The Andrews Labor Government is backing Victorian scientists to combat global health challenges, including ovarian cancer, with more grants to fast-track research breakthroughs.
Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford today announced the 21 recipients of the fifth round of the Labor Government’s Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund (VMRAF).
The program supports both early-stage research and projects that are ready for commercialisation.
Researchers across 15 of Victoria’s medical research institutes will use the $3.4 million in grant funding to accelerate projects that address a range of health concerns such as dementia care, diabetes, IVF treatments and breast cancer.
Recipients include the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and RMIT for a study into immune responses in ovarian cancer patients.
Led by Professor Clare Scott from WEHI, researchers will identify the proteins that form on cancer cells which respond best to treatment.
Those cells with a greater immune response will then be specifically targeted with treatment, with the hope the research could lead to the development of vaccine-style treatments for ovarian cancers.
Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer affecting women in Australia, with around 1,400 new cases diagnosed each year.
Since it was launched in 2017, VMRAF has provided $15.3 million for 90 projects on the cutting edge of medical discovery.
The program backs researchers to help take their ideas to the patient from the bench to the bedside, helping Victorians get the benefits of breakthroughs made in their own backyard.
In July, the Government launched its Health and Medical Research Strategy: 2022-2032, outlining a vision for Victoria to be a global leader in medical research by supporting more breakthroughs, driving economic growth, creating jobs and saving lives.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Innovation, Medical Research and the Digital Economy Jaala Pulford
“Investing in local research keeps Melbourne among the best in the world, like Boston and London, for advancing medical breakthroughs.”
“Future treatments and possible cures would not be possible unless we back the scientists and clinicians who work tirelessly to make an impact to the health of all Victorians.”
Quote attributable to WEHI Project Lead Professor Clare Scott
“We are grateful for this funding support to rapidly accelerate the pace of our research, so that more women can benefit more quickly.”
Reviewed 25 August 2022