Monash University researchers have received almost $1 million in grants from the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) as part of its Genomics Health Futures Mission, for projects involving the use of genomics in testing, diagnosis and treatment of people living with cancers and diseases. Provost and Senior Vice-President, Professor Marc Parlange , said the results demonstrated the breadth of Monash University’s research. “These latest outcomes from Australia’s Medical Research Future Fund demonstrate the remarkable scope of Monash’s leadership in the health sciences, with projects awarded across the STEM disciplines as well as the humanities, arts and social sciences. Two Monash projects that focus on the ethical, legal and social issues around genomics, including regulation, have been funded in the latest MRFF round. This project aims to increase public trust in genomic technologies used to diagnose and prevent mitochondrial disease by developing a best practice framework for their use and implementation in Australia. It will provide a comprehensive analysis of the ethical, legal and social issues that arise in this domain, foster understanding of mitochondrial disease and genomics in the medical and wider Australian community, and present a comprehensive view of current practice in reproductive genomics for mitochondrial disease. This project will collect evidence to inform the scheduled 2022 review of the current industry-led moratorium on the use of genetic test results in life insurance, effective July 2019. Currently, no institution, industry or government body is responsible for monitoring the appropriateness or effectiveness of the moratorium, and this project will serve that critical function. The project’s final report will aim to help shape recommendations and inform future policy in Australia. Achieving adequate regulation in this area is essential to ensure public trust.
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