Flow on Expectations
(1) NHMRC Projects and NHMRC-China Exchange program:
Our Centre has been funded by NHMRC for the last 12 years proving our centre is sustainable. Currently, our Centre holds 4 NHMRC grants, of which 3 are UoW-based projects (ID: 635231, ID: 573426, ID: 5723441) and 1 is in collaboration with Dr Tim Karl at the Garvin Medical Research Institute (NHMRC ID: 493301). We will continue this high standard of research and wish to achieve the goals that we have proposed in our grant applications. Among 3 current NHMRC projects, one of them is an NHMRC-China Exchange for Dr Yu for 4 years (ID: 5723441). It is in our mind to develop this area of research increasing our international collaborations.
(2) ARC-Linkage Projects:
Our centre has a good record in achieving ARC-Linkage grants (ARC-Linkages ID: LP0561586, ID: LP100100238). It is both the interest from CTN researchers and food companies in the “Development and evaluation of functional food formulation with synergistic effects for limiting weight gain and obesity”. A proof of concept project is now jointly funded by Clover Company of Australia and the URC as a Partnership grant for 2010. We will work on the IP position next year and hopefully submit an ARC-Linkage proposal in the second round of next year. We have also planned to join Prof L Tapsell on an ARC linkage grant with Crea Nutrition AG and George Weston Foods Ltd next year to study “Development and evaluation of novel grain based foods with functional ingredients”.
(3) Schizophrenia Research Institute (SRI) Projects:
SRI plays a significant role in supporting mental health research in Australia. The SRI has built up an extensive research network in Australia and overseas. SRI has members of over 130 scientists in NSW. It has four research panels including Neurobiology, Cognitive, Clinical and Tissue Resource Centre. Prof Huang is a member of the SRI-Executive Panel. In the Neurobiology panel, SRI has selected and funded 4 research sites within NSW, including Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute at the UNSW, Department of Pharmacology in the University of Newcastle, Garvin Medical Research Institute and the CTN at UoW. SRI has funded the CTN since 1999; over $2M in total. Currently, SRI funds the CTN for a Research fellowship, 0.5RA, and $30,000 running cost per year. Mental health is a major health issue in Australia and we shall continue to be part of the SRI research team.
We have started to develop collaborations with the members of IHMRI. A number of projects have been proposed to IHMRI. These include projects by Dr C Deng and Prof Nagesh Pai “Prevention of antipsychotic induced obesity”, Profs Tapsell, Huang and Moss “Dietary intervention and GDM”; A/Prof B Meyer, J Chen “Beta glucan and cholesterol lowering effect and anti-inflammation”; Dr. H Groeller and Prof Huang “The effect of exercise on obesity induced markers of pro-inflammation”; Dr A Aquilina and Prof Huang, “Establishment and utilisation of MALDI-MSI technology for unravelling PI3K/Akt signalling in neuropathology of Schizophrenia”.
(5) International Science Linkages (ISL):
International Linkage is an important part of the CTN’s research plan. In 2009, we have submitted an international linkage proposal “Obesity: Study of functional food molecules in weight control”. This funding scheme is under ISL of Australia and the Chinese Research Council. We would like to build up a strong relationship with Chinese researchers as obesity is also a major health problem in China. Furthermore, we have good links with US researchers in the obesity area. This year we have a joint proposal with Dr Paul MacLean from the Nutrition Centre at the University of Colorado at Denver. It is in our plan to develop this International Science Linkage in the next 3 years.
(6) AstraZeneca of Sweden:
Our obesity research has been supported by AstraZeneca Company for 6 years. We will continue to our collaboration via Prof Len Storlien. Two proposals will be submitted to AstraZeneca: The role of fatty acid de saturates by Prof Storlien, Michell and Huang; and “The role of GPCR12 gene in mental disorder” by Dr Frank, Dr Fernandez and Prof Huang.
(7) MBF Foundation:
We are currently planning to submit a MBF grant (~$390,000) for developing a dietary intervention for treating diet-induced obesity. We plan to submit this proposal for funding in 2009 for 2010-2012.
NARSAD is the largest non-government, donor supported organisation that distributes funds for psychiatric brain and behaviour disorder research in US. The NARSAD Young Investigator Award Program offers up to $30,000 a year for up to 2 years. Our research fellows are in preparation of submitting their research proposal for funding to (NARSAD) in 2010. They are Dr Elisabeth Frank, Dr Chao Deng, Dr Francesca Fernandez and Dr du Bois.