Media release: $16.9 million for new Uni of Adelaide research

Reconstructing Australia’s pre-European genetic history, investigating possible cell wall weaknesses in the fungus that causes head blight disease in cereals, developing wearable antennas to monitor the aged, and investigating heat as a risk factor in work-related illness, are amongst the research projects funded under today’s announcement of $16.9 million for new research at the University of Adelaide.

Funding for 46 new research projects has been won under four streams of the Australian Research Council’s Major Grants for 2016, announced this morning at the University of Adelaide by the Minister for Education and Training, Senator Simon Birmingham.

The $16.9 million awarded to the University of Adelaide ─ the best result for three years ─ comprises 68% of the funding coming to South Australia, which is up from 60% last year. It includes:

– $9.9 million for 27 Discovery projects;
– $5.2 million for 14 Discovery Early Career Researcher Awards;
– $1.3 million for 4 Linkage, Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities grants; and
– $635,000 for one Discovery Indigenous project.

The new projects include:

$340,000 awarded to a team led by Professor Christophe Fumeaux to develop a novel class of wearable textile antennas for non-invasive monitoring of older people;
$635,000 awarded to a team led by Mr Raymond Tobler to analyse DNA from historic hair samples collected in the early 20th century to generate a detailed genetic map of Aboriginal Australia and to reconstruct Australia’s pre-European genetic history;
$681,450 to a team led by Professor Vincent Bulone to investigate the role of fungal cell wall enzymes in cell wall stability, in particular looking at Fusarium graminearum which is responsible for head blight disease in cereals;
$295,156 to a team led by Professor Dino Pisaniello to explore the contribution of heat as a risk factor in work-related illness and injury; and
$380,000 to a team led by Professor Mike Griffith to develop methods for better seismic capacity assessment of heritage masonry buildings;
$373,536 to early career researcher Dr Kenji Sumida to develop ‘metal-organic framework super-structures’ as a new materials platform, which has the potential to benefit industry;
$373, 316 to early career researcher Dr Andrew Black to develop new mathematical methodology to understand the early stages of the evolution of multicellular organisms from unicellular ancestors;
$370,000 to early career researcher Dr Stefanie Wege to discover novel components that control how plants acquire and manage chloride, one of the two ions that commonly cause salt stress.

The University’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), Professor Mike Brooks, says: “University of Adelaide’s success in today’s funding announcement reinforces our position among the nation’s leading research universities.

“It’s really pleasing to see so many grants for early career researchers – this promises a great future for University of Adelaide research. The projects enabled by these grants have significant national benefit and will help address the State’s strategic priorities.”

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