Professor Mark Willcox has been awarded the NHMRC Marshall and Warren Ideas Grant Award for the highest scoring Ideas Grant for 2019.
His Ideas Grant titled “Tackling Hospital Acquired Infections with Peptide Mimics” is in collaboration with Professor Naresh Kumar and Dr Renxun Chen (School of Chemistry UNSW), Professor Cyrille Boyer and Dr Edgar Wong (School of Chemical Engineering, UNSW), Professor David McKenzie (School of Physics, USyd), Associate Professor Natalka Suchowerska (Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, University of Sydney) and Associate Professor Karen Vickery (Macquarie University).
The grant will evaluate whether new antimicrobials (antibiotics) that the team has patented can be bound to the surfaces of medical devices such as catheters and contact lenses and reduce the ability of microbes to adhere to them. The team will investigate the mechanism of action of the compounds and then test the ability of the best performing ones to control infections.
Mark said “Thanks to all who helped put this grant together. It involved people from Australia, USA and Singapore. A truely collaborative team to tackle a huge but often neglected worldwide problem."