Childhood asthma, type 2 diabetes and immunity to influenza are just some of the areas of medical research set to receive a significant boost in Launceston next year.
The Clifford Craig Foundation announced the recipients of its 2019 medical research grants on Thursday, with eight new projects set to receive more than $380,000 in total funding.
The foundation received 26 expressions of interest for the grants program, with the successful applicants consisting of both new areas of research and extensions to ongoing projects.
Chief executive Peter Milne said the foundation was proud to fund a broad spectrum of research areas.
“Doctors and medical professionals struggle to obtain funding at any time,” he said.
“If you are in a capital city it is hard to get funding and in regional cities it is even harder.
“These grants are a mechanism, where we provide a gold nugget to help attract or retain good medical professionals to work in this community.
“It adds something which is quite exciting.
“That this community has a real opportunity in the future, to champion research that will actually make something really unique for a regional hospital in Australia.”
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Successful applicants ranged from research into chest prevalence following surgery, insulin resistance and the evaluation of new therapeutic targets in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Infectious disease specialist Dr Katie Flanagan, who received a grant for research into understanding immunity to influenza in children, said research was at the heart of implementing change.
“It’s through these kind of projects that we are able to run this hospital,” she said.
“But they also inspire us to stay here and think about expanding from just clinical research on a ward, to actually also giving back as a community to change lives in the future.
“The only way that anything changes is by doing research and actually understanding diseases better. Then we can actually start to make people’s lives better.”
Associate professor Don McTaggart said the newly announced grants, combined with existing research, would bring the total funding allocated by the Clifford Craig Foundation for medical research in the state’s north next year to almost $600,000.
“This announcement today sees the foundation building upon our reputation for facilitating an important clinical medical research program at the Launceston General Hospital, which supports local research undertaken by medical professionals at the hospital, medical and nursing students and university researchers,” he said.
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