$2 million to advance medical research in Australia

Fourteen leading medical research teams across Australia have been granted $2 million by the Commonwealth Government to advance their medical research projects.

They are the latest recipients of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Development Grants Scheme.

The funding will enable research into such diverse projects as virtual reality goggles to search for the early signs of glaucoma; a new biosensor method for the early detection of cancer and investigating the properties of an Australian plant used by Indigenous Australians as a painkiller.

These projects have been rigorously peer reviewed.

“The aim of the NHMRC’s Development Grants Scheme is to encourage research that has commercial potential and many of the recipients have already teamed with industry partners,” said the Minister for Health and Ageing, Tony Abbott.

“The risks associated with scientific research commercialisation often make it difficult to secure finance for early stage research.

“This scheme provides financial support in the early ‘proof of concept’ stage allowing researchers to translate the results of their research into products that may ultimately benefit Australia and the world.”

The Government has more than doubled investment in health and medical research since 1999. In 2004-05, funding for health and medical research will be over $420 million.

Details of all 14 Development Funding Agreements can be found at http://www.nhmrc.gov.au/media/rel2004/develop.pdf

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