Australian secures award grant from Merck

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A leading Australian researcher has been selected as an award winner in Merck’s Grant for Growth Innovation (GGI) announced at the 55th European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting in Paris.

Dr Andrew Brooks from the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, based in Brisbane, has been selected from a competitive field of applicants for his project targeting the transmembrane linker domain of the growth hormone receptor to develop new drug classes addressing unmet needs in treatment of growth hormone disorders. 

His work has been recognised by an independent selection committee and he will be one of three recipients sharing in a total grant of up to €400,000 per year.

Dr Brooks said, “I am delighted to be a recipient of Merck’s Grant for Growth Innovation. This represents an investment in research will which help advance our understanding of growth hormone disorders which can lead to improve outcomes. My work is focused on creating novel small peptides to modulate signalling from the growth hormone receptor for clinical outcomes.”

“It is inspiring to see the high quality and aspiration of the researchers to whom these grants have been awarded. We recognise that despite advances in treatment and management of growth disorders, we still require a better understanding of these diseases to address the high unmet medical need. We look forward to seeing the results of these projects.” said Dr Steven Hildemann, Global Chief Medical Officer and Head of Global Medical and Safety at Merck's Biopharma business.

38 applications were received from 20 countries and reviewed by an independent Scientific Steering Committee composed of five internationally renowned endocrinologists and researchers. In addition to Dr Brooks, grants were awarded to Dr Antonio Cittadini from Italy and Dr Alexander Augusto de Lima Jorge from Brazil.