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Six projects to benefit from research grants

Media Release – November 10

Six projects to benefit from medical research grants

Five new in-depth study projects are to benefit from $277,000 of Canterbury Medical Research Foundation grants.

The research studies by clinical specialist, professors and doctors range from areas such as cancer, heart, bacteria and anaesthetics.

Foundation director Guy Johnson released news of the grants today.

``Such is the demand for medical research funding that 22 applications for major grants were received.

``We are delighted that through annual donations and bequests we are able to assist in such important research projects,’’ he said.

Dr Juliet Pullar and Dr Mark Hampton, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, $45,000: To seek advances in anti-cancer drug therapy. They are hoping to discover if elements found in certain vegetables make cancer cells more likely to be killed by anti-cancer drugs.

Dr Suzanne Benjes and Associate Professor Christine Morris, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, $70,000: To seek better understanding how leukaemia develops. They plan to study and identify genes in patients’ leukaemia cells.

Dr Peter Sykes and Associate Professor John Evans, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, $60,000: They want to increase understanding how endometrial cancer grows and to provide a lead to ways to treat it. They plan to collect fresh cancer tissue from women undergoing surgery.

Dr Geoff Shaw, Dr Geoff Chase, Dr Dominic Lee – Christchurch Hospital and University of Canterbury, $22,000: To develop a system to measure agitation in patients in the intensive care unit (ICU) who are treated with drugs to keep them drowsy and relaxed. This should allow better dosing of the sedating medicines and shorten the patients stay in ICU.

Dr Mark Davis and Professor Mark Richards, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences, $40,000: To test the effect of a new hormone on the heart’s function in normal volunteers and in patients with heart failure. It is hoped that the work will help preserve the heart’s pumping ability after a heart attack.

Dr Dee Richards and Professor Les Toop, Christchurch School of Medicine and Health Sciences $40,000: To study how prevalent staphylococcus bacteria are in the Christchurch community by taking swabs from people seeing their GP. They want to understand how widespread antibiotic resistance is and also help to decide which antibiotic would be best for patients developing infections.

Note: The CRMF was established in 1960 to raise money for health research in Canterbury. Millions of dollars have been allocated to support numerous fields of research in the Canterbury region.


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