Perkins celebrates major funding success

Monday, 17 December 2018

Researchers from the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research received over $3.4 million in federal funding this week, with a grant application success rate 78% higher than the national average.

Four leading Perkins researchers received a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding boost for their ground-breaking cancer research projects.

Associate Professors Aleksandra Filipovska and Oliver Rackham who lead the Perkins Mitochondrial Medicine and Biology Group and the Perkins Synthetic Biology and Drug Discovery Group received two grants - $802,389 to investigate the role of non-coding RNAs in prostate cancer; and $615,591 to discover key mediators of tissue specificity in disease.  

Professor Ruth Ganss, who heads the Cancer and Cell Biology division at the Perkins and runs a laboratory investigating vascular biology in cancers, received $892,284 to improve treatment options for pancreatic cancer.

Associate Professor Pilar Blancafort, laboratory head of the Cancer Epigenetics team at the Perkins, received $1.1 million to investigate targeted epigenetic reactivation of dormant tumour suppressors: new precision therapies for liver cancer. 

Perkins Director, Professor Peter Leedman, congratulated the funding recipients for their success and their commitment to improving health outcomes for the global community.

“These grants are a testament to the dedication of our researchers and the quality of their work,” Professor Leedman said.

“Federal funding for medical research is increasingly competitive and with a national average of only 17.3% of applicants receiving funds, I am thrilled that the Perkins success rate is significantly higher at 30.8%.”

“Medical research is the best way to solve the terrible and urgent health challenges we all face and our world-class team of researchers at the Perkins will continue to make vital life-saving breakthroughs that benefit everyone.”

Three Perkins researchers were also awarded prestigious NHMRC Senior Research Fellowships in August, receiving a combined $2.2M of NHMRC funding. This brings the total NHMRC funding awarded to Perkins researchers in 2018 to $5.6m.

As a registered charity, the Harry Perkins Institute relies on grants and donations to fund its medical research.

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