NHMRC fellowships to improve health worldwide

Four researchers from The George Institute for Global Health have been awarded prestigious fellowships in the latest round of funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Chief Scientist at The George Institute for Global Health, Professor Anushka Patel, said: “This critical Fellowship funding is no small feat and is a testament to these researchers’ academic strength and potential of their work to have a lasting impact on health outcomes in Australia and globally.”

Executive Director of The George Institute Australia, Professor Vlado Perkovic said: “The work of these researchers is priority-driven and looking at some of the biggest and toughest challenges facing our generation – from new and better ways to prevent and treat the leading causes of death and disability, to strengthening health systems.”

The successful researchers were:

2018 Research Fellowship

Prof Anthony Rodgers on “Improving outcomes for people with chronic diseases with the better use of affordable medicines”

Prof Rodgers said: “This Fellowship will enable me to lead a research program developing better uses of affordable generic medicines. New combinations and different uses of these medicines could bring major benefits to patients in Australia and internationally. The Fellowship will allow me to ensure findings from five ongoing NMHRC-funded trials are translated into patient benefits; build further research programs addressing major health issues, and help develop our next generation of health researchers.”

2018 Early Career Fellowship

Dr Anna Palagyi on “A health systems approach for strengthening primary health care”

Dr Palagyi said: “Primary health care is the backbone to the health system. However, the development of strong primary health care systems in countries with limited resources is hindered by a lack of knowledge of what works in these settings. This program of research will generate new evidence of what is needed and what works to help researchers, policymakers and providers plan and implement initiatives to strengthen primary health care systems in resource-constrained settings in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Ms Kathy Trieu on “Population strategies to achieve optimal intakes of sodium and potassium for the prevention of hypertension and cardiovascular disease”

Ms Trieu said: “High blood pressure causes early death from stroke and heart disease; the biggest killers in Australia. Australians eat too much sodium (in the form of salt) and not enough potassium which causes high blood pressure. This project will develop effective and feasible strategies to achieve optimal sodium and potassium intake. This has the potential to save thousands of deaths and hospitalisations and healthcare costs. This will also strengthen my skills to lead population nutrition research.”

Dr Patricia Cullen on “Setting health pathways for life – Improving adolescent health trajectories”

Dr Cullen said: “Adolescence is a critical period, where the emergence of health risk pathways can have profound and lasting impacts into adulthood; however, there is a critical gap in evidence-based interventions that meet the diverse needs of adolescents. My fellowship addresses this and responds to significant national health priorities by producing epidemiological evidence of adolescent risk pathways that I will apply to develop a health service intervention and improve the lives of young people in Australia.”