Dr William Roman – an EMBL Australia group leader who established his research laboratory at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University earlier this year – has been awarded a significant Investigator Grant for research that aims to preserve muscle health in ageing, exercise and disease.
The National Health and Medical Research Centre (NHMRC) grant, valued at $1,586,190 over five years, will support Dr Roman’s project, which is titled ‘Investigating the transcriptional repair program during muscle reconstruction’ and will involve aspects of genetics, genomics, biochemistry and cell biology, cellular interactions and biomedical and tissue engineering.
The project description reads: Movement is so natural to us that we sometimes omit the incredible biology that is required to crawl out of bed, eat, breathe or sprint to catch the bus. But like any mechanical machine, muscle is prone to rip and tear. In this project, we will identify how muscle cells repair the small damages that they endure in everyday life and if we can harness these findings to preserve muscle health in exercise, aging and diseases.
Announced on Friday, the NHMRC is investing $379 million to support 216 emerging and established leaders in health and medical research across Australia to tackle the nation’s greatest health challenges via the Investigator Grants.
Only 14 per cent of applications were successful.
Due to new NHMRC gender equity targets, this is the first year in which female applicants will received an overall greater proportion of the funds compared to male applicants.
NHMRC chief executive Professor Steve Wesselingh said the changes saw more women and non-binary researchers apply for, and win, these significant grants.
“We look forward to witnessing improved gender equity at the most senior levels of Australian health and medical research in the years ahead, and reduced need for further intervention,” Prof Wesselingh said.
“The projects receiving funding as part of today’s announcement demonstrate the significant innovations through health and medical research in Australia and how researchers can harness their skills and knowledge to produce revolutionary science.”
More information on NHMRC Investigator Grants here.