ACADI Grants Support Next Generation of Diabetes Researchers

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21 March 2023

Pictured: Inaugural ACADI PhD and early career researcher grant awardees, top row from left, PhD awardees – Dr Ray Wang The University of Melbourne and Miss Amanda Purcell The University of Sydney; bottom row from left, early career researcher awardees – Dr Anna Wood Menzies School of Health Research, Dr Amelia Fotheringham Mater Research, and Dr Rachael Moses The University of Melbourne.

The Australian Centre for Accelerating Diabetes Innovations (ACADI), a Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) Research Centre, has announced the first awardees of the ACADI PhD and early career researcher (ECR) grants.

Receiving a strong calibre of applications for the inaugural 2023 funding round, ACADI noted that the Grant Selection Committee found it challenging to choose just two PhD students and three ECR projects to fund for the awards.

Vital research for diabetes

ACADI Training Lead, Associate Professor Sarah Glastras says the Centre is excited to welcome these awardees into the ACADI network.

“We will be able to work with them more closely and support our five awardees as they progress their vital research for diabetes.

“ACADI is proud to be supporting the next generation of diabetes researchers. We believe they are the key to fostering innovation and ultimately accelerating our understanding and improving outcomes for those living with diabetes,” said Professor Glastras.

“I would like to congratulate the awardees in their success and invite everyone working in this critical space to join me in following their progress with their important research projects.”

The two inaugural ACADI PhD awardees are:

  • Dr Ray Wang, The University of Melbourne, Victoria – Project Title: Glucometric Alert Systems to improve inpatient diabetes care in patients with and without chronic kidney disease, and
  • Miss Amanda Purcell, The University of Sydney, NSW – Project Title: Repurposing semaglutide for the treatment of diabetic kidney disease in patients with concurrent type 1 diabetes and obesity.

The three inaugural ACADI early career researcher awardees are:

  • Dr Anna Wood, Menzies School of Health Research, NT – Project title: Partnering with community to set priorities for prevention, detection and management of young onset type 2 diabetes and diabetic kidney disease for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and youth
  • Dr Amelia Fotheringham, Mater Research, Queensland – Project title: Targeting the receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) to prevent diabetic kidney disease; using a spatially resolved approach to understanding RAGE’s immunomodulatory role, and
  • Dr Rachael Moses, The University of Melbourne – Project title: Development of a 3D diabetic skin model, using animal-origin-free products, for evaluation of novel wound healing therapeutics.

ACADI was established as a national Research Centre in January 2022, along with the Australian Stroke & Heart Research Accelerator (ASHRA), through the support of Commonwealth funding under MTPConnect’s Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) for Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease program.

A pipeline of PhDs and ECRs as future leaders & workforce experts

An important component of ACADI’s delivery under the TTRA program is the deployment of a customised Training program to address skill gaps in industry, academia, and clinical sectors, by training a pipeline of PhDs and ECRs as future leaders and workforce experts in translational diabetes research in Australia. The ACADI PhD and ECR awards form part of the Training program along with integrated knowledge development, mentoring, and seminar/masterclass opportunities, to further support capacity and capability building.

Acting Senior Director TTRA program, Dr Mana Liao, says it is thrilling to see ACADI’s program roll out these inaugural research grants to build capabilities in diabetes research.

“With ACADI in its second year of operation, it is excellent to see this funding commence to support researchers and projects based in Victoria, NSW, Queensland, and the Northern Territory.

“It marks the beginning of developing the much-needed and valuable pipeline of post doctorate and early career researchers, who will drive future translational diabetes research in and for Australia, and we look forward to following the progress of these research projects,” said Dr Liao.

The next round of ACADI Grants will open in mid-2023. Anyone interested can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to ACADI News.

Visit the ACADI website for further information: ACADI grants