Government boosts health research funding

STACEY KIRK
Last updated 15:41 09/06/2014

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The Government has released $78 million in funding for health research projects. 

That's about $18m more than last year, with $56m given to 50 new projects and $20m allocated to four new programmes. A total of $2.02m has been earmarked for 14 Emerging Researcher First Grants.

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Health Minister Tony Ryall made the announcement today as part of this year's funding round for the Health Research Council. 

The Government was able to put forward the extra money this year due to the release of funds from maturing contracts, Joyce said. 

One of the projects was a three-year diabetes prevention trial, which would be conducted across New Zealand, Australia, UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, Spain and Bulgaria.

Professor Sally Poppitt from the University of Auckland will carry out the New Zealand arm of the trial, which aims to test if a higher protein diet is more successful for weight loss and diabetes prevention than the current international best practice of a higher carbohydrate diet.

Two researchers were also given funds to develop novel implants, one which would allow clinicians to wirelessly monitor long term the intracranial pressure, brain temperature and fluid flow of patients with excess fluid on the brain.

The other would develop high strength metal plates and screws that will break down safely in the body.

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