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$1m boost for kidney disease and cancer research

16 November 2016

Three Metro South Health (PAH) staff have been awarded grants totalling more than $1.02million through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

Dr David Johnson (Nephrology) has been awarded a Practitioner Fellowship, while his colleague Dr Yeoung-Jee Cho (Nephrology) has been awarded an Early Career Fellowship.

In addition, staff specialist Dr Colm Keane (Haematology) has also been awarded an Early Career Fellowship.

Dr Johnson said the burden of chronic kidney disease (CKD) was large, increasing, and ultimately unsustainable. 

"One in 10 Australians has CKD, which puts them at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, and a higher likelihood of an early death. CKD also has a negative impact on people's lifestyles and relationships," he said.

"The Practitioner Fellowship will allow me to invest in promising lines of new enquiry to support people with CKD and their carers."

Dr Cho also hopes to assist people with kidney disease.

"The burden of kidney disease requiring dialysis is substantial in Australia," she said.

"Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) is a cost effective method of performing dialysis, which provides greater quality of life and patient satisfaction than Haemodialysis (HD). Unfortunately PD is underused and has a high discontinuation rate among patients.

"My program of research will target important areas of PD practice aimed at improving the uptake and continuation of PD for patients with kidney disease requiring dialysis."

The NHMRC grants help Australia’s research community to make discoveries that improve the diagnosis, treatment and cure of illnesses.

Dr Colm Keane was awarded a NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to continue his work in investigating how the immune system responds to the development of brain lymphoma.

“It is unknown why the tumour is so effective at evading the immune response,” he said.

“Applying new drugs that stimulate the immune system to attack the lymphoma could lead to a marked improvement in survival without the need for toxic chemotherapy and radiation.”

A total of 99 grants would be funded in 2017 by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), which distributes approximately $850 million to health and medical research in Australia.

Dr Keane, Dr Johnson and Dr Cho's grants were assessed by independent expert review panels, which drew upon the expertise of researchers to assess applications across NHMRC funding schemes.

Last updated 21 May 2018
Last reviewed 17 November 2016

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