Funding to accelerate life-changing medical research

Published: 25 August 2022

Professor Clare Scott at WEHI is leading the research into immune responses in ovarian cancer patientsThe Victorian Government is backing Victorian scientists to combat global health challenges, including ovarian cancer, with more grants to fast-track research breakthroughs.

Twenty-one medical research projects will be grant recipients for the fifth round of the Victorian Government’s Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund (VMRAF).

The program supports both early-stage research and projects that are ready for commercialisation.

Researchers across 15 of Victoria’s medical research institutes will use the $3.4 million in grant funding to accelerate projects that address a range of health concerns such as dementia care, diabetes, IVF treatments and breast cancer.

Recipients include the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and RMIT for a study into immune responses in ovarian cancer patients.

Led by Professor Clare Scott from WEHI, researchers will identify the proteins that form on cancer cells that respond best to treatment.

Those cells with a greater immune response will then be specifically targeted with treatment, with the hope the research could lead to the development of vaccine-style treatments for ovarian cancers.

Ovarian cancer is the eighth most common cancer affecting women in Australia, with around 1,400 new cases diagnosed each year.

Since it was launched in 2017, VMRAF has provided $15.3 million for 90 projects on the cutting edge of medical discovery.

The program backs researchers to help take their ideas to the patient from the bench to the bedside, helping Victorians get the benefits of breakthroughs made in their own backyard.

In July, the Victorian Government launched its Health and Medical Research Strategy: 2022-2032, outlining a vision for Victoria to be a global leader in medical research by supporting more breakthroughs, driving economic growth, creating jobs and saving lives.

For more information on the VMRAF, including Round 5 grants, visit: Grants and funding opportunities.