Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
15 November 2018

The Australian Government will provide nearly $4 million in funding for new research into autism, helping find better diagnosis, treatment and care for those affected by the developmental condition.

The research funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council has been allocated for five projects across Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales.

Professor Anthony Hannan, from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health in Melbourne, will receive $571,890 for his research that will focus on understanding what causes attention deficits in Autism Spectrum Disorder.

This project will provide new insights into brain changes that cause autism and identify targets for the development of new treatments.

Autism Spectrum Disorder involves abnormal brain maturation, cognition and behaviour and about one in 150 people in Australia have some form of autism.

Autism can range from mild to severe, and include difficulty in social interaction, restricted or repetitive patterns of behaviour and impaired communication skills.

These projects bring together the best people in their field to produce high-quality research to ensure that we continue to transform lives. Every breakthrough brings us closer to an answer to autism, which makes every piece of research that much more important.

This funding continues the Government’s strong commitment to supporting the best health and medical research.

The Australian Government is prioritising better mental health for all Australians with an additional $338.1 million allocated in the 2018–19 Budget and $4.7 billion expected to be spent on mental health this financial year.

List of grant recipients

Institution Project name Funding
Anthony Hannan
Florey Institute of
Neuroscience and
Mental Health
What Causes Attention Deficits in
Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Professor Sarah
QIMR Berghofer
Medical Research
Examining the impact of changes
to diagnostic criteria on Autism
Spectrum and Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorders
Dr Jess
Florey Institute of
Neuroscience and
Mental Health
Mapping learning-dependent
remodelling of synapse balance
across the brain
Professor Cheryl
La Trobe University School-age Outcomes of Children
with Autism Spectrum Disorder
and Parental Wellbeing:
Investigations on the contribution
of Method-of-Referral and Ageof-
Dr Michael
University of Sydney Characterising and exploiting δ
subunit-containing GABA-A
receptors as novel targets for
treating social disorders



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