Sydney researchers awarded over $42 million in NHMRC Investigator Grants

The University of Sydney has been awarded over $42 million in 2024 NHMRC Investigator Grants funding to research some of the nation’s greatest health challenges.

University of Sydney researchers have been granted more than $42 million over five years in the 2024 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants.

A total of 27 projects have secured fundings to help solve some of the nation’s most pressing problems from across the spectrum of health and medical research.

The projects awarded range from the identification of molecular mechanisms initiating and propagating neurodegenerative diseases to tailoring treatment to improve outcome for ovarian cancer patients.

NHMRC Investigator Grants support the four pillars of health and medical research – biomedical, clinical, public health and health services research – and researchers at all career stages.

The scheme is designed to allow flexibility to pursue important new research directions, to form collaborations, and to foster innovative and creative research.

“The Investigator Grant scheme provides the highest-performing researchers with the flexibility to pursue important new research directions as they arise,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Emma Johnston.

“This impressive and diverse array of projects demonstrates the University of Sydney’s outstanding capability to foster innovative and creative research focused on addressing the most pressing challenges in health and medicine by creating new knowledge, improving treatments and helping to make our health system even better.

“I am extremely proud to see so many of our researchers recognised for the important role they are playing to improve health outcomes for people everywhere.”

Full list of NHMRC Investigator Grants to the University of Sydney

  • Professor Glenda Halliday – Cell type and organelle specific identification of molecular mechanisms initiating and propagating neurodegenerative diseases ($3 million)
  • Professor Jenny Gunton – Targeting β-cells for diabetes therapy ($2.9 million)
  • Professor Christine Lin – Management of musculoskeletal pain: testing treatment effectiveness and reducing medication-related harm ($2.9 million)
  • Associate Professor Veronica Matthews – Strengthening primary health systems through Australian Indigenous paradigms: self-governance for healthy Country and community wellbeing ($2.8 million)
  • Professor Anna DeFazio – Tailoring treatment to improve outcome for ovarian cancer patients ($2.7 million)
  • Associate Professor James Shine – Neuroimaging, neural models, and neurobiology: A fresh look at dementia ($2.4 million)
  • Dr Kirstine Bell – Paving the way towards a new national screening program for type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease for all Australian children ($1.6 million)
  • Dr Melissa Sharpe – Discovery of a novel dopamine circuit that uniquely contributes to methamphetamine use disorder ($1.6 million)
  • Dr Jonathan Penm – Opioid stewardship for patients undergoing hip and knee replacements ($1.6 million)
  • Dr Lauren Gardner – Don’t blow it: Harnessing an effective and scalable drug prevention model to curb youth vaping ($1.6 million) ($674,400)
  • Dr Georgia Chaseling – Rising temperatures, rising risks: Preventing heat-induced rises in cardiovascular disease ($674,400)
  • Dr Kristy Robledo – Risk prediction models for time to event data: translating clinical trials into practice ($674,400)
  • Dr Ann-Na Cho – Harnessing the power of the human brain microphysiological system as a model for neuroinflammation, viral infections and pre-clinical therapeutic screening ($674,400)
  • Dr Han Chow Chua – Plugging the sodium leak in severe neurodevelopmental disorders ($674,400)
  • Dr Tuba Gide – Profiling of immunotherapy resistant tumours to inform treatment selection and drug discovery for patients with advanced cancer ($674,400)
  • Dr Camelia Quek – Dissecting the cancer ecosystem as a precision medicine approach towards improving patient outcomes with high-risk melanoma ($674,400)
  • Dr Nicholas Hunt – Nanocarriers for oral biologic delivery ($674,400)
  • Dr Shania Liu – Reducing the harms associated with inappropriate opioid use before spine surgery ($674,400)
  • Dr Anagha Killedar – Making equitable decisions: Embedding appropriate and robust methods for exploring equity impacts in health decision-making processes ($674,400)
  • Dr Katrina Prior – The dangerous path of self-medicating postpartum stress and anxiety with alcohol: Intervening early to improve the health and wellbeing of both mother and child ($674,400)
  • Dr Aleksandra Petrovic Fabijan – Phage therapy: translating research evidence into clinical application ($632,308)
  • Associate Professor Ines Esteves Domingues Pires da Silva – NeoPlatform: Neoadjuvant translational research platform to predict, monitor and enhance response to immunotherapy ($454,385)
  • Dr Emma Devenney – At risk: A novel neurophysiological approach to biomarkers in neurodegeneration ($1.6 million)
  • Professor David Beard – Strategic development of a trial culture for surgical innovation and evaluation: A node catalyst model ($2 million)
  • Professor Anthony Cunningham – Complementary studies of HIV and Herpes Simplex Viral infection of genital mucosa and the mechanism of action of systemically delivered vaccines ($3m)
  • Professor Chris Maher – Ensuring Australians with back pain receive the right care ($3 million)
  • Professor Cameron Turtle – Identifying and overcoming mechanisms of failure of CD19 CAR-T cell immunotherapy for large B cell lymphoma ($2.9 million)

/University Release. View in full here.