Hunter biologist Dr Matt Dun has been awarded $627,250 to continue his research into the deadly form of brain stem cancer that afflicts his own four-year-old daughter, Josephine.
Dr Dun is in a race against time to find a cure for the aggressive disease, called diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma or DIPG, which largely affects children under the age of 10 and has a one per cent survival rate.
The Federal Government's National Health and Medical Research Council announced the recipients of a $366 million "Investigator Grants" scheme last week.
Researchers based at the University of Newcastle, the Hunter Medical Research Institute and Hunter New England Health received in excess of $10 million through the scheme.
Dr Dun was awarded $628,250 to continue his research at HMRI.
Dr Dun and his team are testing treatments that target the cellular machinery that allows the rapid growth of two forms of aggressive childhood cancers: DIPG and relapsed acute myeloid leukaemia.
The research is currently in a pre-clinical phase.
Dr Dun's team are collaborating with major children's hospitals in the state, as well as hospitals in Switzerland and California as part of the project.
The funding is expected to support Dr Dun's work for five years.
The National Health and Medical Research Council also awarded funding to Laureate Professor Nicholas Talley, Associate Professor Tracy Burrows, Dr Christopher Williams and Dr Lei Jin, who conduct research at the University of Newcastle, HMRI, and Hunter New England Health.