Grant awarded to investigate molecular mechanisms of chronic oral disease

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Professor Eric Reynolds. Photo: Eamon Gallagher

Federal Minister for Health Greg Hunt earlier this month announced the outcomes of the NHMRC’s Investigator Grants.

The highly competitive and prestigious NHMRC Investigator Grants consolidate separate fellowship and research support into one grant scheme that funds outstanding researchers at all career stages.

Professor Eric Reynolds, head of the Melbourne Centre for Oral Health Research, received the highest level ‘Leadership 3’ Investigator Grant—$1,900,000 over five years—to fund his project: ‘The bacterial type IX secretion system in polymicrobial dysbiosis and chronic inflammation’. 

Periodontitis (severe gum disease) affects one in three adults and has been linked with some cancers, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and dementia.  

Professor Reynolds will lead a multidisciplinary team investigating the interaction between disease causing bacteria in the mouth and the immune response which results in destruction of the tooth’s supporting tissues and allows bacteria to enter the blood stream. 

The expected outcome is the development of a novel therapy which will stop progression of disease associated with these pathogens.

This award recognises the sustained high quality of Professor Reynolds’ research building on his strengths in microbiology, protein chemistry, structural biology, and translational research.

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