2019 RART Projects

(Stage 2)

The MACH offered this funding opportunity to MACH partner-affiliated researchers (in the form of investigator-led project grants) and to MACH Subcommittees to support translational research projects  and activities that will produce tangible outcomes of value to the health system. This scheme also supports project extensions for our RART Round 2 Stage 1 awardees to continue their important work. 

The aim of this funding scheme is to:

  • improve patient experience by improving care pathways and service connections;

  • reduce unwarranted variation in healthcare and patient outcomes;

  • improve the health of certain at-risk groups in Australia, such as Indigenous Australians; and

  • support innovative clinical trials.

Explore our projects

Investigator-led projects

Prof Vicki Anderson

MACH Partners: Austin Health, Florey Institute, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, University of Melbourne

Project title: Reducing persisting symptoms following child concussion: A randomised controlled clinical trial

Summary: Current knowledge of child and adolescent concussion is inadequate to direct effective, timely, and low-cost treatments to patients while recognising the vastly different needs of the individual child. This study aims to halve the rate of children with persisting post-concussive symptoms through a personalised medicine intervention. This will reduce missed school and parent workdays, prevent secondary mental health problems and provide an integrated, accessible, cost-effective treatment.

A/Prof Amy Brodtmann

MACH Partners: Austin Health, Florey Institute, Melbourne Health, University of Melbourne, Western Health

Project titleEstablishing a stroke biobank to examine protein and genetic biomarkers for post-stroke cognitive decline in the Post Ischaemic Stroke Cardiovascular Exercise Study (PISCES)

Summary: Vascular brain burden is the greatest determinant of late-life cognition. People with stroke, heart disease and diabetes are at increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia, yet are usually excluded from most intervention studies. This study will examine whether a cardiac-rehabilitation style exercise intervention will preserve brain volume and cognition in this high-risk population.   

Prof David Castle ​

MACH Partners: Austin Health, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne

Project title: Evaluating the impact of a psychological intervention to reduce the severe stress and psychological morbidity of people with chronic kidney disease: The Kidney Optimal Health Program (KOHP): Stage 2

Summary: The progressive loss of kidney function leading to end-stage chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a severe and debilitating health problem, with the prevalence of CKD in Australians steadily increasing. Aside from the physical effects, CKD patients experience high rates of comorbid depression and anxiety. The program aims to offer an effective psychosocial intervention that addresses the mental and functional health of CKD patients.

A/Prof Elif Ekinci​

MACH Partners: Austin Health, Melbourne Health, Northern Health, St Vincent's Health Melbourne, University of Melbourne

Project titleCan flash glucose monitoring improve blood glucose control in Indigenous Australians with type 2 diabetes

Summary: Diabetes is a major problem for Indigenous Australians. Flash glucose monitors are easy-to-use, new devices worn on the arm providing real-time blood glucose levels to guide treatment. This project will analyse whether these monitors help Indigenous Australians understand and manage blood glucose levels to avoid complications like heart disease and kidney failure which will likely change the way diabetes is managed for all Indigenous Australians and other high-risk individuals.

Prof Nicola Lautenschlager

MACH Partners: Melbourne Health, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne

Project titlePhysical activity guidelines implementation via information and communication technology for vulnerable older adults with poor cognitive and mental health living in the community

Summary: This project will investigate the benefits of physical activity for older people living with mental illness and develop practice guidance material for mental health practitioners when promoting behaviour change.

Dr Ashley McAllister

***Please note that this project grant was originally awarded to A/Prof Allison Milner. The MACH remains saddened by the sudden passing of A/Prof Milner in August 2019. Dr McAllister has taken over leadership of this project and will continue A/Prof Milner's work.***

MACH Partners: Melbourne Health, Northern Health, University of Melbourne

Project title: Clinical and community service provision for people with disabilities: Investigating the perspectives of the health care workforce and their clients

Summary: This study will provide information about how recent increases in the availability of care workers has led to changes in the health outcomes of people with disabilities following the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The research will also provide an in-depth exploration of how healthcare workers can facilitate improved health, economic and social outcomes of persons with disabilities.

Prof Jeannette Milgrom​ AM

MACH Partners: Austin Health (including Primary Care affiliates), University of Melbourne

Project title: Clinical Decision Support Integrated with eScreening for Postnatal Depression

Summary: This implementation study evaluates a new integrated e-screening and Clinical Decision Support System for postnatal depression by Maternal & Child Health Nurses. The e-platform has the capacity to reduce screening inconsistencies and deliver real, cost-effective sustainable improvements to the healthcare system.

Prof Dinah Reddihough

MACH Partners: Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Royal Children's Hospital, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, 

University of Melbourne, Western Health

Project titleHips on Track: A state-wide approach to preventing hip dislocation for young people with cerebral palsy

Summary: Hip displacement is a serious complication of cerebral palsy, occurring in 85 percent of non-ambulant children. This project will develop a state-wide hip surveillance program for Victorian children with cerebral palsy, including governance and evaluation processes. By reducing the incidence of hip dislocation, long-term impacts will include avoidance of life-long pain and loss of function, additional burden of care to families, and substantial cost savings to the health care system with potential national rollout.

Prof Dennis Velakoulis

MACH Partners: Austin Health, Florey Institute, Melbourne Health, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne, Western Health

Project titleClinical utility of plasma neurofilament light chain in the diagnostic screening of psychiatric and neurological disorders: an "ESR" for the brain?

Summary: Primary care physicians and specialists often have difficulty distinguishing between neurological and psychiatric disorders due to the overlap in symptoms. This study explores a simple community screening blood test to effectively distinguish between neurological and psychiatric disorders by gauging the degree of brain cell injury through blood neurofilament light levels. This screening test will result in improved diagnostic certainty, particularly in the primary care setting.

MACH Subcommittee Projects


TitleMapping of ageing and aged care expertise across the MACH network and development of plain English articles translating research outcomes and recommendations for consumers.

Summary: This activity will map expertise in ageing and aged care research across the MACH network and beyond to increase collaboration opportunities. The findings will be nationally disseminated and made publicly available to enhance translational research collaboration.

More about MACH's work in this area

TitleResearch Capacity building through complex trial design symposia

Summary: The design and statistical analysis of clinical trials and health services research includes more complex designs to clearly demonstrate clinical and cost effectiveness to reduce the cost and time of running clinical trials. The project team will draw international experts to deliver a series of workshops on complex trial design, including stepped wedged trials and adaptive design to build the capacity of biostatisticians and bridge the knowledge gap for clinician researchers.

More about MACH's work in this area


TitleThe next big thing: Optimising the role of interdisciplinary students in hospital outpatient clinics: scribing and closing the loop of communication with primary care practitioners.

Summary: This project will pilot the use of interdisciplinary scribes in hospital outpatient clinics. Scribes will be overseen by senior hospital clinicians as they actively participate in patient care, communication with primary care practitioners and community support services, increasing coordination and continuity of care between hospitals and community services. Students will also be involved in patient health literacy in both the hospital and community settings.

More about MACH's work in this area


TitleConsolidation of record linkage algorithms in Victoria and beyond

Summary: Many state and national data repositories are incompatible with one another due to the use of different linkage algorithms. MACH is a leader in data linkage and this project will update GRHANITE algorithms to allow linkage across multiple data repositories and produce tools to enable analysis of linkage data quality with results to be scaled nationally.

More about MACH's work in this area


TitleDynamic consent as a new approach for engaging people in health research and upholding data sovereignty – Victorian Aboriginal perspectives.

Summary: Clinical research carries unique risks for Aboriginal people, particularly those providing broad consent such that their data and material may be shared widely. In the pursuit of self-determination Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people are seeking new approaches to consent that support Indigenous data sovereignty, decisional autonomy and research engagement.

More about MACH's work in this area


TitleFind and Follow: scoping the data capture, reporting and follow-up of (i) pregnancies complicated by congenital abnormalities, (ii) health and development among ‘high risk’ newborns.

Summary: This project will develop a standardised approach to follow up families diagnosed with congenital abnormalities prenatally and streamline current follow-up services for high risk newborns. As both groups are at risk of poor outcomes this work will optimise pregnancy care and child outcomes.  

More about MACH's work in this area


MACH is an NHMRC recognised Advanced Health Research and Translation Centre.

The mission of MACH is to improve health and wellbeing by integrating medical research, education and clinical care.


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