Honouring career excellence

Biomedical Research Victoria is delighted to announce the recipient of the 2018 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award – Professor Rinaldo Bellomo AO.

Professor Rinaldo Bellomo has an internationally outstanding track record in conducting patient-based research and a three-decade long influence on peers, colleagues, the healthcare sector, patients and the next generation of clinician researchers.

He has published over 1200 peer reviewed publications and is the most cited critical care researcher in the world. Prof Bellomo is also the most cited biomedical investigator in the history of Australian medicine. His research has resulted in the Medical Emergency Team (MET) concept, which is now the standard of care throughout Australian hospitals, all Scandinavian countries, and dozens more.

Prof Bellomo is Director of Intensive Care Research (Austin Hospital), Professor of Intensive Care Medicine (The University of Melbourne) and Senior Research Advisor (Melbourne Health).

When talking about Prof Bellomo mentorship, his nominator, A/Prof Adam Deane, identifies as “one of the many fortunate mid-career clinician researchers to whom he tirelessly provides ongoing support and mentorship”.

The Award will be presented by BioMedVic CEO Prof Jan Tennent at an event to be hosted by Austin Health later in the month.


You can find more information about past recipients of the award here.

Catherine Granger: “The BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Award really made a difference to my career”

Dr Catherine Granger is Head of Physiotherapy Research and Chair of the Allied Health Research and Quality Committee at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiotherapy at The University of Melbourne. In 2017, Catherine won a BioMedVic VCRN Early Career Clinician Researcher Award in recognition of her achievements and commitment to clinical research. In 2018, she was selected by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) as one of the “Top 5 scientists” for the year. For the first time, the 5 scientists were all women, and were identified by ABC as “ambassadors for their fields and role models for future scientists”.

Catherine’s research has been praised because of its relevance. Her work brings insight into the role of exercise and physiotherapy in the treatment of patients with lung cancer; more specifically, Catherine is researching how being physically active can improve outcomes for patients with cancer, such as quality of life and daily functioning. She is also interested in the current models of care within the health system, and how they can be improved to ensure that patients with cancer are advised regarding the benefits of physical activity.

BioMedVic spoke to Catherine about her career and scientific endeavours some months after receiving the BioMedVic VCRN Early Career Clinician Researcher Award and her selection as a “Top 5 scientists for 2018”. Read on to find out how these recent recognitions have impacted her career.


Yours was not a traditional pathway into research. As practicing physiotherapist you got into research after finding some gaps in the literature regarding exercise and lung cancer patients. How did this shape your approach to research?

I had been working for four years in public hospitals in Melbourne as a physiotherapist before starting my PhD, so my academic research has truly complemented my practicing experience. These double skills help me to easily translate research into practice and therefore my studies are clinically meaningful.

How did the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Award impact your work?

It has made a very deep difference. As an early career researcher, my biggest challenge is funding. Regardless of your ideas or team, without financial support you can’t continue your career. The BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award allowed me to travel to two amazing conferences, the Australian Lung Cancer Conference in Sydney and the World Lung Cancer Conference in Canada. Participating in these events was extremely important for subsequent funding, because publicly presenting my research at conferences, networking with other researchers and health professionals… it all helps to build up a track record, improve my CV and raise my profile, which collectively make my grant applications more competitive.

And the results are already visible: this year I have received the biggest project grants of my career from the Cancer Council Victoria, which will enable me to continue my research on lung cancer and exercise. I want to highlight that the BioMedVic ECCR Award really made a difference to my career. I’m very grateful to BioMedVic!

In 2018, you also got selected by the ABC as one of the “Top 5 scientists” for the year. How did that recognition impact your career?

Well, the recognition came with a science communication training that was extremely valuable. We were working alongside science journalists who helped us a lot in the process. We wrote an online media article for the general public, produced a radio segment and podcast for a more specific audience, and filmed engaging social media videos. The whole experience was very rewarding and changed the way I think about communicating science. Now I understand the crucial role that good communication can play for my research, not only in the form of academic papers but also in the way my research findings reach and inform clinical practice and thus can have a positive impact on patients.

Nowadays I’m always looking for new ways to communicate my research. Besides articles, I speak on the radio, present at consumer groups, reach patients and the public via Twitter… I’m trying to get my message out in as many ways as I can!


ABC’s Top 5 scientists 2018. Dr Granger on the right.

What’s the next steps for your career?  

Now it’s time for me to increase my research capacity and grow my team so that we can have a bigger and better impact on clinical practice with patients. My career aspiration is to be a leader of clinical-based cancer exercise research and to generate high-quality research to improve treatment for people with cancer and their outcomes. Particularly, I would like to focus on developing strong skills in randomised control trial best practice.


We wish Catherine all the best in her research career! If you want to learn more, connect with Catherine here.

BioMedVic VCRN Awards Celebrate Leaders in Clinical Research

The unsung heroes of Australian medical research were applauded loudly last Thursday, as BioMedVic held the 2016 VCRN Awards & Networking Event at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

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Research at the Heart of Health

MEMBER FEATURE

THE ROYAL WOMEN’S HOSPITAL MELBOURNE

The Royal Women’s Hospital does more than support the health of Melbourne locals – it is a hub of active research aimed at improving health outcomes for women and children in Victoria and globally.

Over 3,000 patients are currently participating in 62 clinical trials throughout the hospital’s services in nine research centres. The hospital’s recently released 2015 Research Report “Discoveries improving care for women and babies” showcases this research leadership. The Report includes details of the hospital’s clinical trials and translational research in newborn and cancer research, as well as in gynaecology, pregnancy, mental health, infectious diseases, midwifery and maternity, anaesthetics and allied health. Continue reading

2016 ECCR Award winners and commendees

Congratulations to the VCRN 2016 Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award winners and commendees!

Kathleen Philip, Chief Allied Health Advisor of Victoria, presented this year’s Awards at the 2016 VCRN Awards & Networking Event at the Royal Melbourne Hospital on Thursday 8 December.

Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Simon Joosten | Monash Health, Monash University

Dr Joosten is a respiratory and sleep medicine specialist based at Monash Health and an early career research fellow at Monash University, School of Clinical Sciences. He is an outstanding clinician scientist and committed to a translational program set to change the treatment approach for over a million Australians who suffer from obstructive sleep apnoea. Dr Joosten will use the Award to support his travel to the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Washington, DC in May 2017 where he has been invited to present a lecture on the role of body position in obstructive sleep apnoea.

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Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Jeanette Tamplin | Austin Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Tamplin is a music therapist based at Austin Health and a research fellow at the University of Melbourne. She has studied the effects of therapeutic singing intervention on respiratory function and voice for people with quadriplegia, as well as for improving speech in Parkinson’s or stroke patients. This year, she started on a NHMRC-ARC funded Dementia Research Fellowship to explore the benefits of therapeutic choir participation for early-mid stage dementia patients. Dr Tamplin is committed to translating her research outcomes into clinical practice and to educate the public on the benefits of music participation. She plans to use the Award to travel to the 2017 World Congress of Music Therapy in Japan to present her work.

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Commendation ($500 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Yet Hong Khor | Austin Health, University of Melbourne

Dr Khor is a respiratory and sleep physician based at the Institute for Breathing and Sleep at Austin Health and is in the second year of her PhD at the University of Melbourne. She is an outstanding physician and promising clinician scientist, studying the role of supplemental oxygen therapy for patients with interstitial lung disease to improve the disease’s understanding and management. Dr Khor is dedicated to continue working as a clinician researcher and will use the Award to support her travel to the American Thoracic Society International Conference in Washington, DC in May 2017 where she will present the findings of her study.

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Commendation ($500 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Alice Burnett | Royal Children’s Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute

Dr Burnett is a neuropsychologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Neonatal Medicine Department and a postdoctoral fellow at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. As an emerging leader in the newborn medicine research, both Dr Burnett’s clinical and research roles have a common goal – to support the health development of children born with medical challenges. Dr Burnett studies how cognitive and behavioural difficulties present and relate to brain development in children born prematurely and is working to identify early-life predictors that can help clinicians monitor and support development. Dr Burnett will use the Award to travel to the 2017 Pediatric Academic Societies Conference in San Francisco to present her work.

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2016 VCRN Career Recognition Award – Prof Leonard Harrison

Awarded to Professor Leonard C Harrison
Director, Burnet Clinical Research Unit and Consultant Immunologist, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Professor, Population Health and Immunity Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

 

BioMedVic warmly congratulates the recipient of the 2016 VCRN Career Recognition Award – Prof Leonard Harrison.

Prof Harrison was one of the pioneers of research on the immune pathogenesis, pre-clinical diagnosis, prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes in Australia.

He established immune and metabolic testing for individuals with pre-clinical type 1 diabetes, which is now practiced at major paediatric centres. He also changed the paradigm to type 1 diabetes being recognised as an immune disease which laid the groundwork for his prevention trials and for a major reduction in the risk for life-threatening clinical presentation with ketoacidosis.

Beyond his translational research, Prof Harrison has made several basic discoveries, including the mechanism of beta-cell destruction, insulin-induced immune tolerance and epigenetic mechanisms in human T cells.

He has supervised over 40 postgraduate students, many of which have become leaders in their fields of science.

His colleague and nominator, Prof Ingrid Winship, named Prof Harrison an “exemplar” clinician scientist and mentor, stressing that his discoveries and mentorship contributed significantly to Australia’s strength in type 1 diabetes research.

The Award was presented by BioMedVic CEO Prof Jan Tennent during the 2016 VCRN Awards & Networking Event.

2014 VCRN Career Recognition Award – Prof Euan Wallace

Awarded to Professor Euan M Wallace, AM
Head, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Monash University
Director, Obstetric Services, Monash Health

 

Approximately 80 guests attended the 2014 VCRN Career Recognition Award ceremony was hosted by BioMedVic with Monash Health at which Professor Euan Wallace AM was honoured.

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