Tag: early career researchers

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.

2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards celebrated

The unsung heroes of Australian medical research were celebrated this month at the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards & Networking Lunch held at the VCCC on 9 November.

While research-active health professionals – doctors, nurses and allied health workers – are needed to translate basic biomedical research to the frontline of clinical practice, they do face challenges. Heavy clinical workloads, lack of funding and a lack of institutional support for research activity combine to make engaging in research more and more difficult for hospital-based researchers.

In 2010, Biomedical Research Victoria established the Victorian Clinician Researcher Network (VCRN) to provide a voice for this group, and to advocate on their behalf and for change aimed at improving the capacity for clinicians to conduct research. To recognise and support some of those who have committed themselves to careers as clinician scientists, BioMedVic presents a series of annual awards.

One of the challenges facing clinician researchers is access to mentorship, which inspired the criteria for the BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Career Recognition Award. Nominations are not only assessed on the nominee’s track record in clinical studies but also on their achievement in mentoring other clinician researchers. This year, BioMedVic was pleased to honour and present this award to Prof Monica Slavin, an internationally recognised Infectious Diseases physician, specialising in the identification of risk factors and the early diagnosis and prevention of infection in cancer patients.

At the award presentation, her nominator, Prof Karin Thursky spoke about what inspired her to nominate Prof Slavin and A/Prof Leon Worth, one of Monica’s mentees, recalled how her mentorship shaped his career as a clinician researcher.

Thrilled to have had her career recognised with this Award, Prof Slavin inspired the audience with a sincere and entertaining presentation on the story of her career thus far and with her advice to upcoming clinician researchers.

Her words were especially well received by the four recipients of the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards.

BioMedVic CEO Jan Tennent presented the winners and commendees in the Medical and Allied Health Categories with certificates and prizes, and spoke about the bright future facing these promising researchers. Networking continued over lunch, which was kindly sponsored by the National Centre for Infections in Cancer (NCIC).

BioMedVic warmly congratulates the 2017 winners of the BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards:

Dr Brett Manley | Royal Women’s Hospital – Winner Medical Category

Dr Catherine Granger | Royal Melbourne Hospital & University of Melbourne – Winner Allied Health Category

Dr Kiryu Yap | St Vincent’s Institute & St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne – Commendation Medical Category

Dr Bao Nguyen | University of Melbourne – Commendation Allied Health Category

Read about the outstanding work of these Victorian clinician scientists here.

We look forward to celebrating many more such achievements in future years.

2017 BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher Awards

Congratulations to the 2017 BioMedVic Early Career Clinician Researcher (ECCR) Award winners and commendees!

Prof Jan Tennent, CEO of BioMedVic, presented this year’s Awards at the 2017 BioMedVic Clinician Researcher Awards & Networking Lunch on 9 November at the VCCC.

Winner ($1,000 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Brett Manley | Royal Women’s Hospital

Dr Brett Manley is a neonatologist and early career researcher at the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne. His research aims to improve outcomes for preterm infants by improving the application of early breathing supports and improving longer-term respiratory health by preventing bronchopulmonary dysplasia – the chronic lung disease of prematurity. Since his PhD, Dr Manley has led two multicentre, randomised clinical trials of the non-invasive “nasal high-flow” respiratory support system. His award will contribute to his travel to an international neonatal conference to present the results of his HUNTER trial.

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

Dr Catherine Granger | Royal Melbourne Hospital & University of Melbourne

Dr Catherine Granger is a research physiotherapist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the University of Melbourne. Her research focuses on the role of physical activity and exercise for people with cancer. One of Dr Granger’s current studies is testing the benefit of an exercise and education program to improve function and quality of life for people undergoing lung cancer surgery at Melbourne Health. Her award will contribute to her travel to the European Respiratory Society Conference in Paris in 2018.

Commendation ($500 Prize) – Medical Category

Dr Kiryu Yap | St Vincent’s Institute & St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne

Dr Kiryu Yap is a medical doctor and regenerative therapy researcher at St Vincent’s Institute and St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne. During his PhD, Dr Yap aims to bio-engineer human liver organ-like structures using cells isolated from adult human tissue and induced pluripotent stem cells, and test their therapeutic potential for liver disease. His award will contribute to his travel to the International Liver Congress in France in April 2018.

Commendation ($500 Prize) – Allied Health Category

Dr Bao Nguyen | University of Melbourne

Dr Bao Nguyen is an optometrist and early career researcher at the University of Melbourne. She uses non-invasive methods, including clinical electrophysiology, neuroimaging and perceptual tests, to investigate neuronal changes in the human visual system. Dr Nguyen’s research aims to study healthy ageing and childhood development, and improve outcomes for patients with neurological disorders such as migraine, and ocular diseases such as glaucoma. Her award will contribute to her travel to the Experimental Psychology Conference in 2018.

Congratulations Vic Gov Fellowship Recipients

The three recipients of the Victorian Health and Medical Research Fellowships were announced on July 19. The fellowships are intended to develop initiatives and strategies, leading to clinical or commercial outcomes in the areas of bioinformatics, genomics and/or health services research.

The three recipients are:

  • Dr Allison Milner, to develop initiatives and strategies, in association with workplaces and the business community, to reduce the incidence of mental health and rates of suicide in working age men by linking them into health services.
  • Dr Bernard Pope, to develop solutions to aid the early detection and treatment of colorectal cancer
  • Associate Professor Ilana Ackerman, to research how and why hip and knee replacements can sometimes fail, and develop methods to minimise it

Science Medical Research & Technology Panel Chair Brigitte Smith said “The three fellowships were selected from a quality field of more than 100 eligible applications, and went through a rigorous assessment and shortlisting process to prioritise the key research projects which we are confident will have a real and lasting impact on people’s health and wellbeing.”

BioMedVic is proud of the work it has been doing on behalf of the Victorian Government to roll out these fellowships. And we are now pleased to be supporting the DHHS with its roll out of the Victorian Medical Research Acceleration Fund.

Researcher in Residence – Meet Dr Michelle Hall

Dr Michelle Hall (Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, University of Melbourne) is participating in BioMedVic’s flagship Policy Skills development program, Researcher In Residence. She has been in Canberra for two weeks with Senator Kim Carr, Senator for Victoria in the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

“My glimpse into the parliamentary process has been tremendously insightful, and thanks to BioMedVic and Senator Carr I have made meaningful connections that I hope in time will reduce the burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia and world-wide.” – Dr Michelle Hall
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Researchers Now in Residence

BioMedVic is excited to announce that we have three new placements, Dr Michelle Hall (The University of Melbourne), Dr Joanne Enticott (Monash University/Monash Health) and Dr Despina Ganella (The Florey), to participate in BioMedVic’s flagship Policy Skills development program, ‘Researcher In Residence’ (RiR).

The RiR program provides an opportunity for researchers from BioMedVic member organisations to be placed part-time in the Victorian office of state and federal parliamentarians and government departments.

Group

• Dr Michelle Hall, from the Centre of Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, Department of Physiotherapy, The University of Melbourne, has been in Canberra for the past two weeks with Senator Kim Carr, Senator for Victoria in the Australian Parliament, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research;
• Dr Joanne Enticott, from Southern Synergy, Department of Psychiatry, School of Clinical Sciences Monash Health and Monash University, has taken up her placement in the Office of Health and Medical Research within the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services; and
• Dr Despina Ganella, from The Florey will take up her placement with Adam Bandt MP, Member for Melbourne, Victoria in the Australian Parliament.
BioMedVic CEO, Prof Jan Tennent said, “the RiR program is a 2-way opportunity – for researchers its a chance to understand how policies and priorities are determined within the parliamentary process, while for parliamentarians its an opportunity to engage with research experts on key issues of the day. It’s about both sides of the conversation being better informed and starting to speak the same language.” BioMedVic is proud to be advancing its advocacy on behalf of members through the RiR program

 

STEMM Central Bootcamp Kicks Off

sblogoThe energy in the room was electric with many collaborations sparked at the launch of the STEMM Central Bootcamp for Research Commercialisation on 23rd September. As participants heard presentations and got stuck into activities, they received an inspiring lesson on what research translation and commercialisation entails and the core capabilities required to enable successful outcomes. 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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VCRN 2015 Early Career Clinician Researcher

The 2015 Early Career Clinician Researcher Award winners and commendees.

2015 ECCR Awards – Winners and Commendees

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.

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