30 November 2015

Boost for tropical health research

Australian Research Council (ARC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Professor Aidan Byrne, has welcomed the official launch of a special research initiative that will extend facilities for and research into tropical health and disease.

The ARC Special Research Initiative for Tropical Health and Medicine supports expansion of the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine based at James Cook University in Townsville, and was officially launched by Minister for Education and Training, Senator the Hon. Simon Birmingham, at Parliament house this evening.

$42 million in Commonwealth funding has been awarded (over four years) through the ARC’s Special Research Initiatives scheme to help build Australian research capacity in tropical health and biomedical sciences.

“This initiative will see the expansion of tropically-based research facilities, the researcher skill base, and research programmes looking into tropical health,” said Professor Byrne.

“The increased research focus will improve national capacity to identify risks to Australian health security and biosecurity from re-emerging diseases prevalent in tropical countries.

“In particular, this funding boost will assist in the construction of purpose-built research infrastructure at James Cook University campuses in Townsville and Cairns, and additional facilities on Thursday Island and Mackay.

“The Institute will focus on research and training in virology, disease and transmission control as well as the development of new treatments and vaccines for tropical diseases.”

The Special Research Initiatives (SRI) scheme provides funding for new and emerging fields of research and builds capacity in strategically important areas. The ARC currently funds several SRIs in a wide range of research areas.

For more information about the Australian Institute for Tropical Health and Medicine, visit the James Cook University website. Further information on the ARC’s Special Research Initiative for Tropical Health and Medicine is also available on the ARC website.

Media contact:
ARC Stakeholder Relations
0412 623 056 or communications@arc.gov.au