$125 million injection for medical research

Medical researchers are buoyed by the federal Government's $125 million funding pledge.

Medical researchers are buoyed by the federal Government's $125 million funding pledge.

Researchers and scientists trying to tackle problems in health and medicine such as cancer, dementia and concussions in sport have been given a $125 million funding injection.

Research into tropical diseases, mental health and indigenous health will also benefit from the five-year federal funding package.

Federal Health minister Greg Hunt awarded the funding to 110 projects and 232 researchers on Saturday in his first act since taking on the portfolio last month.

Almost $40 million will be pumped into studying cancer, with Mr Hunt insistent more needs to be done to combat the deadly disease.

“No country is doing better in the fight against cancer than Australia – our survival rates are at world’s best,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

“But we do know that more than 130,000 people are likely to be diagnosed with some form of cancer this year, tragically more than 47,000 will lose that battle in all likelihood.”

Joseph Trapani, a senior oncologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, said securing the five-year deal was like striking gold.

“To do really big science, the sorts of discoveries that we are now rolling out to patients, takes long-term funding certainty,” he said as he stood alongside the minister.

“We’re fortunate enough, we feel privileged that this is the fourth time we’ve received five years of funding, so this will take us through to 2022.”

Professor Trapani is hopeful discoveries will flow from the funding.

“But many of these bigger, blue sky, collaborative projects really take a long time to get off the ground,” he said.

“So the far-sightedness of the schemes like this are absolutely critical to these really big achievements coming through.”



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