National centres share in $7.2m NHMRC research funding

November 2014

A research project that will analyse data on 160,000 people across 31 countries to plug gaps in understanding about the incidence and life course of mental and substance use disorders has been awarded over $700,000 in funding by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The study involves detailed analyses of the largest cross-national epidemiologic study of mental and substance use disorders ever conducted, the World Health Organisation’s World Mental Health Survey. Professor Louisa Degenhardt of the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) will lead the project alongside Associate Professor Tim Slade.

Researchers at NDARC and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI) were also successful in securing NHMRC Early Career Fellowships. NDARC’s Dr Natasa Gisev was awarded $310,000 to support her postdoctoral research investigating the burden, risks and harms caused by pharmaceutical opioid use in Australia. Dr Anne-Marie Laslett, who will join NDRI in 2015, was awarded $324,000 to further her research into the harms to children from others’ drinking, and develop an evidence base for the role of alcohol policy in reducing harms to children.

Four other new projects involving researchers from NDARC and NDRI also received funding from the NHMRC:

  • NDRI’s Professor Tanya Chikritzhs, Professor Dennis Gray and Associate Professor Ted Wilkes are co-investigators on a project to develop, pilot and field test for the first time a program that uses tablet computers to collect self-report data on alcohol use, dependence and harms in Indigenous populations.
  • NDRI’s Professor Dennis Gray and Associate Professor Ted Wilkes are co-investigators on a longitudinal study of Indigenous 10-24 year olds that aims to understand the factors that determine their future health, and to inform the development of health services and health and social policy for this vulnerable group.
  • NDARC’s Professor Jan Copeland and Dr Marian Shanahan are co-investigators on a randomised controlled trial of cannabinoid replacement therapy (Sativex®) for the management of treatment-resistant cannabis dependent patients.
  • NDARC’s Dr Delyse Hutchison is a co-investigator on a 4-year follow up of offspring born to participants in the Australian Temperament Project, which will assess levels of attachment and other developmental milestones among a group of four-year-old children whose parents have been tracked by researchers since 1982. 

All funded projects and fellowships will commence in 2015. 

For more information on 2015 research funding outcomes see the NHMRC's website.