Gilead Sciences awards $300,000 in funding for local research projects

Posted: 6 June 2022
Applications close: 22 August 2022

• Six successful applicants across Australia, including five women, awarded research grants as part of the Gilead Australia Fellowship: Grants Program 2022
• Awarded research projects span across the areas of hepatitis C virus, HIV, breast cancer and invasive fungal infections
• Applications now open for the 2023 Grants Program

Melbourne, Australia [June 3, 2022] – Gilead Sciences Australia today announced six researchers across Australia have been awarded critical funds to help realise their research ambitions in the areas of chronic viral hepatitis, HIV, breast cancer and invasive fungal infections. The Gilead Australia Fellowship: Grants Program provides funding to novel clinical research projects across Australia that can help inform and shape best practice in patient care.

The six applicants* will share in the $300,000 AUD allocated fund pool from the Grants Program, established by Gilead to foster local research with a clinical and ‘real-world’ focus that supports the development and implementation of best practice to enhance patient outcomes.

Some of the funds from this year’s program will go towards researching point-of-care testing for hepatitis C in people experiencing homelessness in the Adelaide CBD, improving women’s access to HIV preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) treatment in NSW, and the use of big data to help identify people in Melbourne with “silent” liver disease and link them to timely care.

One of this year’s research award recipients, Dr Joan Ericka Flores from the Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, will be putting funds from the Grants Program towards utilising available data to help identify people with potentially serious, but clinically silent, liver disease.

“With a high burden of alcohol and fatty liver disease-related cirrhosis in Australia, new approaches to improve early diagnosis are still needed. Our study will look at the merits of analysing data from routine blood tests performed in a community setting to help identify individuals at-risk of liver cirrhosis who may have otherwise been missed, and ultimately link them to timely care.”

“We were delighted that Gilead recognised the value of this study in providing novel research and crucial data in this area lacking attention. The Grant can now help to inform clinical practice and ultimately improve services to our patients.”

With researchers in Australia currently facing increasing competition, as they vie for much-needed funding, initiatives such as the Grants Program have never been more important in bridging the gap in local Australian research funding, particularly for projects with a local or community focus.

According to Dr Andrew Weekes, Senior Director, Medical Affairs at Gilead Australia and New Zealand: “Gilead is a company founded by scientists focused on tackling major public health crises. Research is in our DNA, and over the past 20 years we have been at the forefront of drug discovery and development in HIV, chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies and solid tumours.”

“We believe that investing in local scientists who are seeking to improve clinical practice through better diagnosis, treatment and education is a fundamental part of how we, as a research community, help to create a healthier world,” he added.

Over the last decade, the Grants Program has granted more than $2.6 million to research projects throughout Australia, providing funding for clinical and academic staff at Australian hospitals, clinics, universities and research institutes, young investigators, nurses, GPs, and other healthcare providers/researchers from professional organisations in both metropolitan and regional areas.

Applications for the 2023 Gilead Australia Fellowship: Grants Program are now open with a call for research proposals in the areas of HIV, chronic viral hepatitis, haematological malignancies, solid tumours and invasive fungal infections. Applications are reviewed by an independent judging panel featuring a number of experts from across Australia recognised for their contribution to research. Applications close 12 August 2022.

For more information on the 2023 Gilead Australia Fellowship: Grants Program please visit www.gileadfellowship.com.au

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