The Kirby Institute at UNSW Sydney has received $9,060,140 for a Program Grant to conduct research on improving the lives of people with problematic drug use. The funding, announced today by the National Health and Medical Research Council, brings together leading UNSW researchers from the Kirby Institute (Greg Dore, Andrew Lloyd) and the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (Louisa Degenhardt and Michael Farrell) to address major issues for drug user health. The research will explore how recent advances in hepatitis C therapy and improved drug dependency management can provide the opportunity to improve the lives of drug users.
Also announced today is more than $1.4million in Project Grant funding for the Kirby Institute to conduct social research in Papua New Guinea. One project led by Dr Stephen Bell will develop youth-centred health promotion messages and strategies to prevent and mitigate the impact of adolescent pregnancy in PNG. In PNG, adolescent pregnancy is a major public health concern with severe health and socio-economic outcomes for young women. An additional project led Dr Angela Kelly-Hanku will explore the socio-cultural dimensions of tuberculosis in PNG. PNG has among the highest tuberculosis incidence rates in the world.
The Kirby Institute also received a $467,070 Project Grant to evaluate strategies to control gonorrhoea and associated antimicrobial resistance in remote Aboriginal and other populations at higher risk of infection. Led by Associate Professor David Regan and Professor Basil Donovan, this project builds on the Kirby Institute’s strong and successful research collaborations in Aboriginal health.
Dr Nila Dharan was awarded a postgraduate scholarship to evaluate the burden of medical comorbidities among people living with HIV in Australia.
Kirby Institute researchers are Chief Investigators on a number of grants announced today that are administered by other organisations which include strategies for hepatitis C testing in Aboriginal communities, antibiotic treatment of male partners to reduce recurrence of bacterial vaginosis in women and addressing the major challenges in HIV vaccine and cure research.