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Dan Wheelahan
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UNSW has received a total of $16.6 million in National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding for projects to commence in 2017.

The grants include a $2.5 million Centre for Research Excellence in Population Health led by UNSW Professor Guy Marks.

With emissions from burning biomass the fourth leading global risk factor for premature death, Professor Marks and his team will examine the health consequences of fossil fuel combustion, landscape fires and alternatives to fossil fuels.

UNSW ranked fourth in the country in overall funding and topped the Go8 in Established Career Fellowships, which include Practitioner and Research Fellowships.

Associate Professor Rebecca Guy from UNSW’s Kirby Institute was one of 10 UNSW researchers to receive Research Fellowships, totalling $7.5 million.

Her Fellowship of $772,000 will be used to evaluate innovative technologies to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and their adverse consequences in populations at highest risk, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and young people.

The Kirby Institute’s Professors Greg Dore and Anthony Kelleher received Practitioner Fellowships of $569,000 and $487,000 respectively.

Dr Katrina Champion from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) was one of 11 UNSW researchers to receive Early Career Research Fellowships, totalling $3.6 million.

Dr Champion was awarded $408,000 to develop and evaluate the first online program to simultaneously target the “big six” risk factors for future chronic disease among adolescents: smoking, physical inactivity, alcohol use, poor diet, sedentary behaviour and unhealthy sleep.

Professor Melissa Knothe Tate was one of three UNSW researchers to receive Development Grants totalling $1.5 million. Professor Knothe Tate was awarded $508,000 to define technical specifications for next generation, ‘smart’ orthopaedic implants. The implants will deliver cells the signals they need to build new tissue around defects created by trauma or tumour removal, which are too large to heal without reconstructive surgery.

UNSW Professor Anthony Shakeshaft, NDARC deputy director, is also one of seven Chief Investigators on another $2.5 million Centre for Research Excellence announced today. This Centre in Indigenous Health to build indigenous research capacity to find solutions to alcohol-related health problems will be based at the University of Sydney.

Professor Nicholas Fisk, UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, congratulated the UNSW researchers and said that securing "an eighth of the country's established research fellowships was a fantastic testament to continued capacity building in research excellence".

The grants were part of the $190 million in NHMRC grants announced today by Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley. 

A full list of the successful grant recipients can be found here.