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The Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council has announced the 10 Best Research Projects in Australia 2009 and a JDRF researcher has made the list.

The book and accompanying series of podcasts was launched today by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, the Hon Mark Butler MP, with the aim of encouraging the next generation of health and medical researchers.

“10 of the Best is testament to the excellence and innovation of Australian health and medical research,” Mr Butler said. “These inspiring projects show the challenges, rewards and potential for effecting real change that comes from working in this frontier area of science.”

“We need more researchers like these – individuals with the ingenuity, drive and dedication to unravel the mysteries behind disease and relieve human suffering.’

10 of the Best describes the research led by Professor Len Harrison at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, which is part of a major clinical trial of a promising potential vaccine for type 1 diabetes. The trial is co-funded by the NHMRC and JDRF.

Professor Harrison said “We can now identify individuals many months or years before they develop symptoms and we can prevent the disease in an animal model,” Len says.

“I am passionate that by extending our discoveries into the clinic we will eradicate this disease in humans.”

JDRF’s CEO Mike Wilson congratulated Professor Harrison on the prestigious inclusion of the type 1 diabetes vaccine trial amongst the country’s best research projects. “This is due recognition of the world-leading standard of Australian type 1 diabetes research as well as the significance of Professor Harrison’s work.”

To read the full report, visit the NHMRC website.

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