Tuesday, 22 October 2019

The Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences held its inaugural Health Research Awards on Thursday 3 October to recognise outstanding health researchers and students.

The awards were presented by the Honourable Roger Cook, Deputy Premier; Minister for Health; Mental Health and Mr Zak Kirkup, Shadow Minister for Health; Mental Health. Special guests in attendance included the former Minister for Health Mr John Day, as well as UWA Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Simon Biggs.

Sixteen grants supporting activities in the following research areas were made public: ageing, pharmacy, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, dementia, dental health, Indigenous health, health of the infant, injury prevention, maternal health and mental health. Two major excellence awards were also announced on the evening, the Scholarly+ Scholarships and the Impact Awards.

The Scholarly+ Scholarships aim to ignite a passion for research among UWA medical students and inspire them to join the clinical research workforce. Six outstanding medical students received a Scholarly+ Scholarship to undertake a research project as part of their medical training. The Scholarship includes a living stipend, a small fund for research costs and, most importantly, individual supervision and mentorship from a leading UWA senior clinical academic.

The Impact Awards recognise the achievements of emerging and senior health researchers whose cutting-edge discoveries are revolutionising health treatments in Australia and around the world.

In addition to the awards, the evening also involved a unique ‘masterclass’ in which select academics presented their research on the chosen topic of heart health. These included:

• Dr Lee Nedkoff, School of Population and Global Health “Cardiovascular disease in Western Australia – the size of the problem and its implications”

• Professor Markus Schlaich, UWA Medical School “Treating treatment resistant hypertension”

• Professor Graeme Hankey, UWA Medical School “Stroke: how to prevent it and treat it”

Associate Dean of Research for the Faculty, Professor Osvaldo Almeida, congratulated the researchers and high achieving students recognised at the event.

“Your accomplishments are testimony to the dedication you apply to health research which ultimately benefits patients and the wider community.

“These awards showcase the quality of our research programs and the integration of research into the teaching and learning environment at UWA,” he said.

The awards are philanthropically funded through bequests and donations made to the Faculty and the University, highlighting the importance of community support for advancing health research in WA.

“We thank all the individuals and families for their continued support, as well as the partnerships held between government, the health sector and the broader business community. These networks will help fund the continuation or commencement of programs that will lead to important advances in knowledge and health, will create career paths for our brightest students and, ultimately, will contribute to an increasingly healthy and cohesive society” Professor Almeida said.

UWA and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences gratefully acknowledge the support of The Ada Bartholomew Medical Research Trust, the late Mrs N D Davis, the late Mr Eric Lawrence, the late Ms Dulcie Smith Suraski, the late Mrs Matilda Seaman and The Sigurd and Elsie Ohman Medical Research Fund.

Recipient                         Mentor
Victoria Meadows              Professor Markus Schlaich (Hypertension)
Jack Paterson                   Professor Leon Flicker (Ageing & Dementia)
Joshua Jones                    Professor Graeme Hankey (Stroke)
Clara Ta                             Professor Stephen Stick (Asthma)
Owen Taylor-Williams        Professor Hans Nossent (Arthritis)
Maddison Muller                Professor Christobel Saunders (Cancer)

The 2019 Research Impact Awards are supported by The Ada Bartholomew Medical Research Trust, established through the bequest of the late Mrs Ada Bartholomew which continues to make a significant and valued impact in supporting and recognising health research. UWA and the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences gratefully acknowledge this invaluable support.

Early-Mid Career Research Impact Award
Professor Britta Regli-von Ungern-Sternberg, UWA Medical School
For having a direct and significant impact on the perioperative management of children undergoing anaesthesia.

Early-Mid Career Researcher Media Award
Associate Professor Lisa Wood, School of Population & Global Health
Associate Professor Wood’s research is regularly promoted on Twitter by organisations such as MJA, Public Health Association of Australia, UWA Research, End Homelessness WA, Australian College of Emergency Medicine, Pathway UK, Shelter WA and Shelter NT.

Early-Mid Career Researcher Most Cited Publication Award
Dr Koya Ayonrinde, UWA Medical School
Infant nutrition and maternal obesity influence the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in adolescents.

Senior Research Impact Award
Professor Markus Schlaich, UWA Medical School
For substantial contributions to the development of renal denervation and carotid body modulation as novel therapeutic approaches to hypertension.

For more information about establishing a scholarship or supporting research, contact Kate McKenzie [email protected] from the UWA Development team.


Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences