Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant Round 2021

Researchers across the Flinders medical precinct are a step closer to the next big breakthrough, sharing in $750,000 of funding in Flinders Foundation’s annual Health Seed Grant Round.

In all, 31 exciting new projects have received funding through the partnership between Flinders Foundation and Flinders University. The seed grants have been awarded to support new research that has the potential to create positive change within our community.

Funding of up to $25,000 has been awarded to each of the projects, which focus on a variety of illnesses, diseases and social issues ranging from cancer, sleep disorders and neurological conditions, to women’s, maternal and indigenous health. 

The annual health seed grant round, which is funded by donations from generous individuals and funds raised by supporters and organisations, gives researchers the time and resources they need to prove their concepts and generate data, so they can apply for larger sums from national and international funding bodies.

Flinders Foundation Executive Director Ross Verschoor said Flinders Foundation was proud to support the talented researchers working across Flinders University and the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network.

“Medical discoveries are made through research and the only way to advance clinical practice is through research. We’re grateful to our supporters and the South Australian community for helping to fund the dedicated researchers at Flinders, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of people and their families affected by a wide range of illnesses, diseases and social issues,” Ross said.

“Over the years, the seed grant program has led to new discoveries, bold new ways of thinking, and improvements in patient care and treatment.

“It has also been rewarding to see many seed grant recipients go on to win grants of a much larger scale. Recently, 10 Flinders University led research project groups were awarded significant grants through the coveted National Health and Medical Research Council (NHRMC) Ideas Grant scheme.

“Of the 10 successful research groups, eight had previously received seed funding from Flinders Foundation. This funding scheme facilitates substantial projects and delivers results that advance research knowledge and make a difference to people’s health and lives, both locally and globally.”

Flinders University Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Robert Saint thanked Flinders Foundation’s supporters for their continued commitment to funding new research.

“Research has perhaps never been in the spotlight more so than this year, and the importance of health and medical research has never been clearer,” Professor Saint said.

“The support of the foundation and its generous donors and supporters is vital in helping our talented researchers to explore and prove new treatments, or get revolutionary research projects off the ground which could be the catalyst for the next, much-needed breakthrough.” 


2021 Health Seed Grant Round Research Projects

A simple and practical way to measure reflux control

Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is a common condition that affects up to 44 per cent of the western population. GORD occurs when stomach acid refluxes up into the oesophagus due to a faulty valve. This is also known as ‘reflux’. Read More

ACTIVE-DAY: promoting healthier habits in older adults, from hospital to home

The number of older Australians being hospitalised is increasing, and once older adults are admitted to hospital, their time spent moving, sitting and sleeping changes dramatically. Read More

Breaking down barriers for Indigenous Australians with obstructive sleep apnea

New research at Flinders aims to improve health outcomes for Indigenous Australians with obstructive sleep apnea. Read More

Can worms unearth new MND treatments?

Dr Yee Lian Chew is applying her expertise in worms to address the urgent need for new motor neurone disease (MND) treatments. Read More

Cardiac rehabilitation for all Australians

New research at Flinders will address inequalities in cardiovascular care by developing a program tailored to the needs of patients with a low socioeconomic status living in regional, rural and remote Australia. Read More

Early identification of effective sleep apnea treatments

Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a common condition in which the throat narrows or collapses repeatedly during sleep, causing breathing to momentarily stop. Read More

Effective treatments for female sexual pain

Associate Professor Christine Barry has received a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to address a painful condition that affects millions of women and girls worldwide.  Read More

Evaluating the impact of pancreatitis

Pancreatitis is inflammation of the pancreas. It can be either acute, producing temporary symptoms, or chronic, leading to long-term damage. Read More

Exploring new treatments for aggressive blood cancers

New research at Flinders is focused on finding more effective treatment options for people with three aggressive forms of blood cancer. Read More

Focus on enzymes for positive change

Promising Flinders studies could identify new treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer. Read More

Folic acid fortification a factor in gestational diabetes? 

The rate of gestational diabetes in Australia has tripled over the past decade. There are several known contributing factors, including maternal age and obesity, but gestational diabetes is also increasing in pregnant women outside of these at-risk groups.  Read More

Gut feeling – can gut microbiome predict Dementia?

New research at Flinders will explore the relationship between gut microbiology and dementia in a bid to identify people at greatest risk of developing dementia before the onset of symptoms. Read More

How stress affects emotional bodily functions

Excessive or prolonged stress can cause negative changes in the body and lead to illness. However, more research is needed to determine how this occurs and what we can do to minimise the impact of stress on our health. Read More

Improving care for women with disability affected by violence

Women with disability who have suffered violence are the focus of Flinders research aiming to improve healthcare responses. Read More

Improving digital cancer care resources for disadvantaged populations

In Australia, people living with socioeconomic disadvantage, and those living rurally can face challenges with digital technologies, including accessibility, affordability, and education. Read More

Improving immunotherapy for ovarian cancer

New research at Flinders will address the urgent need for improved treatments for ovarian cancer. Read More

Improving school experience for girls with early onset menstruation

Across the world, girls are experiencing their first period (menarche) earlier than ever before. In Australia, the current average age of the onset of menstruation is approximately 12.9 years, but around 12.4 per cent of girls will reach early menarche (before the age of 11). Read More

Machine learning for ear infection diagnosis

Dr Jacqueline Stephens has received a Flinders Foundation Health Seed Grant to investigate the use of machine learning in diagnosing ear disease in children. Read More

Pregnancy protein has guardian potential

Flinders research hopes to uncover better ways to predict the risk of preeclampsia in pregnant women. Read More

Preventing healthcare-associated infections

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) are one of the most common, significant and preventable complications affecting patients. Read More

Primary Sjögren’s syndrome: earlier detection and effective therapies

Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is the second-most common systemic autoimmune disease. Read More

Reducing harmful drinking in midlife women

Dr Belinda Lunnay has received a Flinders Foundation Health Seed grant to investigate whether midlife women are, or can be, sober curious. Read More

Risk factors no match for MS population

High rates of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in people with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) will be the focus of a Flinders research project. Read More

The case for better business in health services

Little research has been undertaken to describe processes for the optimal development of business cases and decision-making in local health services. Read More

The great outdoors: promoting health through bacteria

New research at Flinders will examine the outdoor environment’s potential for supplying health-beneficial butyrate-producing bacteria to people. Read More

The impact of cell metabolism on DNA repair in cancer

The accumulation of unrepaired and mis-repaired DNA damage can lead to cancer development. Read More

Understanding the impact of shift work and sleep disorders in student paramedics

Shift work, typically referred to as work outside of traditional (9am – 6pm) hours, is associated with increased errors, workplace accidents, absenteeism, and poorer health. This is particularly the case in Australian shift workers early in their careers, where rates of workplace injuries are double those of non-shift workers. Read More

Using artificial intelligence to diagnose osteoporosis in hospital patients

Flinders researchers will develop an artificial intelligence system to identify hospital patients at high risk of osteoporosis. Read More

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