Future Fund success for Flinders researchers

Six Flinders University researchers will share more than $8 million for their projects that have been successfully awarded grants in the latest rounds of the federal government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

Flinders ranked 1st in South Australia and 6th nationally for the number of MRFF projects awarded.

Flinders University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint congratulated the recipients on their success.

“I know that a huge effort by outstanding researchers goes into each and every funding application, so I’m delighted to see so many of our applications rewarded,” says Professor Saint.

“With grants across three different funding schemes, our researchers will be funded to make a real and positive impact to the health of rural and Indigenous communities across Australia and improve cardiovascular care.

“With a remarkable 50% success rate and a doubling of MRFF grants awarded since October 2021, our growing research funding achievements are a testament to the life-changing and influential work of our Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute researchers.”

The funded projects and their chief investigators are:

(l-r) Dr Brooke Spaeth, Associate Professor Tamara Mackean, Associate Professor Sam Lehman, Dr Courtney Ryder, Professor Chris Rissel and Professor Anand Ganesan.

Dr Brooke Spaeth
2021 MRFF Primary Health Care Research
Equitable access to full blood evaluation testing at the point-of-care in remote primary health – $2,996,294.25

The project aims to improve access to full blood examination tests for rural and remote healthcare patients, improving patient outcomes and reducing health costs, while ensuring equitable health access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Associate Professor Tamara Mackean
2021 MRFF Indigenous Health Research
Child Protection Services in Health: Fostering community led solutions to minimise trauma and change trajectories of pregnant Aboriginal women, their children and their families – $2,297,754.60

In partnership with SAHLN, the University of Adelaide and SAHMRI, and led by Aboriginal researchers and co-designed with the Aboriginal community, the project will look to understand how pregnant Aboriginal women, their children and their families engage with child protection services in a bid to improve outcomes and minimise trauma.

Associate Professor Sam Lehman
2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission
Impact of non-invasive coronary angiography on suspected acute coronary syndromes with low concentration troponin elevation – $999,542.50

By undertaking a randomised control trial, Associate Professor Lehman and his team will determine whether a cardiac CT scan is a more suitable investigative tool for mild heart attacks than the current standard, which is invasive coronary angiography.

Dr Courtney Ryder
2021 MRFF Indigenous Health Research
Knowledge interface co-design of a diabetes and metabolic syndrome intervention with and for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living on Ngarrindjeri country – $756,623.00

A new diabetes program, co-designed with Aboriginal Elders and senior community representatives, will be piloted on Ngarrindjeri country (Coorong and Murraylands). The project will use a ketogenic eating program and new cutting-edge point-of-care testing technology with the aim of reducing the burden of diabetes in Aboriginal communities across Australia.

Professor Chris Rissel
2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission
Yolŋu Heart Health For Life: Person-centred, co-designed and student-assisted cardiac rehabilitation in East Arnhem Land – $633,589.00

The project will explore the co-design, implementation and evaluation of a new student-assisted cardiac rehabilitation program in East Arnhem, Northern Territory. In partnership with James Cook University, the small-scale project will aim to demonstrate the feasibility of implementing an evidence-based approach to cardiac rehabilitation that identifies and targets culturally appropriate lifestyle factors to prevent further heart events.

Professor Anand Ganesan
2021 MRFF Cardiovascular Health Mission
Real-time measurement of renewal rate constants in pulsed field ablation of atrial fibrillation – $604,305.60

To improve treatment for atrial fibrillation (AF), the most common heart rhythm disorder, the team will build on previous research to address the fundamental limitations of contemporary AF ablation – one of the most common treatments – while developing and trialling a new system to measure renewal rate constants, mini-vortices of electricity that occur in AF that, if measured, could help guide cardiologists.

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College of Medicine and Public Health Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute