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Australia Grants Fund 'Omics for Complex Diseases

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Australian government has awarded A$38.4 million ($38.8 million) to fund research that uses genomics and molecular biology approaches to study cancer and immunodeficiency diseases.

Funded by a new round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Program Grants totaling A$107 million, the new projects include grants to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, and the Australian National University.

The five-year NHMRC grants "will enable Australia's best and brightest to drive their own long-term research programs to address complex health problems," Mark Butler, Australia's minister for health and aging, said in a statement.

Researchers at the Walter and Eliza hall Institute will use a A$17.1 million grant to fund genomic and genetic research studies aimed at shedding light on blood cell control and to inform development of new potential therapies in diseases such as leukemia and inflammatory diseases.

Australian National University researchers plan to use a A$15.7 million grant to fund a multi-institutional project that will use genetics, signaling, and experimental immunology to identify how immune diseases are controlled in complex diseases such as immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases, and inflammation.

Scientists at Queensland Institute of Medical Research have received a A$5.6 million grant to study mechanisms that predispose some women to develop breast cancer, how cancers grow at certain sites such as the brain or lungs, and how DNA repair proteins are implicated in order to develop new diagnostic tools and treatments.

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