Key Griffith University research projects have received $4.5 million in funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Announced on December 15 by the Federal Minister for Health, The Honorable Greg Hunt MP, the seven Ideas Grants projects will contribute to vital health and medical research.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Mario Pinto said the funding highlights the extraordinary work conducted by the University’s researchers in addressing major societal health challenges.

“These projects have the potential to make a significant difference to people’s health and wellbeing. I extend my congratulations and appreciation to all staff who have contributed to these efforts.”

More than half the funding for Griffith University was awarded to projects within theInstitute for Glycomics, withfour research projects securing $2.56 million to explore a super vaccine that tackles bothinfluenza virus andGroup A Streptococcus bacteria and other vaccine development projects that tackle other clinically important bacterial infections.

Institute Director Professor Mark von Itzstein AO said the awards cemented the Institute’s reputation as a leading biomedical research institute.

“Our institute is focussed on translational research outcomes that diagnose, prevent and treat diseases of global impact. These grants will significantly assist our researchers to deliver on our mission to achieve a disease-free world.”


Dr Mehfuz Zaman, Professor Mark von Itzstein and Professor Michael Good (Institute for Glycomics) awarded $707, 717 for the project ‘Vaccine to prevent Influenza Virus and Bacterial superinfection’ (Associate Professor Victor Huber, University of South Dakota).


Associate Professor Kate Seib, Professor Michael Jennings and Dr Arun Everest-Dass (Institute for Glycomics) awarded $826,490 for the project ‘Gonococcal vaccine development guided by a cross-protective meningococcal vaccine’ (Dr Caroline Thng, Gold Coast Health).



Dr Freda Jen, Associate Professor Kate Seib, Professor Michael Jennings and Dr Milton Kiefel (Institute for Glycomics) awarded $526,949.6 for the project ‘Targeting a bacterial glycol-Achilles heel to make new vaccines for Haemophilus influenzae and Neisseria gonorrhoeae’.



Professor Michael Jennings, Associate Professor Thomas Haselhorst, Dr Lucy Shewell, Dr Christopher Day (Institute for Glycomics) awarded $608,425 for the project ‘Structure and biophysical analysis aided design of novel toxoid vaccines for a major class of bacterial toxins’ (Prof James Paton, The University of Adelaide, Prof Mark Walker, The University of Queensland and Prof Victor Torres, New York University).


Dr David Lloyd, Dr Claudio Pizzolato, Dr David Saxby and Dr Laura Diamond (Menzies Health Institute Queensland) awarded $860, 231 for the project Osteoarthritis compass: ‘Predicting personalized disease onset and progression with future capacity for clinical use’ (Dr Michelle Hall, Assoc Prof Adam Bryant University of Melbourne, Prof David Hunter, University of Sydney; Prof Juha Toyras, Dr Shekhar Chandra, Assoc Prof Craig Engstrom The University of Queensland; Dr Jurgen Fripp, CSIRO Australian e-Health Research Centre; Prof Rami Korhonen, University of Eastern Finland).

Professor Heidi Zeeman, Dr David Painter and Professor Elizabeth Kendall (Menzies Health Institute Queensland) awarded $513, 483 for the project ‘Dimensional Attention Modelling for Neglect Detection (DIAMOND): A novel application for brain injury’ (Prof Julie Bernhardt, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health).


Associate Professor Hang Ta (Queensland Micro and Nanotechnology Centre/GRIDD) awarded $523, 342 for the project ‘Developing smart nanomedicine to enable advanced diagnosis and stimuli-responsive treatment for atherosclerosis and thrombosis’ (Dr Nghia Truong Phuoc, Monash University; Dr Gary Cowin, Dr Nyoman Kurniawan, Prof Zhiping Xu, The University of Queensland and Prof Karlheinz Peter, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute).


Griffith researchers involved in research led by other institutions


Prof Randipsingh Bindra, Dr Mo Chen, Assoc Prof James St John, Assoc Prof Jenny Ekberg, Dr Brent McMonagle (Griffith Health) are part of a team led by Assoc Prof Jeremy Crook (University of Wollongong) awarded $805,064.45 for the project titled ‘A wireless electric nerve-guide for peripheral nerve repair’ (Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook, University of Wollongong).

Assoc Prof Joshua Byrnes (MHIQ, Health) is part of a team led by Assoc Prof Maree Toombs (The University of Queensland) awarded $1,279,602.45 for the project titled ‘Advancing equitable and non-discriminatory access to health services for First Nations peoples: A multidisciplinary Queensland Human Rights Act case study’ (Dr Shivashankar Hiriyur Nagaraj, Queensland University of Technology; Jodie Luck, Mr DanielWilliamson, Queensland Health; Mr Jed Fraser, Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council; Prof Anthony Smith, Dr Claire Brolan Dr Caitlin Curtis, Dr Sandra Creamer, Prof Wendy Hoy, Dr Amelia Radke (The University of Queensland), Dr Kelly Dingli (Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council); Mr Gregory Pratt (The Council of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research)

ARC Linkage 2020 Round 1

Dr Pooja Sawrikar (School of Human Services and Social Work) is part of a Western Sydney University project led by Assoc Prof Rebekah Grace awarded $387,107 for the project ‘Upholding the right to cultural connection for children in care‘.