Publish Date: 
Monday, May 29, 2023 - 10:15

Medical research boosted with new seed funding awarded to translational clinical collaborations

The Translational Research Institute (TRI) and its hospital partners, Metro South Health (MSH), Mater Research and Children’s Health Queensland (CHQ) have jointly awarded 7 new research grants to drive new clinical collaborations between early-career clinicians and scientists.  

The new grants will fund innovative projects developing new treatments or diagnostics for cancers and infectious diseases, including brain, bone, pancreatic and breast cancer as well as tuberculosis and sepsis.

The grants are funded through the Leading Innovations through New Collaborations (LINC) scheme, which provides up to $50,000 in seed funding for new research partnerships between an early or mid-career (EMC) scientist based at TRI and an EMC clinician at one of the partnering hospitals.

TRI CEO, Professor Scott Bell said The LINC grant scheme attracted 17 applications, with the seven successful 2022 grant applications including clinical teams from a diverse range of clinical fields such as palliative care, respiratory, intensive care, oncology and infectious diseases. 

“TRI is delighted to award the LINC grants to these highly talented early and mid-career researchers and clinicians who are planning to collaborate on projects, which have promising potential for improving patient outcomes,” said Professor Bell.

“Through the LINC grants, TRI and our partners also hope to foster long-term, transformative research collaborations between young clinicians and academic researchers,” he said.

Metro South Health Executive Director of Research Professor John Upham said the LINC grants were specifically developed to help address the significant shortage of funding available to young researchers and also to encourage junior clinicians to lead a research project.

“We strongly believe that research partnerships between clinicians and researchers are invaluable for future improvements in healthcare,” Professor Upham said.

“We were impressed by the quality and breadth of the projects awarded LINC grants this year and congratulate the five Metro South Health clinicians who received grants,” he said. 

Mater Research and CHQ each awarded one LINC grant to collaborations involving their clinicians. 

Mater Research Executive Director and Director of Clinical Research Professor Maher Gandhi said the LINC grants played an important role in supporting new research collaborations between Mater Hospital clinicians and researchers at TRI.

Children’s Health Queensland Director of Research Associate Professor Andrew Moore said the LINC grant program provided an exciting opportunity for early-career paediatric clinicians to investigate critical areas in caring for critically unwell children.

The next LINC grant round will open on 14 July 2023, closing on 6 October 2023, with clinicians and researchers considering applying for a LINC grant to pitch their research idea at the LINC Showcase on 13 July 2023.

2022 LINC grant recipients

Principal Investigator A Principal Investigator B (Based at TRI) Project Funding
Dr Philip Rowell,
Metro South Health
Dr Nathalie Bock, QUT A bioengineered precision oncology platform for bone metastasis treatment. $50,000.00
Dr Catherine Berman,
Metro South Health
Dr Shannon Leftwich, UQ Frazer Institute  Clinical utility of [68Ga] FAPI PET/CT in patients with potentially resectable pancreatic cancer. $49,400.00
Dr Kyle White,
Metro South Health
Dr Thomas Schultz, UQ Frazer Institute Longitudinal profiling of TLR4 endocytosis and cellular reactivation in a Gram-negative sepsis cohort. $49,960.62
Dr Markian Choptiany,
Metro South Health
Dr Carmen Mathmann, UQ Frazer Institute Improving tuberculosis diagnosis and care through functional immune screening. $50,000.00
Dr Tirsa van Wyngaard,
Metro South Health
Dr Alan Toh, QUT Predictors of endocrine therapy response in luminal breast cancer: International collaborative research. $50,000.00
Dr Taylan Gurgenci, Mater Hospital Brisbane Dr Md Moniruzzaman, Mater Research - The University of Queensland Medicinal cannabis, inflammation, and symptoms in advanced cancer (Cann-Inflam). $49,987.90 
Dr Shampavi Sri Haran, Queensland Children’s Health Dr Debottam Sinha, UQ Frazer Institute Combating chemo-resistance amongst MYC amplified patients with neuroblastoma and medulloblastoma by inhibiting BRD4-MYC signalling axis. $ 50,000.00