Menzies secures critical funding for malaria and tropical health research 

Professor Nick Anstey was recognised for his sustained track record of significant research and his leadership in the field

The millions of people worldwide who suffer from malaria and other tropical infections each year will benefit from the awarding of a federal fellowship to one of the country's leading clinical researchers in tropical health.

Professor Nick Anstey, Head of Menzies School of Health Research’s (Menzies) Global and Tropical Health Division, was awarded the prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Practitioner Fellowship, valued at $532,630 as part of the latest round of NHMRC funding.

Malaria causes over 200 million clinical infections a year, and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the Asia-Pacific region. Professor Anstey will use the NHMRC grant to extend his ground-breaking research towards the better treatment of malaria and other tropical infectious diseases prevalent in our region.

Practitioner Fellowships are awarded to the top 10 per cent of active clinicians in Australia to undertake research that is linked to their clinical practice.

Under Professor Anstey’s direction, the Menzies Global Health team has been working with partners in national malaria control programs, research institutes and healthcare providers to achieve a regional agenda quantifying the burden of malaria, investigating mechanisms of disease, novel treatment strategies, facilitating better practice, building local capacity and monitoring the impact of policy changes.

Professor Anstey was recognised for his sustained track record of significant research and his leadership in the field.

“Our work focuses on better understanding how malaria parasites cause severe disease and death, and how we can use this information to better treat patients.

“Through improved knowledge of how patients respond to the different malaria parasites, we are identifying better ways to prevent and treat malaria in different environments.

“We are undertaking clinical trials with partners in Asia to determine best treatments. We also work with our partners in the region to facilitate policy change and then monitor the impact of such change in the health of communities.”

Professor Anstey thanked the NHMRC for granting the Fellowship and the many leading clinicians and scientists he works with both in Darwin and the Asia-Pacific region.

The NHMRC Practitioner Fellowships provide support for active clinicians and public health or health services professionals to undertake research that is linked to their practice or policy. Professor Anstey links his tropical diseases research to his clinical role as an infectious disease specialist at Royal Darwin Hospital.