News / 24 November 2022

Congratulations to EMBL Australia group leader Professor David Lynn, Dr Feargal Ryan (a postdoctoral fellow  in the Lynn Group) and Dr Qi Zhang (a Monash BDI group leader in the Davidovich Group) for their recent grant successes.

Prof Lynn – based at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Flinders University – and his collaborators were awarded a $614,000 Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Project Grant to investigate how androgens affect fat metabolism.

Dr Ryan was awarded a $655,000 National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grant to understand how gut bacteria modulate activity of the immune system in response to vaccination. 

Dr Zhang was awarded a $472,000 mRNA Victoria Activation Program Grant.

Read more about these projects below: 


‘Androgen receptor: A master regulator of lipid metabolism’

PROJECT SUMMARY: This project aims to understand how male sex hormones, or androgens, affect the amount and metabolism of fats in normal body tissues. By integrating our multi-disciplinary expertise in androgen action, molecular biology, metabolism and bioinformatics with novel techniques and instrumentation, this collaboration expects to generate the first detailed picture of how fat metabolism is controlled by androgens in humans, and how closely this relates to mice. Expected outcomes and benefits will be a new understanding of which aspects of fat metabolism are most influenced by androgens, and an ability to anticipate potential metabolic impacts of natural or pharmacological fluctuations in androgen levels in humans, laboratory animals and livestock.

Led by Professor Lisa Butler, the project will receive $614,000 in funding over three years.

Investigators: Professor Lisa Butler, Associate Professor Luke Selth, Professor David Lynn, Dr Andrew Hoy and Professor Johan Swinnen.

Announced 24 November 2022.

Read more about the Lynn Group.


‘Developing microbiome-based interventions to improve vaccine immunogenicity’

PROJECT SUMMARY: Effective vaccination is critical for combating infectious disease. However, vaccine immune responses are highly variable between individuals and populations (e.g. lower in the elderly). New evidence suggests bacteria in our gut microbiome may be responsible. This program of work will allow us to understand how gut bacteria modulate activity of the immune system in response to vaccination. This knowledge will be crucial to both future vaccine development and improving vaccines currently in use.

Dr Feargal Ryan (a postdoctoral fellow  in the Lynn Group) is the chief investigator on the project, which will receive $655,150 in funding. . 

Announced October 2022.


‘A universal platform for affinity purification of RNA’

Dr Qi Zhang (a Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute group leader in the Davidovich Group) obtained an mRNA Victoria Activation Program grant of $472,000 over three years. 

Announced in October 2022.

More information about the mRNA Victoria grants is available here.

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