NSW leads in genomic medicine

Published 5th March, 2015 in Health

Four teams of NSW based researchers will share $2.72 million to explore better treatments for cancer, mitochondrial disease, inherited heart disease in babies and schizophrenia.

Five women, a baby and a man
Health Minister Jillian Skinner, grant recipient Professor Carolyn Sue and Professor John Christodoulou (Professor of Genetic Medicine, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead) with two families who live with mitochondrial disease.

The 4 recipients of the 2014/15 NSW Genomics Collaborative Grants were selected from 66 applicants and announced at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research Jillian Skinner said the grants enabled some of NSW’s best minds to be among the first researchers in the world to access new whole genome sequencing technology, which allows them to better research diagnoses and treatments.

The grant recipients will have access to a high tech genome sequencing facility operated by the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

The Garvan Institute is one of only a handful of international centres in the world to have acquired the Illumina HiSeq X Ten system, which can sequence more than 300 whole human genomes per week.

The four 2014/15 NSW Genomics Collaborative Grants recipients are:

  • Professor Graham Mann ($811,150) from the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research/the University of Sydney will lead chief investigators from the Melanoma Institute Australia and Macquarie University to support research into new therapies for metastatic melanoma.
  • Professor Carolyn Sue ($740,000) from the Kolling Institute of Medical Research will lead chief investigators from the Children’s Hospital at Westmead and Charles Perkins Centre (University of Sydney) in research aimed at transforming the diagnostic paradigm for mitochondrial disease using whole genome sequencing to unlock new knowledge about the genetic causes.
  • Professor Sally Dunwoodie ($370,000) from the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute will lead chief investigators from her own institute and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network in research into the genetic causes of congenital heart disease.
  • Associate Professor Murray Cairns ($800,000) from the University of Newcastle will lead chief investigators from the University of New South Wales and St Vincent’s Hospital in research to identify genomic system motifs and associated markers that can inform the development of new interventions in relation to schizophrenia.

The Office for Health and Medical Research will release details about the next round of funding later this year.

Published 5th March, 2015 in Health