MND Australia’s research arm – the MND Research Institute of Australia (MNDRIA) - has awarded almost $4 million for new research projects commencing in 2019. Following review of grant applications by the MNDRIA Research Committee, 28 new research projects across all Australian States will be supported in 2019 in addition to funds previously committed to support an innovative, national NHMRC partnership grant (2019 – 2023).
The Betty Laidlaw Prize for an outstanding mid-career researcher was awarded to Macquarie University researcher Dr Marco Morsch for his project Targeting the nucleo-cytoplasmic transport machinery in sporadic and familial ALS.
Two postdoctoral fellowships for early career researchers have been awarded: the Bill Gole MND Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019 - 2021) to Dr Rosemary Clarke from The University of Tasmania and the Beryl Bayley MND Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019 – 2021) to Dr James Hilton from The University of Melbourne.
Twenty five Innovator Grants were awarded. The Charcot Grant, awarded annually for the highest ranking application, went to Professor Julian Gold (The Albion Centre, Sydney) for a phase 3 clinical trial of Triumeq.
A further 24 Innovator Grants will support projects in three areas of research: understanding the causes of MND; treatment development and clinical trials; clinical and healthcare research.
"It is an immense honour to be the recipient of the Betty Laidlaw Prize 2019 from MNDRIA and the Laidlaw family. These funds will allow three mid-career researcher to establish a novel and innovative research stream that investigates the basic cellular mechanisms on how disease proteins get misdirected within motor neurons. Understanding this critical step in the development of MND will hopefully get us one step closer to finding a cure". Dr Marco Morsch, Betty Laidlaw Prize winner 2019.
MNDRIA funds only the best research and researchers from across Australia. If more funds were available, grants could be awarded by the expert MNDRIA Research Committee to a greater proportion of the many excellent applications that are received each year.
If you would like to contribute to funding MND research please donate here.