Skip to content

Victorian researchers to tackle global health challenges

JMR with Minister for Health, Greg Hunt

Multidisciplinary research teams from University of Melbourne and Monash University will each receive $5 million in funding from the Morrison Government to find solutions to major questions in human health that cannot be answered by individual investigators.

Each Synergy Grant team receives $5 million over 5 years, with funding commencing in 2022.

Senator for Victoria Sarah Henderson said the funding showed the great work being done by Victorian researchers.

“Australian medical researchers are amongst the best in the world,” Senator Henderson said. “Each one of these 17 projects have the potential to greatly advance our medical understanding, including the work done by:

  • The University of Melbourne where Professor Ingrid Scheffer will lead a team bringing computational expertise to integrate multiple biological measurements from patients with severe forms of epilepsy, revealing underlying disease dynamics and targeting new treatment approaches

“Collaboration is at the heart of science today. Many of our greatest health challenges will only be solved by collaboration between people with different skills and different perspectives.

“Notably, over 50 per cent of the Synergy Grants awarded in this round are led by women.”

The Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, announced the award of $85 million for 17 projects nationwide, to be funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Synergy Grant scheme.

“These grants bring together teams of Australia’s best health and medical researchers from across disciplines to address health issues as diverse as the link between the gut microbiome and lung inflammation and creating new drugs to fight the emerging viruses and antibiotic-resistant superbugs,” Minster Hunt said.

The Synergy Grant scheme was introduced in 2019 and is designed to support highly collaborative teams of diverse researchers to work together to address major problems in any area of human health and medical research, from discovery to translation.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the success of female lead investigators in the latest Synergy Grant outcomes was encouraging for all as well as for many other women starting out on their research careers.

“The projects funded today are exciting examples of what is possible when different disciplines and perspectives are brought together to solve a problem. While the Synergy Grant outcomes for female lead investigators are significant, NHMRC continues to work on ways to ensure women are equally represented at all careers levels and across all our grant schemes,” Professor Kelso said.


Chief Investigator Name(s) Application Title Administering Institution Budget ($)
Professor Kate Schroder


Mining the host-pathogen interface to deliver a drug pipeline for treating intractable and emerging infections University of Queensland 5,000,000
Professor Paul Haber


Linking clinical and basic science discovery to find new treatments for alcohol use disorder University of Sydney 5,000,000
Professor Monika Janda


Roadmap Options for Melanoma Screening in Australia (Melanoma-ROSA) University of Queensland 5,000,000

Professor Mark Jenkins


Tackling Australia’s low screening participation to prevent bowel cancer morbidity and deaths University of Melbourne 5,000,000

Associate Professor Kate Sutherland


Improving outcomes for lung cancer patients: Discovering targetable vulnerabilities in lung cancer The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 5,000,000

Professor Philip Hansbro


Defining the role and therapeutic manipulation of the gut-lung axis in respiratory disease University of Technology Sydney 5,000,000

Professor Anne Kavanagh


Interventions for better life-time mental health outcomes for young Australians with disability University of Melbourne 5,000,000

Professor Ingrid Scheffer


“Integrative-omics” for precision medicine in the epilepsies University of Melbourne 5,000,000
Professor Jonathan Carapetis


STopping Acute Rheumatic Fever Infections to Strengthen Health (STARFISH) University of Western Australia 5,000,000

Professor Roslyn Boyd


Cerebral Palsy SYNERGY Network to Protect, Repair and improve Outcomes University of Queensland 5,000,000
Professor Mark Parsons


SERPICO Stroke: Synergistic Enhancement of Research design with Precision analytics to Improve Clinical Outcomes in Stroke. University of New South Wales 5,000,000
Associate Professor Misty Jenkins


Rational design of novel CARs for safe and effective brain cancer immunotherapy The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 5,000,000
Professor Monica Slavin


Improving patient outcomes through implementation of digital and diagnostic innovations for infections in cancer University of Melbourne 5,000,000

Professor Andrew Roberts


Understanding and averting blood cancer resistance to therapy The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research 5,000,000
Professor Patrick Brennan IMPACT: IMplementation of x-ray PhAse-Contrast Tomography to transform cancer diagnosis University of Sydney 5,000,000

Professor Alex Brown

Respecting the Gift – Empowering Indigenous Communities in Genomic Medicine South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute Limited 5,000,000
Professor Melissa Southey National Precision Health Research Translation for Breast and Prostate Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Monash University 5,000,000
Total      85,000,000



25 October 2021

Share this