News & Events

18 Sept 2019

Mental health and vulnerable groups at the centre of new MRFF-funded MACH projects

Nine investigator-led research translation projects were announced today by the MACH, forming the centrepiece of the Medical Research Future Fund’s (MRFF) Rapid Applied Research Translation (RART) Round 2 Stage 2 grant awardees.

Over $4 Million in MRFF funding was awarded by the MACH on behalf of the Department of Health that will support activities designed to have an impact on the health and wellbeing of Australians, including those most vulnerable. Projects range from physical activity interventions for stroke patients to testing flash glucose monitoring for Indigenous Australians with diabetes. Six of the nine major projects funded also address mental health issues.

Among the nine successful Transformative Translational Research (TTR) projects is a new clinical decision tool for postnatal depression screening (Prof Jeannette Milgrom, Austin Health); a new screening mechanism for psychiatric disorders (Prof Dennis Velakoulis, Melbourne Health); and a state-wide approach to preventing hip dislocation for children with cerebral palsy (Prof Dinah Reddihough, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute).

“Hip dislocation is a common and serious problem…affecting at least one third of children with cerebral palsy, especially those with more difficulty in walking. It causes severe pain and reduces function, but it can be prevented by timely hip surveillance,” explained Prof Reddihough. “This is a great medical example of ‘prevention being better than cure’,” she said.

“Thanks to the generous funds provided by MACH in conjunction with the MRFF, we are delighted that we will now be able to establish a state-wide hip surveillance program to prevent hip dislocation in children with cerebral palsy living in Victoria,” Prof Reddihough added.

For more information on all of the funded projects and activities, see: https://www.machaustralia.org/mach-2019-rart-projects.

This MACH grant round is an extension of previous funding announced in April 2019 (Round 2 Stage 1). In addition to the nine translational projects from Stage 2, the scheme will fund new activities for the six investigator-led projects from Stage 1, as well as innovative pilot projects and activities to be led by MACH subcommittees.

“These network projects are vital because they encourage translational collaboration across MACH partners. The activities were selected by the experts in each field, and address real-world problems encountered by clinicians that are of underestimated importance,” said Sir John.

The Women’s and Newborn Health group’s project, for example, identifies and tracks high-risk pregnancies and newborns through a toolkit for physicians to properly assess developmental markers as the babies grow. The Indigenous Health Subcommittee, meanwhile, will explore using dynamic consent in undertaking health and medical research in Aboriginal communities.

For more information, please contact the MACH office:
mach-admin@unimelb.edu.au
(03) 8344 9973

“The MACH is excited to be able to put a spotlight on these important needs, and address critical gaps in the Australian healthcare system through the work of our talented, multidisciplinary research and translation teams,” said Professor Sir John Savill, Executive Director of the MACH.

ABOUT US

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

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

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The MACH acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which it works, the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation, and pay respects to its elders past, present and emerging.

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