Congratulations to the VCRN 2015 Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) award winners and commendees. The inaugural ECCR awards were announced and presented by Kathleen Philip, Chief Allied Health Advisor, at a VCRN Forum at the AMREP Education Centre on Thursday 12 November.
Winner ($1000 Prize) – Allied Health Category
Dr Carmen Pace, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute
Dr Pace’s is a clinical psychologist who combines her research at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, with her clinical role within Eastern Health’s Child and Youth Mental Health Service. The focus of her research is on mental health in parents of preterm infants, and the impact of this on the parent-child relationship and ongoing child development and wellbeing. Dr Pace is a very high achieving clinician-researcher who is set to become an international leader in the areas of parental mental health and parent-infant attachment. Dr Pace plans to use the prize to assist her in attending the World Congress for the World Association of Infant Mental Health in Prague in 2016.
Winner ($1000 Prize) – Medical Category
Dr Elif Ekinci, Austin Health
Dr Ekinci is the head of the Diabetes Unit in the Department of Endocrinology. She has demonstrated extensive leadership skills in organising research, clinical medicine and teaching with the unit. Dr Ekinci’s research interests are in in the effects of dietary salt intake in people with diabetes and detection and management of kidney disease in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people with diabetes. Her research has made important contribution to the field of diabetes and its complications, and has had a direct impact on patient care. She believes this award will greatly benefit her track record and help her in attaining future funding for her research.
Commendation ($500 Prize)
Dr Cylie Williams, Peninsula Health, Monash University
Dr Cylie Williams is a podiatrist and clinical researcher working at Peninsula Health and Monash University. Dr Williams’s research investigates the contributing factors of idiopathic toe walking (ITW), a common gait disorder in children. Her research in this area has led her to be recognised as an international leader. Dr William’s has further made an outstanding contribution to the development of clinician researchers more broadly, both within the podiatry profession and beyond. She believes this award in an important acknowledgement for contribution to the field of clinician led research.
Dr Jacqui Frowen, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Dr Jacqui Frowen is the Clinical Lead Speech Pathologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre. Through her work as a clinician researcher, Dr Frowen has been able to identify and implement clinically-relevant research into improved speech and swallowing outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer, more recently expanding into the area of functional outcomes after treatment for lung cancer. She is dedicated to translational research, ensuring her research findings are used to effect change in patient management. Dr Frowen intends to use the prize to attend the most highly regarded international conference in swallowing disorders in the world, the Dysphagia Research Society’s Annual meeting in Arizona in 2016.