research, more than $85 million for cancer research and more than $25 million for research focused on improving the health of Indigenous Australians.

SAHMRI’s share of the Beat Cancer Project funding supports ongoing work in the eradication of bowel cancer, development of new targeted therapies for leukemia and for new infrastructure to deliver precision medical diagnoses and treatments.

The Beat Cancer Project is a South Australian state-wide initiative intended to support and advance cancer research within the state. It is funded by Cancer Council SA and the SA Government (through SA Health).

The objectives of the Beat Cancer Project are to increase funding for cancer research, increase the capacity for researchers to attract more national and international research grants and build a stronger cancer research workforce utilising broader research infrastructure in South Australia.

Projects funded by the NHMRC

Associate Professor David Lynn

SAHMRI Program Leader, Computational and Systems Biology

In collaboration with Flinders University and EMBL Australia


How does the microbiota modulate vaccine responses in human infants: A systems vaccinology approach

Understanding the factors that are associated with inter-individual variation in vaccine responses is of fundamental importance to human health. In this study, we will investigate how the collection of microbes in the intestine, referred to as our gut microbiota, can influence vaccine responses in human infants.


Professor Alex Brown

SAHMRI Deputy Director and Theme Leader, Aboriginal Health Equity

In collaboration with University of South Australia


Intervening on social and health services' practice to address social determinants of Aboriginal social and emotional wellbeing: The Northern Pathways Project

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience a complex array of system challenges to achieving and maintaining wellbeing. Factors such as housing, income, education and employment contribute to the burden of disease. Little is known on how to take coordinated action to address these factors. This project will implement and evaluate a socio-cultural service delivery model to generate evidence to enable delivery of culturally meaningful health and social services to Aboriginal clients.


Research funded by the Beat Cancer Project

Dr Daniel Worthley


Australian trial of peritoneal organoid guided therapy to lengthen life in patients without opportunity for cure


Dr Susan Woods

$300,000, in collaboration with University of Adelaide

Towards eradicating bowel cancer death: better detection, the mucosal microbiome and personalised treatment


Dr Laura Eadie


Preclinical modelling of T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia - defining targeted therapies and preventing treatment resistance


Professor Deborah White


Precision Medicine in Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia


A Bioinfomatician for the Joint SAHMRI/AHMRI Bioinformatics Core


Professor Tim Hughes


ACRF: Centre for Integrated Cancer Systems Biology