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Medical research to improve lives of young Aboriginal women

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University of Adelaide experts have been awarded more than $1.9m to pursue medical research that will improve the lives of young Aboriginal women, high-risk COVID-19 groups and cancer sufferers.

The National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) has awarded Dr Amy Dwyer $788,944 over four years.

Dr Dwyer from the Adelaide Medical School, was awarded the funding under the 2022 Investigator Initiated Research Scheme.

Dr Dwyer said: “Our is pursuing a new strategy to avoid problems with current therapies for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer which are not curative and have debilitating side effects.

“They aim to reprogram rather than eliminate ER signalling to inhibit tumour growth. Their ER reprogramming strategy has curative potential and aligns with the NBCF’s goal of zero deaths from breast cancer by 2030.”

The Hospital Research Foundation Group (THRFG) has awarded two grants to University of Adelaide researchers.

Dr Lisa Nicholas from the Adelaide Medical School has been awarded $150,000 over two years to study why Aboriginal girls are more prone to youth-onset obesity and type 2 diabetes than non-Aboriginal girls.

Dr Nichols said: “I will examine whether the disparity is exacerbated in children of mothers who developed diabetes during pregnancy.

“Knowledge gained from the study will help to identify individuals most at risk of these conditions and provide opportunities for earlier intervention strategies.”

Dr Nicholas was awarded the funding under the 2021 Women’s Health grant which is a new scheme.

Dr Branka Grubor-Bauk from Adelaide Medical School has been awarded $1 million over two years by THRFG to study the risk factors in high-risk COVID-19 groups.

Dr Grubor-Bauk said: “The project will help protect long COVID patients, transplant recipients, immune-compromised people and people living remotely.

“Using tools and analytics applied to the healthy population, Dr Grubor-Bauk’s team will establish efficacy data and test alternate vaccination strategies.”

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