Tuesday, 30 January 2018

MRFF funds our work in rare disease research

Our School is fortunate to have two funding recipients from the latest round of Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) grants. A/Professor Erica Wood and Professor David Pilcher were awarded funding for their work in transfusion research and intensive care research respectively.

Their awards were among four successful projects coming out of Monash University and The Alfred, which totalled $5.5 million.

A/Prof Wood's grant funds the DIAAMOND study: Diagnosis of aplastic anaemia, management, and outcomes utilising a national dataset. Aplastic Anaemia is a bone marrow disorder leading to profound anaemia, low platelet counts (risk of major bleeding) and low white blood cell counts (risk of serious infection). Mortality is as bad as many cancers.

Prof Pilcher's grant funds the BLENDER Trial – Blend to Limit Oxygen in ECMO: A randomised Controlled Registry Trial. Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) refers to use of a machine that acts as an artificial heart and lung for very sick patients whose own heart and lungs aren't functioning fully. The study will explore optimal oxygenation levels, with a view to providing better, more affordable treatment.

Their grants were among $26 million shared across nineteen projects in the Rare Cancers, Rare Disease and Unmet Needs Clinical Trials Program.  These conditions are a focus of the MRFF due to the low survival rates – they accounted for 47% of all cancer deaths in 2014.

People with rare diseases and rare cancers face delays in diagnosis, lack of treatments and difficulty in finding clinicians and support services with the knowledge to care for them appropriately.

Congratulations to Erica and David!

For more details about Erica’s work with our Transfusion Research Unit, click here. For more details about David’s work with the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC), click here. For full details about the round of MRFF funding, click here.