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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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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