The head of a health research programme under the government's National Science Challenges says progress is being made.
The government has released another $420 million for the 11 studies underway.
The project was launched in 2014, to fund research into the biggest science-based issues and opportunities facing the country.
Healthier Lives is looking at major health problems including cancer, obesity, and cardiovascular disease.
Its director, Jim Mann, said researchers were working on healthy environments, culturally focused treatment, and personalised medicine.
"We obviously can't answer all the questions but we are working in those three areas and in the past three or four years we've already made some inroads, and hopefully there'll be some more to come in the next five."
Mr Mann said they were also working to get funding through other avenues to supplement the challenges.