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Deakin University’s Dr John Stambas is joining eminent scientists from around the nation to bring about a better understanding of the Hendra virus.
This follows the announcement by the Australian Government of funding of $3 million for eight projects will enable leading scientists to conduct critical research into the Hendra virus, following the recent fresh outbreak in Queensland.
Minister for Health Tanya Plibersek said the research aimed to bring about a better understanding of the virus, the development of management procedures and improved patient treatments.
“The Government is committed to strengthening Australia’s biosecurity defences by funding quality scientific research that helps to protect the nation against Hendra virus,” she said.
Dr Stambas, from Deakin's School of Medicine and based at the CSIRO's Australian Animal Health Laboratory in Geelong, will be working on a project titled: Understanding pathogenicity and immunity in an encephalitic mouse model of Hendra virus infection.
His research will be supported by funding of $562,350.
Understanding of Hendra virus infection and immunity is extremely limited and has been hampered by a lack of appropriate animal models of disease and reagents.
This project will employ a newly-established mouse model to study encephalitis, the most life-threatening manifestation of this infection.
It will use unique, state-of-the-art infrastructure and a plethora of mouse-specific reagents to investigate the mechanisms involved in regulating the host response to infection.
The overall funding of $3 million is part of an overall $12 million collaborative effort between the Commonwealth, NSW and Queensland governments.