Ten Griffith University research projects have been awarded a total of almost $7m in funding by the prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Vice Chancellor Professor Ian O’Connor has warmly congratulated all the academic staff involved in achieving this tremendous success.

The research projects are:

Professor Mark Forwood from the School of Medical Science has been awarded $611,000 for his team’s work in accelerating stress fracture healing for patients undergoing osteoporosis treatment.

Professor Suresh Mahalingam from the Institute for Glycomics, was awarded two grants totalling more than one million dollars. One of these projects will be looking at the newly isolated human virus (hMPV) to investigate how infection from this virus can trigger asthma. Professor Mahalingam’s other successful NHMRC funded project will investigate links between viruses and arthritis.

Professor Mark von Itzstein, Director of the Institute for Glycomics, has been awarded $700,000 for research into the human parainfluenza virus which can cause significant disease in children. There is currently no approved vaccine or specific treatment for this virus.

“Our project targets a key element of the life cycle of this virus,” Professor von Itzstein said.

Professor Ronald Quinn, Director of the Eskitis Institute, will lead further research into new anti-malaria treatments after being awarded $650,000. Professor Quinn said a breakthrough method now permits the rapid detection of small natural product molecules, known as “fragments”, which can bind to malaria proteins. These fragments can be used to investigate malaria biology or as a basis for a badly needed new drug.

“This method will radically accelerate the search for a new drug that can ease the burden of malaria by blocking a critical stage of the parasite’s life cycle,” Professor Quinn said.

Professor Paul Martin has attracted $500,000 funding for research into Learning to cope with triggers integrated into cognitive behaviour therapy for recurrent headache: A randomised controlled trial.

Associate Professor Nigel McMillan has also been awarded $500,000 for a project entitled Stealth Liposomes and siRNA for the treatment of Viral Infections.

Dr Albert Mellick received $600,000 for Targeting Bone Marrow Mediated Tumour Angiogenesis in Breast Cancer by Altering MicroRNA Signalling.

Dr Tamara Ownsworth and Professor David Shum from Griffith Health Institute say they are delighted to receive $560,000 for their study Do people with severe traumatic brain injury benefit from making errors? A clinical trial of the efficacy of error-based learning and errorless learning training. In collaboration with the University of Queensland and the University of Sydney, the research will investigate the effectiveness of a novel approach to rehabilitation for people with severe traumatic brain injuries from motor vehicle accidents, assaults and falls.

And Professor Claire Rickard received almost a million dollars for The SAVE Trial: Securing Arterial and Vascular peripheral devices Effectively in hospitals. A randomised controlled trial

For Dr Kate Seib being awarded a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship means a major boost to her research into bacteria-related disease which may contribute to the development of vaccines.

“The work funded by this Fellowship will help give us a better understanding of the bacteria which cause diseases such as gonorrhoea and meningitis, and which are a major public health burden world-wide,” Dr Seib said.