Mater Research Awards and Young Investigator Symposium

21/Nov/2019     Research

The Annual Mater Research Awards and Young Investigator Symposium has been held in Brisbane this week recognising the significant contribution of seasoned and emerging Mater researcher talent.

The Mater Research Awards recognises researchers, support staff and others working tirelessly behind the scenes who make significant contributions and medical breakthroughs throughout the year.

Up and coming talent is celebrated at the Young Investigator Symposium, showcasing the best and brightest young researchers with each researcher presenting a short overview of their research.

Mater Research CEO Professor Maher Gandhi reflected on the humble beginnings of Mater Research.

“We began with only eight researchers working on one project together and we are now a world recognised leader in clinical and medical research,” he said.

“Mater Research is fortunate as we are able to translate our research into clinical practice across the hospital turning scientific discovery into the best possible treatment, care, and outcomes for patients.

“We are committed to working closely with Mater Health, Mater Education and Mater Foundation plus our growing network of partners, donors and collaborators to ensure we are at the forefront of medical research in the world.”

Award Recipients

Publication of the Year

Biomedical category

  • Kylie Alexander – Understanding Neurogenic Heterotopic Ossification After Spinal Cord Injury. (Winner)
  • Mitchell Sullivan – Path to a cure. (Runner Up)

Clinical category

  • Shelley Wilkinson – Gestational Weight Gain Guidelines. (Winner)
  • Joshua Tobin – Adventures in immuno-oncology. (Runner Up)
  • Janet Hardy – A randomised double blind controlled trial of methotrimeprazine versus. haloperidol in palliative care patients with cancer related nausea.

Dr David Serisier Award

  • Lena Batoon – With osteomacs it’s going to be alright. (Winner)
  • Harriet Lawford – Imprint: The impact of malaria in pregnancy on infant neurodevelopment.
  • Ashley Meakin – Let’s talk about sex steroids baby!

Young Investigators Showcase – People’s Choice

  • Lisa Gillinder – Hope for autoimmune epilepsy. (Joint Winner)
  • Jessica Turner – From erection to contraction. (Joint Winner)
  • Re-essa Doola – Nutrition and glucose control in critical care.
  • Sophie Hickey – What if we did things differently?
  • Sarah Janssens – Team work in the birthing suite.

Sister Regis Mary Dunne Medal

  • Sailesh Kumar (Winner)
  • Adam Ewing
  • Sandra Richardson
  • Mitchell Sullivan
  • Allison Pettit
  • Kate Irvine
  • Madeline Gough

Sailesh is an integral part of the academic leadership at MRI‐UQ, an outstanding researcher in his own right and an enabler to the productivity and research capacity linking different research teams together.

His articles are published regularly and prolifically and he has made a significant contribution to the Stillbirth CRE and the Qld Family Cohort study.

Sister Eileen Pollard Medal

  • David Prime (Winner)
  • Shelley Wilkinson
  • Sophie Hickey
  • Freddie Becker

David’s work ethic and approach in conquering the hurdles faced have been instrumental in progressing deep brain stimulation.

David is a very compassionate researcher early in his career and very humble with the patients suffering from epilepsy.

Sister Michaeleen Ahern Medal

  • Sam Bora (Winner)
  • Sandra Richardson

Sam has made significant contributions to the Mater Research student cohort through: enhancing the competitiveness of HDR scholarship applications; enhancing honours student recruitment; and outstanding supervision of his students.

Sister Madonna Josey Medal

  • Donna Simson (Winner)
  • Ruth Lee
  • Joydee Frizzell
  • Emma Blake
  • Corinne Alberthsen
  • Georgie Huggett
  • Schible Kurian
  • Melanie Long/Shannon Ryan
  • Sarah Henry
  • Matthew Spitzer

Donna consistently goes above and beyond in her role and has an in-depth knowledge of how Mater works, who to contact and where to go for almost every possible question and problem. She consistently demonstrates the Mercy Values in her professional conduct.

Dr Laurence Catley Clinical Student Award

  • Jessica Turner (Winner)
  • Harriet Lawford
  • Menghuan Song

Despite her busy clinical, UQ teaching and Research team student supervision responsibilities; Jess has been exceptionally productive during her PhD and is joint first author of a manuscript currently under review by The Lancet reporting the results of the RidStress RCT recently completed at the Mater Campus.

Given her achievements and impressive ability to balance her clinical role, mentoring, PhD studies, Jess demonstrates exceptional contributions to Mater Research and the wider community.

Early Career Researcher Award

  • Mitchell Sullivan (Winner)
  • Kavita Bisht
  • Sophie Hickey

Dr Sullivan is an outstanding young chemist an although still at an early stage of his career, his intelligence, insightfulness and hard-working nature make it clear to me that he has a bright future and is likely to be a future independent research leader.

He is an outstanding ambassador for Mater Research in the wider community.

Research Higher Degree Biomedical Student Award

  • Lena Batoon (Winner)
  • Johanna Erbani
  • Ashley Meakin
  • Patricia Gerdes
  • Liam O’Brien

Lena has been incredibly productive during this time and is truly an exceptional HDR student, she has demonstrated strong leadership capability relative to opportunity and has organised events and conference to promote engagement and improve culture at Mater Research and beyond.

She is very active in supporting Mater Foundation including raising funds, organising team participation at fundraising events, volunteering at these events and assisting with donor engagement.

Simon & Nell George Award

  • Vicki Clifton (Winner)
  • Sailesh Kumar
  • Sam Bora

Vicki is an internationally recognised for research on maternal asthma and pregnancy, birth cohort studies, human placental physiology.

Her project will build a comprehensive data repository about health of Queensland babies and their parents enabling comparison with other major birth cohorts in Australia and understand how parental health impacts babies.

Bill Siganto Award

  • Kristen Radford (Winner)
  • Phillip Good
  • Gregor Kijanka

Dr Radford has developed a novel preclinical prototype vaccine for prostate cancer and in collaboration with Mater clinicians has demonstrated potential benefit to patients using this novel vaccine strategy.

This award will be used to develop key international partnerships and translational pathway to progress a Prostate cancer vaccine.

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