Over $600 million has been dropped on Australia’s world-leading researchers in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants.

Over 2,000 researchers will share in the $630 million of Federal Government money for projects including: obesity prevention; cancer genomics and hereditary diseases; a new medication to help treat severe ice addiction; new treatment for drug-resistant depression; different treatments for PTSD and the impact shift working has on pregnancy outcomes.

The announcement includes $122 million for cancer research, $50 million for mental health research and $25 million for dementia research, among other diseases and conditions.

The funding will support 836 projects and the work of approximately 2200 researchers.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said the announcement also included the second largest grant in NHMRC history, worth $25 million over five years.

“Drawing together a national network of more than 80 team members, this potentially transformative project will examine how to use the extraordinary recent advances in human genetics to improve patient care in Australia,” Professor Kelso said.

“The research funded today is at the forefront of our knowledge of health and disease.”

The funds will be used to set up the Australian Genomics Health Alliance (AGHA), a national network of 47 partner organisations including research institutes, hospitals and universities.

“The genomics revolution is well and truly underway, and this grant will help accelerate Australian efforts,” said Macquarie University’s Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite, one of man leading scientists involved in the new project.

“As the project begins to bear fruit, we will increasingly use our skills in implementation science and health informatics to help make things work where clinicians meet patients, with new tests, diagnostic and treatment capabilities.

“Our strengths in these areas will doubtless be of enormous value in achieving major goals in genomic medicine.”

The grant is aimed at making Australia a global leader in genomic medicine, by charting a pathway to integrate genomics into our healthcare system.

The Alliance will focus its work on two disease flagships, rare diseases and cancer.

As part of the study patients will be recruited from across the nation and will benefit from a faster, cheaper and more accurate diagnosis using genomic sequencing. This will inform the most appropriate clinical care and treatment for that particular patient.

The NHMRC grants were selected by independent panels which drew on the expertise of thousands of researchers to assess applications across 12 different NHMRC schemes.

More information is available here.