australian government emblem

SENATOR THE HON SIMON BIRMINGHAM
Minister for Education and Training
Senator for South Australia

MEDIA RELEASE

11 January 2016

New funding for vital type 1 diabetes research and researchers

The Turnbull Government is spending almost $4 million to expand the national type 1 diabetes database to include regional centres and adults, and support two awards to inspire innovative research.

Minister for Education and Training Senator Simon Birmingham said the $2 million commitment would provide vital support to expand the type 1 diabetes database through the Australasian Diabetes Data Network.

Minister Birmingham said the funding would expand the database beyond the current 6,000 young people and give researchers a national understanding of the disease to improve patient outcomes.

"The Turnbull Government’s $2 million funding for expanding the type 1 diabetes database gives researchers access to national-level information for the first time," Minister Birmingham said.

"By expanding this database researchers will be better able to help the hundreds of thousands Australians living with type 1 diabetes through access to the various treatment methods used across the country and the results of those efforts in reducing the risk of complications from the disease.

"Up to half a million Australians are living with undiagnosed diabetes and the disease costs the economy as much as $14 billion each year."

JDRF Australia CEO Mike Wilson said the data network helps researchers identify people with type 1 diabetes who are eligible for clinical trials and will also allow for formal links to be forged with similar registries around the world.

"Global vision is what’s needed to really accelerate research progress for type 1 diabetes and make it easier to access new therapies and treatments," Mr Wilson said.

Minister Birmingham said the Turnbull Government would also provide nearly $2 million for two Career Development Awards as part of the Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network.

"The Network’s Career Development Awards provide crucial salary and project support to emerging innovative research leaders in type 1 diabetes," Minister Birmingham said.

"It is world-leading research like this that the Turnbull Government wants to promote as part of the ideas boom."

This $4 million in funding forms part of the Special Research Initiative for type 1 diabetes—a $35 million research grant funded by the Australian Research Council.

Minister Birmingham’s media:
James Murphy 0478 333 974
Nick Creevey 0447 644 957

JDRF media:
Lyndal Howison 02 9020 6100
0404 854 033

Career Development Awardees

A/Prof Melinda Coughlan, Baker IDI.
‘Mapping the mitochondrial signature of individuals with type 1 diabetes and nephropathy’

Associate Professor Melinda Coughlan has a BSc Honours in Nutrition from Deakin University, and PhD in Obstetrics & Gynaecology from the University of Melbourne. She currently holds research grants from the NHMRC and JDRF and holds a dual appointment as Adjunct Associate Professor in Monash University's Department of Medicine, Central Clinical School and the Department of Epidemiology & Preventive Medicine. A/Prof. Coughlan has over 40 publications in highly respected journals.

A/Prof Anand Hardikar from the University of Sydney.
‘PREDICT T1D: Plasma RNA Evaluation and Diagnosis In Children progressing To Type 1 Diabetes’

Anandwardhan A. Hardikar, PhD, received MSc in Zoology (Genetics) and a PhD in Zoology from the University of Pune. After successful completion of his PhD work, he continued training in the field of pancreas biology and diabetes at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine. Associate Professor Hardikar lead Diabetes and Pancreas Biology Section at O'Brien Institute, St. Vincent's Hospital and the University of Melbourne, in Melbourne, Australia. He is currently an Associate Professor and Australian Future Fellow (ARC) at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, Sydney Medical School.