Centenary Institute awarded NHMRC funding to continue vital work

NHMRC National Health and Medical Research Council Grants (NHMRC) to help studies of liver and skin inflammation, sudden heart attacks, the formation of blood vessels and immune cell function and mutation.

Congratulations to all Centenary researchers who have been awarded more than $4 million in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council Grants (NHMRC) grants.

 “NHMRC grants are the lifeblood of the Institute and of Australian medical research generally,” said Professor Mathew Vadas, Executive Director of Centenary Institute. “While we can always use more money, once again our researchers have done us proud in securing critical funding.”

Six of the seven major awards announced on Wednesday are project grants, but of special note among them are two New Investigator Grants, one to Dr Jodie Ingles of the Molecular Cardiology laboratory and the other to Dr Xiangjian Zheng from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who will be arriving in the next couple of months to begin work in Centenary’s Vascular Biology laboratory. The seventh award is a Practitioner Fellowship to Professor Chris Semsarian.

Centenary has won grants in the areas of:

Molecular Cardiology – Professor Chris Semsarian has been awarded a Practitioner Fellowship to continue his laboratory and the clinical studies of inherited heart diseases and the role they play in sudden death. His former student Dr Jodie Ingles will now become his research colleague with her own NHMRC New Investigator Grant to look at clinical, genetic and psychosocial aspects of sudden cardiac death.

Liver Injury and Cancer – Dr Nicholas Shackel and Professor Geoff McCaughan have been funded to continue their work on the role that liver cells and specifically the molecule EMMPRIN play in liver inflammation and scarring.

Immune Imaging - Professor Wolfgang Weninger and his group will continue their work observing the involvement of the immune cells known as macrophages in fighting infection in the skin.

DNA Repair - Dr Chris Jolly and his group will carry on his studies of how the immune system’s B cells mutate to generate the enormous diversity of antibodies.

Gene and Stem Cell Therapy – Professor John Rasko and Dr William Ritchie will continue to study a new mechanism they have found to regulate the development of the white blood cells known as granulocytes in bone marrow. They will also look at any connection it may have with leukaemia.

Vascular Biology – Dr Xiangjian Zheng has been funded to investigate the role of a particular set of biochemical signals in the development of blood vessels.


Centenary Institute NHMRC grants (commencing 2014):

Practitioner Fellowship

Prof Christopher Semsarian – $542,217
Laboratory: Molecular Cardiology
Clinical and Genetic Studies in Inherited Heart Diseases and Sudden Death

New Investigator Grants

Dr Jodie Ingles – $419,569
Laboratory: Molecular Cardiology
Clinical, Genetic and Psychosocial Aspects of Sudden Cardiac Death

Dr Xiangjian Zheng – $ 643,554
Laboratory: Vascular Biology
The role of Heg-CCM2L signalling in angiogenesis

NHMRC Project Grants

Prof John Rasko – $555,505
Laboratory: Gene and Stem Cell Therapy
Intron retention regulation in granulopoiesis and leukaemia

Dr Nicholas Shackel – $587,562
Laboratory: Liver Cell Biology
The Role of the Hepatocyte and EMMPRIN in Liver Injury

Prof Wolfgang Weninger – $ 596,226
Laboratory: Immune Imaging
The role of perivascular macrophages in the regulation of skin inflammation

Dr Christopher Jolly – $ 695,980
Laboratory: DNA Repair Group
Cell cycle tracking of B cell differentiation and mutation

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