A funding boost for James Cook University’s tropical research centres will aid in the prevention of tropical diseases that plague the state’s north.

An extra $84 million will be injected into developing vaccines for dengue and other mosquito-borne viruses in tropical north Queensland.

The federal and state funding will go toward James Cook University’s (JCU) Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine to help fight and prevent tropical illnesses.

Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne says the research will help protect Australians from the increasing threat of infectious diseases.

“It will also help Australia to be an even better neighbour in our region, with research that could benefit people in countries including PNG and Indonesia,” he said.

JCU studies include research in virology and disease control as well as development of new treatments and vaccines.

Queensland’s Science Minister Ian Walker said dengue, Q fever, malaria and tuberculosis all pose threats to the state’s north and finding preventions was a priority.

The funds will be distributed to JCU research centres in Cairns, the Torres Strait Islands, Townsville and Mackay.