Posted 13 October 2022

NHMRC grant awarded to Professor Carl Walkley
Professor Carl Walkley

Professor Carl Walkley’s research aimed at understanding the role of cellular RNA editing received a $2.3M boost with an Investigator Grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), announced yesterday by the Federal Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler.

NHMRC Investigator Grants provide the highest-performing researchers with five-year support packages including salary and research program funding, at a range of career stages.

The Level 2 Leadership Grant will enable Carl to further his research into one of the most common forms of RNA modifications in mammals, a process termed Adenosine-to-Inosine RNA editing.

Devastating human diseases result from disruptions to RNA editing, including Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome, a fatal genetic childhood disorder that affects the brain, immune system and skin. The disease is caused by mutation in a gene that edits RNA, called ADAR1, in which Carl is a world expert. On the other hand, too much RNA editing by ADAR1 can be seen in some types of cancer.

Over the next five years, Carl will use animal models to understand the effects of changes in Adenosine-to-Inosine RNA editing, how these contribute towards disease development and exploit this new understanding to find new therapies for diseases like Aicardi-Goutières Syndrome and cancer.

SVI Director Professor Tom Kay said, “This funding scheme is highly competitive and the grant is recognition of the excellence of Carl’s research and his drive to do science that is inspired by discovery and driven by purpose. Congratulations to Carl on this noteworthy achievement.”