Deadline extended for Gilead Fellowship Research Grants Program


Thursday, 22 August, 2019


Deadline extended for Gilead Fellowship Research Grants Program

Gilead Sciences Australia has extended the deadline for submissions for the 2020 Gilead Fellowship Research Grants Program, with $250,000 in total funding available for successful applicants throughout the country.

The Fellowship, now in its ninth year, aims to help bridge the gap in Australian research funding, providing support to projects that have a local community focus and which often struggle to secure funding or face high competition. Applications are sought from research projects with a clinical and ‘real-world’ focus, ideally engaging with local communities and aimed at enhancing patient outcomes in HIV, chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, inflammatory diseases and invasive fungal infections.

Last year’s recipients were split across six projects throughout Australia and included Dr Paul Yeh from the University of Melbourne, whose research project looks at genetic factors in stem cell transplant donors and potential impact on the outcome of stem cell transplants. Dr Yeh and his team have now successfully identified the presence of these genetic factors in stem cell donors, and aim to measure the impact these factors have on transplant outcomes.

“I’m really happy with how the project is going,” Dr Yeh said. “We’ve already achieved what we set out to in this first stage, and the next stage will now determine whether there is value in running genetic sequencing on donors — important information to help transplant physicians utilise this valuable resource.

“The contribution from Gilead’s Fellowship Grant has enabled us to perform the sequencing, and helped progress this project. Winning this prestigious award and receiving Gilead’s support has made a significant difference.”

Winners of the 2019 grants also included:

  • Dr Owain Williams at the University of Queensland, for a study which proposes using the relatively new technology of a saliva-based HIV testing kit and trialling access to these through two vending machines in two locations in Brisbane.
  • Abby Douglas at the University of Melbourne, for a study to improve the detection and ruling out of serious infection in patients with acute leukaemia and those receiving a bone marrow transplant, while they have low white blood cell counts due to receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
  • Avik Majumdar at the Royal Prince Alfred and Centenary Institute, for research to validate an alternative test for people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, to understand whether a person is at risk of developing more severe disease and requires further treatment.
  • Kumar Visvanathan at the University of Melbourne, for research into new methods of treating hard-to-reach HCV patients.
  • Nicholas Medland at Melbourne Sexual Health Centre, for a study into new HIV diagnosis in Asian men who have sex with men (MSM) — an identified at-risk population where HIV rates are still increasing despite a decline in diagnosis in Australian-born MSM.
     

“We are very proud of the Gilead Australia Fellowship Research Grants Program and the impact we have already seen over the last eight years from previous recipients,” said Dr Paul Slade, Acting General Manager and Senior Medical Director at Gilead Sciences Australia. “We are excited to see this year’s applications and look forward to supporting the next generation of Australian researchers through the Fellowship.”

Applications for the 2020 program must be submitted by 30 August 2019 and will be announced in January 2020. Funding is contingent on the project concluding no more than 18 months after the execution of agreement.

To submit an application, visit https://gileadfellowship.com.au/.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Olivier Le Moal

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