Leading respiratory bodies congratulate the 18 researchers funded in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Investigator Grants, however at a time when the devastating impact of respiratory illness is being felt across the world, the organisations say they’re disappointed to see lung health research continue to receive limited investment when compared to the significant burden on Australian lives.
The Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and Lung Foundation Australia, commend the 18 researchers who together were awarded $18 million in lung health research funding over five-years, but call on the government to significantly increase dedicated lung health research funding to match the impact of respiratory disease on Australian families.
Lung Foundation Australia Chair Professor Christine Jenkins AM says while the organisations are pleased and congratulate the incredible researchers who have received grants, they’re disappointed in the lack of dedicated lung health research funding, just 4.8%, in the almost $400 million pool.
“We know that lung diseases are the second highest health burden in Australia and have a major impact on both the healthcare system and quality of life for patients and carers. Yet, once again, the investment in lung health research is disproportionately low when compared to the burden,” Professor Jenkins said.
“Without improved funding investment young researchers will continue to select other diseases to dedicate their careers to which places Australia at a competitive disadvantage internationally. A strong and vibrant research sector is vital to attract and train early career researchers to advance treatment and management to improve outcomes for the almost 1 in 3 Australians impacted by lung disease and lung cancer. For this to happen, it’s crucial we see increased investment in dedicated research.”
The TSANZ President, Professor Bruce Thompson, says if we’ve learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s the importance of investing in respiratory research.
“We’re disappointed that NHMRC research investment into respiratory health continues to decline. Investment is this space is crucial to attracting the best and brightest young researchers. Without increased investment we will continue to fall further behind and fear for our future capacity,” Professor Thompson said.
“Congratulations to those TSANZ members who have secured funding for their world-leading projects. It is our hope that with greater research investment, we can continue to foster ground-breaking research to ultimately improve outcomes for the millions of Australians impacted by respiratory conditions.”
Lung Foundation Australia and TSANZ collaborate to fund cutting-edge research projects through a competitive, peer-reviewed awards and grants program. Through the program, researchers are making advancements in the prevention, early diagnosis, treatment and potential cures for lung disease and lung cancer.
This program is made possible through the support of industry partners and the incredible generosity of everyday Australians. In this challenging environment, now more than ever, sustained investment is desperately needed to continue to enable life-changing research that can make real and meaningful change.
Find out more about supporting the research program, here:
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For media enquiries:
Media and Communications Coordinator, Lung Foundation Australia
Ph: 07 3251 3654