Latest news and stories

Supporting women to breastfeed

Breastfeeding infants exclusively to around six months, and continuing up to 12 months and beyond as solids foods are introduced, provides clear benefits for both the infant and the mother. Supporting women to continue to breastfeed is key to improving rates of breastfeeding.

  • InFocus
  • 3 August 2018

How our genes work in different cells

‘There are three billion base pairs of DNA in each cell. If you were to pull it out end to end, it would equal two metres of DNA, which has to fit inside the 3D nucleus of every cell in our body.’ 

  • InFocus
  • 3 August 2018

New Focus on First People’s Renal, Emotional Health, Cancer

The Australian Government has committed $23.2 million through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) to 28 new projects, and has launched a NHMRC Road Map 3 to help chart the direction for Indigenous health and medical research investment over the next ten years.

  • Media release
  • 2 August 2018

Strengthening skills in the Torres Strait

Dr Felecia Watkin Lui is a Torres Strait Islander researcher working to strengthen skills in and understanding of knowledge translation. This will ensure that research is more accessible, relevant and has greater benefit to communities.

  • InFocus
  • 16 July 2018

Bridging the divide in research

Dr Misty Jenkins can be found in the lab, looking down a microscope at immune T cells. As a young Indigenous woman she was inspired by her role models to pursue a career in research.

  • InFocus
  • 16 July 2018

Health care to health research to inspire

As a nurse and midwife, Heather didn’t know much about fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) in Australia until she transitioned from working in health services to working in research 15 years ago.  

  • InFocus
  • 16 July 2018

Hints to reduce rates of diabetes

With increasing rates of diabetes in Australia, Professor Chris Nolan is trying to understand why the cells that secrete insulin malfunction and how they are affected by environmental stresses. Hints so far are these cells are hyper responsive to the stresses of poor lifestyle.

  • InFocus
  • 12 July 2018

Bringing cultural security into focus

Always trying to find innovative ways of doing things, Professor Juli Coffin was able to test her model around cultural security for an effective and sustainable healthcare through an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) grant.

  • InFocus
  • 6 July 2018

Thanks to Australian families who participate in research

Professor Anne-Louise Ponsonby has dedicated her life to understanding how the environment can influence the risk of developing a range of disorders at the population level. 

  • InFocus
  • 2 July 2018

International collaboration to improve the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples through research

Improving the health and wellness of Indigenous Peoples in Australia, New Zealand and Canada is the goal driving a partnership between three medical research funding agencies.

  • Media release
  • 14 June 2018

Understanding the immune system leads to award

Dr Daniel Pellicci’s ultimate goal is to prevent human diseases. Using his research into how immune T cells recognise certain molecules, Dr Pellicci will provide new insight into how to harness therapeutic properties and produce desired immune responses. He has just been recognised for this work through the 2018 Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

  • InFocus
  • 8 June 2018

Leader in research

Working with communities is how Dr Mick Adams became a leader in his research to improve the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men. 

  • InFocus
  • 4 June 2018

Parkinson's disease - putting the pieces together

Parkinson’s disease is the second-most common degenerative brain disease, primarily caused by the death of certain brain cells. The majority of degeneration happens in a small region of the brain responsible for reward pathways and motor control. 1

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Paving a clearer path for the future

Dr Kalinda Griffiths’ children are her inspiration and what motivated her to go back to university. She was first exposed to research after being dragged into a traineeship in the Menzies School of Health Research labs.

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Captivated to uncover the secrets of malaria

Since 2008 NHMRC has spent over $183 million on research into malaria 1

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Excellence in improving cancer outcomes

“Over the last 18 years cancer mortality rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has increased by 21 per cent. This figure is especially stark when the rest of the population has actually seen a 13 per cent fall in cancer mortality rates”

  • InFocus
  • 31 May 2018

Excellence in ear and hearing health for Indigenous children

Less than ten per cent of Indigenous children have normal healthy ears 1 2 3

  • InFocus
  • 25 May 2018

Closing the gap for STIs

Disproportionate rates of STI diagnosis (chlamydia, gonorrhoea, infectious syphilis and hepatitis B) occur among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, particularly in remote and very remote communities. 

  • InFocus
  • 25 May 2018

Leading the way for female researchers

Professor Sharon Lewin is a clinician researcher working to find a cure for HIV. Having women in leadership roles is really important—it brings diversity to leadership teams for better outcomes, and encourages young women through aspiring role models.

  • InFocus
  • 11 May 2018
Professor-Sharon-Lewin

Clinician researcher key to cure for HIV

"In Australia, life expectancy is returned by using life-long drugs but there is still no cure."

  • InFocus
  • 8 May 2018

Communique - 6th Annual Symposium on Research Translation

The partnership between the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Lowitja Institute was founded on a strong commitment by both institutions to deliver a measurable, positive impact on the health and wellbeing of Australia’s First Peoples. That commitment informed all aspects of the event.

  • Communique
  • 8 May 2018

Life's work lead to new vaccine

“Pneumococcus is the biggest bacterial killer on the planet. It’s the most common cause of pneumonia, which is responsible for about 20 per cent of deaths from all causes in children under 5 years. Globally, pneumococcus accounts for about 2 million deaths a year.”

  • InFocus
  • 27 April 2018

Targeted Calls for Research into mental health of older Australians

NHMRC has opened two Targeted Calls for Research (TCRs) to address important aspects of mental health in older Australians. 

 

  • 20 April 2018

Understanding the complexity of cancer

Each year, more than 1,000 Australians are diagnosed with the blood cancer acute myeloid leukaemia and more than 70 per cent will die within five years.

  • InFocus
  • 6 April 2018

Uncovering the secrets of Endometriosis

Endometriosis affects one in ten women worldwide. 

  • InFocus
  • 26 March 2018
Dan McAullay

Grand designs make way for career in health research

Nursing and research wasn’t what Associate Professor Dan McAullay had in mind when he first began university but it was exactly where he was meant to end up.

  • InFocus
  • 30 January 2018

New technology to spot skin cancer sooner

‘Melanoma is the most common cancer for 15-39 year old Australians—with the highest ‘years of life lost’ of any cancer’1

  • InFocus
  • 30 January 2018
two people in a yoga pose

Reducing trips and slips: healthy exercises to prevent falls as we age

Professor Anne Tiedemann’s research aims to develop and evaluate exercise-based programs for preventing falls to promote healthy ageing in older people. Her research aims to determine the barriers, enablers and preferences of older people, so that exercise programs can be implemented more effectively.

  • InFocus
  • 29 January 2018

Ten of the best, ten years on: Reversing the effects of diabetes

Since 2008 NHMRC has funded over $680 million in diabetes research1

  • InFocus
  • 22 January 2018

Research facilities and biobanks

NHMRC recognises that national research facilities, networks and biobanks are valuable for the conduct of health and medical research. In 2012, NHMRC held a biobanking roundtable to consider how national research infrastructure might be prioritised and co-ordinated. 

  • InFocus
  • 18 January 2018

Blending disability and Indigenous research

‘The rate of disability among Indigenous Australians is almost twice as high as that among non-Indigenous people'1

  • InFocus
  • 13 December 2017

Bringing innovative research into clinical practice

Now an ear, nose and throat surgeon, Associate Professor Kelvin Kong was destined for health care. Growing up Kelvin and his sisters were always keen to help his mother, a Registered Nurse, whenever she had a one of their mob come around to remove a suture, tend to a cut or get a vaccination.

  • InFocus
  • 13 December 2017

Pinpointing where HIV hides in the body is a big step towards a cure

Professor Sarah Palmer along with researchers at Westmead Institute for Medical Research and the University of Sydney have discovered where the tiny remaining amounts of HIV virus are hiding, leading to new hopes of a cure.

  • InFocus
  • 1 December 2017

Knowledge in closing the gap

‘For nurses, working with an Indigenous health worker can bring great opportunities for professional collaboration and improved community health care’1

  • InFocus
  • 20 November 2017

Neurodegenerative disease and contact sports—Gandy offers better diagnosis

Long-time Alzheimer’s researcher, Sam Gandy (Mt Sinai Hospital, NY) is combining new diagnostic criteria, higher-resolution brain scanning and a new method to determine what’s going on in people’s brains who have had multiple concussions and are experiencing difficulties with cognition.

  • InFocus
  • 9 November 2017

Research Excellence in Epidemic Control

'Travel and globalisation mean that infections spread rapidly around the world, so that global solutions are required for epidemic control'

NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence, Integrated Systems for Epidemic Response

  • InFocus
  • 6 November 2017
Professor Wayne Tilley

Unlocking the secrets of sex hormones in breast cancer

One in eight Australian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime and seven women die from the disease each day in Australia1

  • InFocus
  • 31 October 2017

Drilling down: discovering the origins of dental anxiety

Associate Professor Jason Armfield set out to explain the origins of dental fear and to understand why fear of the dentist is a serious psychological problem for many Australians. He developed a ‘dental anxiety scale’ that will help to identify and treat the condition across the world, leading to more people visiting the dentist and better population level oral health.

  • InFocus
  • 24 October 2017

Simple stroke care protocols now going international

Stroke, caused by a clot or bleed in the brain, is Australia’s second biggest cause of death and the leading cause of disability.1

  • InFocus
  • 23 October 2017

Genetics behind breast cancer for personalised care

Breast cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in Australian women.1

  • InFocus
  • 19 October 2017

Helping the minds of Indigenous Australians age well

Indigenous Australians are three to four times more likely to develop dementia. That is higher than any other population in the world.1

  • InFocus
  • 5 October 2017

Starving bacteria—beating antibiotic resistance

Motivated by a desire to understand the molecular basis of key biological processes, Professor Abell saw an opportunity to use small molecules that selectively bind to bacterial proteins, as a potential mechanism for limiting bacterial survival.

  • InFocus
  • 29 September 2017

Uncovering salt’s addictive nature

Dr Craig Smith and a team of scientists at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health’s Addiction Neuroscience Laboratory are investigating one of the receptors in the brain they think are responsible for those seriously rewarding feelings.  Not only does this have the potential to help with obesity but it is closely linked with addictions to opioids such as heroin and could lead to a new group of targeted drugs.

  • InFocus
  • 26 September 2017
Professor John Pimanda and his team at the Lowy Cancer Research Centre

Precision medicine for blood cancer

‘On average eight people per 100,000 a year develop Myelodysplasia—a disorder affecting the development of blood cells that can lead to leukaemia.1’

  • InFocus
  • 26 September 2017
Paul Adlard, Dr Victoria Perreau, Dr Feng Chen, Ms Krista Dent, Ms Amelia Sedjahtera, Ms Lydia Gunawan, Ms Lisa Bray and Mrs Kali Perronnes.

Zinc on the brain for healthy aging

‘In Australia, 15 per cent of the population are aged 65+, estimated to grow to 21 per cent (8.4 million) by 20501.’

  • InFocus
  • 20 September 2017
Dr Vanessa Lee

As black women do research

'Still, we rise… as black women do 

Culturally bonded, spiritually empowered, strength and resilience valuable tools,

with integrity and generational humbleness, we are the drivers, backbone, visionaries,

feelers, healers, leaders, prophetic with degrees in silence-ness.

Excerpt from poem As Black Women Do: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s resilience by Vanessa Lee. 

Published in Us Women, Our Ways, Our World

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2017
Doctor Judith Katzenellenbogen and her team

Linking the data to close the gap in heart health

“Chronic diseases account for 70 per cent of the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians.1”

  • InFocus
  • 18 September 2017
Elderly man with a young woman and child

Australia leading the way on Alzheimer’s treatment

By 2036, the total cost of dementia is predicted to increase by 81 per cent to $25.8 billion in Australia1

  • InFocus
  • 15 September 2017
Professor Melissa Wake and her team

Achieving in the classroom

‘More than 90 per cent of children six to seven years of age with reading difficulties have low working memory.'1

  • InFocus
  • 11 September 2017
Mary Jane Black and Associate Professor Gurmeet Singh, Professor Wendy Hoy

Protecting premature babies from kidney disease

‘18 per cent of all Indigenous Australian adults have chronic kidney disease—two times as likely as non-Indigenous Australians.’

  • InFocus
  • 7 September 2017