Flinders wins $8.44 million in NHMRC funding

sleepFlinders University research projects into sleep apnea, superbug drug resistance and colorectal cancer are among 10 projects to receive $8.44 million in National Health and Medical Research Council funding announced today.

The largest grant – $2.99 million – was awarded to Professor Doug McEvoy from Flinders Clinical Effectiveness in the School of Medicine and his team of collaborators from the George Institute at the University of Sydney and international researchers, for a five-year trial to determine whether obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may be a cause of premature cardiovascular disease.

“OSA affects 7 per cent of the population and is increasing with the global epidemic of obesity,” Professor McEvoy said.

“Our trial will compare the rate of cardiovascular events, such as stroke and heart attack, in OSA patients who are treated, with those not treated with a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure device,” he said.

“The results may lead to a new medical approach to the prevention of cardiovascular disease.”

Among the other projects awarded funding are:

  • A study to determine the association between the obstructive lung disease bronchiectasis and infection with Human T-cell Lymphotropic Virus type 1 in the Indigenous people of Central Australia, led by Dr Lloyd Einsiedel, Research Fellow in the NT Rural Clinical School in Alice Springs.
  • The development of an improved bowel cancer screening test without the need to collect a stool sample, based on the discovery of a molecule in the blood of patients with bowel cancer by Professor Graeme Young, Head of the Flinders Centre for Cancer Prevention and Control and his team.
  • Investigations into proteins that confer resistance to the superbug, Golden Staph, with the aim of designing more effective antibacterial treatments, led by Associate Professor Melissa Brown from the School of Biological Sciences.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor David Day congratulated the recipients of the NHMRC.

“I’m delighted to see this increase in the amount of NHMRC funding awarded to important health research projects at Flinders,” Professor Day said.

“I’d particularly like to extend my congratulations to Professor Doug McEvoy and his team on winning this very substantial grant, the largest of the grants to Flinders.”

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