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Congratulations to Dr Lining (Arnold) Ju on being awarded a 2020 Ideas Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for his project Novel ‘Mechano-medicine’ combats deadly sticky blood clots in diabetes.

The project aims to characterise a novel biomechanical mechanism that is associated with mechanical force generated by dynamic blood flow. This mechanism leads to increased blood clotting in diabetes, a discovery previously identified by scientists in the Thrombosis Group, led by Professor Shaun Jackson at HRI.

By better understanding sticky blood clots in diabetes, we can provide potential new treatments to people with diabetes,” says Dr Ju.

“It will help us explain why current anti-clotting drugs in individuals with diabetes are less effective, and which do not take the ‘force effect’ of blood flow into account,” explains Dr Ju.

Dr Ju is an ARC DECRA research fellow within the Thrombosis Group at HRI and was recently appointed to a Senior Lecturership within the new school of biomedical engineering at The University of Sydney, where he is establishing an engineering research group.

This project is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort between HRI, The University of Sydney and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute (VCCRI), with co-investigators including Dr Charles Cox (Mechanobiology Laboratory, VCCRI) and Dr Yuping Yuan (Thrombosis Group, HRI), and complemented by several other associate investigators from the Thrombosis Group at HRI, including Professor Shaun Jackson, Dr Marc Ellis, and UTS researcher Dr Qian (Peter) Su, an affiliate of the Thrombosis Group.

The potential impact of the project is notable as over 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, with new diagnoses occurring every five minutes.

Sadly, up to 70 per cent of deaths from diabetes are caused by platelet driven thrombosis (blood clots), resulting in heart attack and ischemic stroke.

In its second year, the NHMRC Ideas Grants scheme is worth $300 million funded by The Morrison Government to support groundbreaking health and medical research projects across Australia aimed at delivering better treatments, diagnosis and care. The grants support a broad range of research from discovery science through to clinical research, health services and public health research. The scheme sees equal funded rates for female and male chief investigators, and one-quarter of awarded grants led by an early to mid-career researcher. A full list of grant recipients is available to view here: www.nhmrc.gov.au

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