Research Fellow Dr. Laura Grogan is thrilled to have been awarded a prestigious Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA)!
Laura has been awarded $426,742 to undertake the project "Understanding infection tolerance to improve management of wildlife disease" over the coming three years.
"My project aims to investigate tolerance (the ability to limit the detrimental effects of infection) as a key animal defence strategy against disease. It focuses on diseases in natural systems, using the devastating amphibian fungal skin disease, chytridiomycosis, as a model.
By characterising the role and mechanisms of infection tolerance in natural animal systems, my project aims to develop improved strategies for mitigating the impact of infectious diseases in wildlife.
By generating insight into the pathogenesis of the amphibian fungal skin disease chytridiomycosis, it specifically should contribute to the conservation of Australia's unique endemic amphibian fauna, including the focus of the study, the barred frogs of subtropical rainforests.
Expected outcomes include improved understanding of the relative importance of tolerance and resistance, and insight into the key immune and physiologic mechanisms underlying variations in tolerance.
Anticipated benefits include improved strategies for mitigating infectious wildlife diseases via identifying targets for therapeutic interventions, ecological management and assisted-evolution strategies. This project should also benefit amphibian conservation globally."