Early career research grants
The Grant Family Fund is a biennial grant opportunity made possible by a generous bequest from the estate of the Late Faye Grant.
First awarded in 2021, the funding provides grants to early career researchers for innovative and creative “blue sky” research in the field of macular disease.
The Grant Family Fund seeks to challenge and shift current paradigms and/or have a major impact on macular disease research through studies that creatively:
- develop or use novel research concepts, approaches, methodologies, technologies or interventions
- propose a reinterpretation, refinement, improvement or new application of existing theoretical concepts, approaches, methodologies, technologies or interventions
- integrate and adapt concepts, approaches, methodologies, technologies or interventions from other research fields or disciplines for a new purpose or in a new way.
2021 Grant Family Fund recipients
MDFA first allocated Grant Family Fund support in May 2021, to the following two researchers:
Dr Ting Zhang
Dr Ting Zhang is from the Save Sight Institute, University of Sydney.
Project title: Activating endogenous phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) to treat age-related macular degeneration with the help of a Müller cell-specific lipid nanocarrier.
The project will look at age-related macular degeneration at a cellular level. It will consider the role of an important enzyme in combating oxidative and mitochondrial stress to particular retinal cells.
Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero
Dr Anai Gonzalez Cordero is from the University of Sydney.
Project title: Creating a macula in retinal organoids.
This project will create a macula-containing organoid, ‘mini organs’, that will then be used as perfect laboratory models for macular degeneration.
Macular tissue can be used as a source of cells for replacement therapies and used to test the efficacy of potential therapies, promising to ameliorate the sight loss of millions of people.
This stream of grant funding is available to early career researchers that have not held a substantial grant such as NHMRC or equivalent. Researchers without an advanced degree can apply provided that they have an appropriate mentor. Researchers working in any field of research relevant to macular disease are eligible to apply. The primary investigator must be based in an Australian institution.
Please register an interest to be informed about the next round of the Grant Family Fund.