Associate Professor Richard Lewis
Associate Professor Richard Lewis

6 February 2009

The University of Queensland research programs, including one from the IMB, were given a multi-million dollar boost today (6th February 2009).

Three UQ research teams will receive almost $22 million as part of the $108 million National Health and Medical Research Council 2010 Program Grants that are aimed at giving scientists the ability to expand the scope of their research. UQ was awarded more than 20 percent of the national total.

Associate Professor Richard Lewis (07 3346 2984) from the IMB has received $6.36 million to develop new drugs to treat chronic pain.

“The goal of our research is to improve treatments for pain, especially persistent pain, which remains a poorly managed global health burden,” Dr Lewis said.

“We are investigating the venom from animals such as cone shells to develop a new class of pain killers that can treat persistent pain.”

The other two UQ grants went to Professor Ranjeny Thomas from the Diamantina Institute for Cancer, Immunology & Metabolic Medicine to work on vaccines for cancer, chronic infections and autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, and Professor Neville Owen, who leads the Cancer Prevention Research Centre in UQ's School of Population Health,  to examine ways to increase physical activity in an increasingly less active society.

They received $10.13 million and $5.39 million respectively.

UQ's Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor David Siddle said the three grants would fund work that had the potential to reshape the health of Australia.

“Work by our outstanding researchers... has the potential to revolutionise the way we treat cancer and disease,” Professor Siddle said.

“In much the same way that many diseases were controlled last century by the use of vaccines, the new generation of vaccines could do the same this century."

Media: Andrew Dunne at UQ Communications (07 3365 2802 or 0433 364 181).

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