The Albanese Labor Government is investing over $24 million in health and medical research focusing on women’s health to develop targeted treatment options and improve health outcomes.
This is under the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2022 Ideas Grant funding which will support 23 projects, including research on breast and ovarian cancer, endometriosis, and the mental health impacts of infertility treatment.
Associate Professor Stacey Edwards from QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute will explore how DNA variation contributes to ovarian cancer. Despite recent studies identifying human DNA markers linked to an increased risk of ovarian cancer, the critical genes that drive this risk remain unknown. With a 5-year survival rate below 50% for the 1,800 new cases of ovarian cancer diagnosed in Australia each year, there is a pressing need to improve treatment options.
Other recipients include Associate Professor Anna Calkin from the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, who will investigate differences in men and women’s heart response to exercise, Dr Fiona Cousins from Monash University who will investigate the use of an immune modulator as an innovative treatment for endometriosis, and Professor Hamish Scott from the University of South Australia, who will improve understanding of the causes of pregnancy loss using novel genomic techniques and by studying genetic variation in the placenta.
Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care Ged Kearney said, “Every Australian deserves access to quality healthcare that caters to their needs. Investing in research that supports women’s specific health concerns is critical.”
National Health and Medical Research Council CEO Professor Anne Kelso said, “Research has underpinned the extraordinary advances made to date in understanding, diagnosing and treating these diseases. It is critical that we continue to invest in research to prevent and treat these and other important issues in women’s health.”
The funding is part of a $241 million investment in research through the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2022 Ideas Grant scheme.