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HomeNewsResearch recognised with multi-million dollar grants

Research recognised with multi-million dollar grants

We would like to congratulate Professors Carol Pollock and Gemma Figtree who have received significant National Health and Medical Research Council Investigator Grants.

Despite a tremendously competitive field, both clinician/researchers have been awarded $2 million to progress their world-leading research and improve long-term patient outcomes.

Professor Figtree’s research will investigate innovative solutions to reduce heart attacks for those without the typical risk factors.

Professor Figtree, an interventional cardiologist at RNSH, said approximately one-quarter of first-time heart attack patients do not have any of the typical risk factors of coronary artery disease, and yet they have developed what is regarded as silent coronary artery disease without any symptoms. 

Gemma and her team will use this group to extend their understanding of the disease and identify markers relevant to all patients at risk of a heart attack. 
Her program will drive the discovery of new biomarkers for the early detection and treatment of coronary artery disease. 

“I am enormously grateful to the NHMRC for this support. It will help my team follow exciting leads towards clinical translation, and help develop a new way of detecting coronary artery disease and preventing heart attacks,” she said.

Professor Carol Pollock’s program of research will work to reduce the personal and societal impact of kidney disease. 

Carol is a renal medicine specialist at RNSH and an internationally respected academic at the Kolling Institute. 

Chronic kidney disease currently affects over 13 per cent of the global population and 10 per cent of Australians. 

I’m really thrilled to have secured this funding to undertake our work and develop our research which we hope will have transformational benefits for patients with kidney disease
Professor Carol Pollock

Professor Pollock says despite implementing treatment strategies, a progressive loss of renal function is inevitable. 

The program will involve three main components, including an assessment of new strategies to prevent or slow the development of kidney disease. 

Carol and her team will also expand our program promoting the regenerative capacity of kidney fibroblasts, and will analyse the models involved kidney disease that spontaneously recover from kidney injury compared with the models that progress to irreversible fibrosis. 

“While early-stage research requires several years to translate to clinical benefit, we are well placed at the Kolling Institute to speed-up improvements in patient care," she said.  

“Our renal research laboratory has researchers from diverse professional backgrounds and this will facilitate the successful delivery of the research. 

“We are also well supported by partners in the biotech and pharma industries, and have received crucial philanthropic funds to bring the research to this point.”

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