NHMRC presents 2019 Research Excellence Awards


Monday, 16 March, 2020


NHMRC presents 2019 Research Excellence Awards

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recently recognised 13 outstanding Australian researchers at its 2019 Research Excellence Awards.

Research Excellence Awards are awarded each year to top-ranked researchers and teams following peer review of applications to the NHMRC’s highly competitive grant schemes. The winners have all demonstrated exceptional achievement in their chosen research fields.

“The work of awardees has been judged by independent scientific experts as the highest quality and most innovative that NHMRC is supporting through our 2019 funding rounds,” said NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso AO.

“In Australia, we have an incredibly talented pool of health and medical researchers who can take their place among the world’s best.”

One such researcher is Associate Professor James St John, Head of the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research at Griffith University, who took out the 2019 NHMRC Marshall and Warren Innovation Award for his highly innovative and potentially transformative research on self-assembling, self-adhering nerve bridges.

“Peripheral nerve injuries, particularly ones with a large gap, are difficult to repair and patients are often left with permanent paralysis,” said Assoc Prof St John. “Our cutting-edge technology enables us to rapidly create cellular nerve bridges from the patient’s own cells, which we hope will lead to the effective regeneration of the nerves.”

2019 was the first year of NHMRC’s reshaped funding program, designed to encourage innovative research and to strengthen support for high-performing researchers at every career stage. It also saw the introduction of two new awards, the NHMRC Fiona Stanley Synergy Grant Award and the NHMRC Sandra Eades Investigator Grant Award, named in honour of two groundbreaking Australian researchers.

The inaugural recipients of these new awards are also impressive scientists — Professor Erica Wood, whose research seeks to identify how blood use can be improved to achieve better outcomes for seriously ill patients; and Dr Phillippa Taberlay, a proud Tasmanian Aboriginal woman whose research seeks to understand the role of our genes in healthy ageing, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

The full list of NHMRC Research Excellence Awards for 2019 is as follows:

  • NHMRC Peter Doherty Investigator Grant Award (Leadership) — Professor Stuart Tangye, UNSW
  • NHMRC Peter Doherty Investigator Grant Award (Emerging Leadership) — Associate Professor Eric Chow, Monash University
  • NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Basic Science) — Professor Naomi Wray, The University of Queensland
  • NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Clinical Medicine and Science) — Professor Glenda Halliday, University of Sydney
  • NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Public Health Research) — Professor Jo Salmon, Deakin University
  • NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award (Leadership in Health Services Research) — Professor Johanna Westbrook, Macquarie University
  • NHMRC Sandra Eades Investigator Grant Award — Doctor Phillippa Taberlay, University of Tasmania
  • NHMRC Frank Fenner Investigator Grant Award — Doctor Adam Wheatley, University of Melbourne
  • NHMRC Gustav Nossal Postgraduate Scholarship Award — Doctor Olivia Smibert, University of Melbourne
  • NHMRC Marshall and Warren Ideas Grant Award — Professor Mark Willcox, UNSW
  • NHMRC Marshall and Warren Innovation Award — Associate Professor James St John, Griffith University
  • NHMRC Fiona Stanley Synergy Grant Award — Professor Erica Wood, Monash University
  • NHMRC Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Award — Associate Professor Jaquelyne Hughes, Menzies School of Health Research
     

For more information about the awardees, click here.

Photo supplied by Irene Dowdy.

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