4 August 2020
The Victorian Government is backing cutting-edge medical research projects to better understand, prevent and treat coronavirus.
Seven projects will benefit from the government’s $5.5 million COVID-19 Research Fund, which will support continued jobs growth in a sector that already employs tens of thousands of Victorians.
The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute will use human-derived stem cells to better understand the virus’s effects on different organ systems in the body, including the lung, heart, kidneys, brain, immune system and blood vessels, to support the development of targeted treatments.
Among other grant recipients, the Burnet Institute and University of Melbourne will conduct separate studies focusing on improving our understanding of COVID-19 immunity, while Barwon Health will conduct a study in regional Victoria to determine the long-term biological, physiological and psychological impacts of coronavirus.
Separately, the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund will provide $3 million to fund 12 projects across a range of research fields, including a team at RMIT that is exploring a new way to manage viral infections, which could allow for the repurposing of existing drugs to fight coronavirus.
Victoria is home to 12 independent medical research institutes that employ more than 4,800 people. The state’s wider medical research sector supports more than 30,000 jobs across institutes, universities and industry.
The COVID-19 Research Fund was created in May as part of $8.5 million committed to the work of Victoria’s world-leading research institutes to better understand transmission, immunity and the long-term health impacts of coronavirus. An initial $3 million was allocated to accelerate existing projects relating to COVID-19.