Research into Cardiovascular and Parkinson’s Diseases the Focus of Menzies’ Funding Success

Research into Cardiovascular and Parkinson’s Diseases the Focus of Menzies’ Funding Success

The latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funding includes support for Parkinson’s and cardiovascular disease research at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research.

Dr Phillip Melton and collaborators received just over $1,275,000 for their research which seeks to understand why women who have had the high blood pressure related condition preeclampsia during pregnancy have an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for women in Australia. Women who experienced preeclampsia have been shown to have a two-to-eight-fold increased risk for cardiovascular disease ten to fifteen years after giving birth. On average this is ten years earlier than for women who had uncomplicated pregnancies.”

“There is currently limited research focused on developing effective screening, follow up and intervention strategies for women after they have had preeclampsia. More sophisticated studies are urgently required to understand the problem and create strategies to reduce short and long term risk and that is the aim of my project,” Dr Melton said.

Professor Tracey Dickson and Dr Ruth Musgrove have received almost $535,000 to look at the causes of Parkinson’s Disease.

“Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disease that has no cure or effective treatment. We know where in the brain the disease begins, but how it spreads is unknown. We are excited to use new techniques, developed with our colleague in Chemistry, Professor Michael Breadmore from the University’s School of Natural Sciences,  to gain  insight into this process which will potentially reveal new treatments.”

Director of the Menzies Institute, Distinguished Professor Alison Venn, congratulated the researchers on their funding success.

“I know the Tasmanian and wider Australian community will appreciate the increased focus on these diseases and I thank the NHMRC for recognising the importance of this research.”