ARC Discovery funding round success for our research collaborations

Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan recently announced the outcomes for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Projects for funding starting in 2021. The Discovery Projects scheme aims to expand the knowledge base and research capacity in Australia and support research that will provide economic, commercial, environmental, social and cultural benefits for Australia.

QUT Centre for Data Science participants Dr Dimitri Perrin and Professor Lidia Morawska were awarded funding for their cross-institutional research collaborations:

Multi-country study on health effects of bushfire air pollution

Associate Professor Yuming Guo; Professor Michael Abramson; Professor Guy Marks; Professor Lidia Morawska; Associate Professor Fay Johnston; Dr Jane Heyworth; Associate Professor Geoffrey Morgan; Associate Professor Luke Knibbs; Professor Dr Jonathan Samet; Professor Michelle Bell; Professor Dr Alistair Woodward; Professor Dr Bin Jalaludin; Professor Dr Paulo Saldiva; Associate Professor Simon Hales; Associate Professor Sarah Henderson; Associate Professor Eric Lavigne (through Monash University)

Catastrophic bushfires are a major natural disaster, causing serious air pollution. However, aligning bushfire air pollution and public health policies becomes a significant challenge, because limited studies are available on relationships between bushfire air pollution and human health, particularly for the prolonged exposure. We will characterize the nature of the relationships between bushfire air pollution and mortality/morbidity by developing a multi-country study; and estimate the burden of diseases attributed to bushfire air pollution. This project will provide essential scientific evidence to policy-makers and stakeholders in the development, prioritization and implementation of health protection strategies and policies.

Safer gene editing tools for Australian livestock and biotech industries

Professor Ernst Wolvetang; Dr Dimitri Perrin; Professor Paul Verma (through University of Queensland)

Editing the genome of an organism in an efficient and safe fashion is critical for the livestock and biotechnology industries. While CRISPR-Cas9 has become the method of choice for genome editing, it is known to introduce unwanted “on-target” and “off-target” mutations, limiting its utility. To address this the CI team created a novel genome editing platform technology termed Crackling-CAST that is almost 100% accurate, while retaining the efficiency of the classical Cas9 system. This project will exemplify the capabilities of the novel gene targeting platform in cell types used by the biotechnology and livestock sectors, ensuring its global uptake by these industries and delivering significant economic benefits for Australia.

Read more about QUT’s ARC funding round success.

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