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Novel research projects across fields such as health, science and engineering have received 18 Australian Research Council Future Fellowships, awarded to the University of Melbourne from the Australian Government today.

In addition, a further 6 Fellowships were awarded to University of Melbourne-affiliates, Walter and Eliza Hall Medical Research Institute (3), Florey Neuroscience Institutes (2) and Murdoch Children’s research Institute (1).

The University of Melbourne has been awarded more than $12 million as part of the Australian Research Council’s Future Fellowship Scheme announced today by Science and Research Minister Senator Chris Evans.
One recipient, Dr Archil Kobakhidze from the University’s School of Physics will lead a project using new theoretical ideas and worldwide experimental efforts at the Large Hadron Collider with the aim to resolve one of the most profound mysteries of modern physics, the origin of mass in the universe.

He said the results will have an important longstanding impact by promoting innovation culture and public education of science.

Other projects include the development of 'smart’ polymeric materials, which will have the potential to make a significant impact in areas such as healthcare. However, to do this effectively the materials will need to respond intelligently to biological signals.

A project led by Dr Georgina Such from the Melbourne School of Engineering will involve the synthesis and application of ‘smart’ polymer films and particles, which mimic biological behaviour.

Prevention of age-related learning and memory dysfunction with novel compounds has also received funding.

Led by Dr Paul Adlard of the University’s Centre for Neuroscience Research, the project will illuminate the fundamental brain changes that lead to age-related cognitive decline and to then test the validity of this process as a novel therapeutic target. The expected outcome of this work will be a unique approach to the treatment of cognitive decline that will fill a significant unmet need within the community.

Professor James McCluskey Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne said the Future Fellowships offered great opportunity for further investigation into fundamental questions across rich and varied research areas.

“We congratulate all the recipients of this prestigious Federal Government fellowship scheme and wish them well on their research endeavours,” he said.

For more information about the fellowships visit