2021 Gilead Fellowship Research Grants awarded

Tuesday, 29 June, 2021

2021 Gilead Fellowship Research Grants awarded

Gilead Sciences Australia has announced the five recipients of the 2021 Gilead Fellowship Research Grants Program, one of which will investigate the medium- and long-term impacts of COVID-19 on patients’ health and wellbeing.

Grant recipient Professor Kumar Visvanathan, Infectious Diseases Physician, Academic Lead of Medicine at The University of Melbourne and Co-Director of the Immunology Research Centre at St Vincent’s Hospital, will follow almost 100 individuals with confirmed COVID-19 infection over a six-month period to look at COVID-19’s impact on their immunological response and any residual symptoms they may have had.

“The funding from the 2021 Gilead Fellowship Grant means that we may be able to answer some important questions about the length of a patient’s immunological response to COVID-19 post infection, but also to other infectious diseases and broader impacts it may have on long-term health,” said Prof Visvanathan.

“We still have so much to learn about this virus and natural immunity post infection, and this is particularly important as we roll out vaccines and start to measure durability of protection. We are also investigating if there is any impact from COVID-19 on our immunological response by testing immune responses to past vaccinations such as mumps and measles and, more broadly, the physical and psychological impact on a patient’s quality of life.”

Now in its 11th year, the Fellowship Program strives to help bridge the gap in Australian research funding and provide support to projects which have a local community focus. A total of $300,000 will be split between this year’s five recipients, which also include projects aimed at evaluating the innovations and rapid adaptations to HIV testing, monitoring and care during COVID-19 to inform future service delivery models; increasing hepatitis C virus treatment uptake amongst people who inject drugs; understanding how to keep cancer-destroying CAR T cells working for longer; and determining Aspergillus fumigatus resistance rates to optimise screening and treatment strategies for fungal infections associated with chronic lung disease or lung transplantation.

“Gilead is proud to continue to provide opportunities for ongoing local scientific investigation and research to support patient outcomes,” said Dr Paul Slade, Senior Director Medical Affairs, Gilead Sciences ANZ.

“This year’s Fellowship Grant Recipients are implementing innovative projects across Australia that seek to provide more clarity around some serious areas of uncertainty, such as the impact of COVID-19, and ultimately support enhanced healthcare provision for patients both here in Australia and across the world.”

Applications are now open for the 2022 Gilead Sciences Australia Fellowship Research Grants Program. For more information, visit www.gileadfellowship.com.au.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Cozine

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