MRFF funding for RNA-powered ways to treat infectious and viral diseases

Professor Damian Purcell (Dept of Microbiology & Immunology) and research team have received $5 million from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The project 'RNA Powered Antiviral Antibodies' has been funded under the MRFF's mRNA Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure Program - the fund aims to develop Australia's onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.

Research Group Leader, Professor Damien Purcell from the Department of Microbiology & Immunology in the Peter Doherty Institute has over 30 years experience with RNA-research spanning mRNA modification, structure, translation regulation, stability, and viral packaging.

Damien is also part of the collaborative team of Melbourne researchers who received funding last year to establish the Victorian mRNA Innovation HubThe Node and bring together expertise in high containment, in vitro cultivation (eg SARS-CoV-2, influenza), animal infection models, analysis of viral RNA elements, testing of antiviral efficacy and assessment of innate and adaptive antibody and cellular immune responses.

The Australian Government's Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a $20 billion long-term investment supporting Australian health and medical research. The funding supports leading medical researchers to discover new ways to diagnose and care for people with many different and devastating health conditions, ranging from pancreatic cancer to childhood dementia.

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