Research Excellence Awards 2018 2018-07-12T13:12:40+00:00

Research is vital to improving healthcare outcomes. Our Metro North Research Excellence Awards recognise and reward outstanding achievement in research across all clinical specialties and professions.

The awards attracted 77 stellar submissions from all facilities showcasing a wide variety of research projects and excellent researchers. These contributions are vital to advancing healthcare and it was no easy task for the judges to select 27 finalists across six categories. There were also 13 candidates for Researcher of the Year, more than double the number of candidates last year.

Congratulations to the winners.

Rising Star Award

Winner, Dr Nicole Andrews

Dr Andrews is an occupation therapist who completed her doctoral research in the field of chronic pain management. She was awarded her PhD in 2015 and has already published an impressive 10 first author papers in leading quality journals.

She leads multidisciplinary collaborations and her research is making an impact at a national and international level, influencing change in treatment processes to help patients better pace their activities to manage pain.

Research Support Award

Winner, Professor Ian Yang

Working as a Thoracic Physician while taking on the role as Professor of Medicine and Head of UQ Northside Clinical School, Professor Ian Yang has been a force in supporting research excellence across Metro North, working shoulder to shoulder with both professionals and students to inspire a culture of learning and research that will improve the health of communities.

Ian has established a program of integrated clinical, molecular genetics and cell biology research in airway diseases (asthma and COPD) in the UQ Thoracic Research Centre at TPCH. He has also supported staff and students resulting in 69 refereed journal articles in the past 5 years.

Highly Commended

  • Professor Andre Van Zundert for enabling research through encouragement, mentorship and inspiration
  • Jaimi Greenslade for her research support at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s Emergency and Trauma centre.

Discovery and Innovation Award

Winner, UQ Thoracic Research Centre

The UQ Thoracic Research Centre focuses on identifying improved methods to diagnose lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

Their biomarker research program has trialled new cancer diagnostic techniques to find less invasive, more comfortable diagnostic tests for early intervention in patients.

The team has published 22 journal articles in the past year and collaborated internationally. They are also focusing on nurturing the next generation of researchers, fostering 8 PhD students, with some successfully presenting their research to a world stage such as the World Conference on Lung Cancer in Japan and the European Respiratory Society in Milan.

Highly commended

  • Associate Professor Steven Lane: Targeting genetic drivers to improve outcomes for patients with leukaemia

Clinical Research Award

Winner, Qld Lung Transplant Program Clinical Trials Team

The Queensland Lung Transplant Clinical Trials Team is at the forefront of excellent research into advanced lung disease. The team’s focus is on developing an evidence base for new therapies for severe and life-threatening lung diseases where few or no other treatments exist.

The team are national and international leaders, best known for leading the NHMRC sponsored ASSIS-CLAD trial of stem cell therapy for lung transplant rejection, one of the largest trials ever done.

With over 45 papers published in the past 5 years, the team is providing hope for patients with terminal lung disease. The results of the ASSIST CLAD trial are eagerly awaited by the international community.

Highly Commended

  • Associate Professor Lata Vadlamudi and Associate Professor Jeffrey Craig: Towards precision-based treatment for idiopathic epilepsy.

Complex Health Challenges Award

Winner, Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service

Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service researchers are recognised leaders in Indigenous Mental Health in the criminal justice system.

The researchers led Australia’s first and largest systematic study of the mental health of Indigenous people in custody and were the first to examine the trauma experiences and prevalence of PTSD among Indigenous women in custody, with the results published in national and international journals.

Their findings have translated into substantial improvements in service delivery, specifically the Indigenous Mental Health Intervention programme, a multi-million-dollar Indigenous led service in custody and transitional care settings.

Highly Commended

  • RBWH Nutrition and Dietetics team: Addressing the wicked problem of hospital malnutrition
  • The Adult Cystic Fibrosis Centre: Cross infection in cystic fibrosis

Health Services and Implementation Research Award

Winner, Physiotherapy Screening Clinic Research Team

Over the past five years, the Neurosurgery and Orthopaedic Physiotherapy Screening Clinics research team, consisting of service managers and university based researchers, have pioneered projects that significantly improving the cost and effectiveness of Physiotherapy Screening Clinics.

Their innovative work has been in not only benefited Metro North, but other health services across the state. Their results have influenced a new investment of approximately $6.5 million in changes to service delivery, improving outcomes and reducing waiting times.

Highly Commended

  • The SIMPLE Research Team: Developing a Systematized Interdisciplinary Malnutrition Program for implementation and Evaluation
  • The Speech Pathology-led Telehealth Services research team.

Researcher of the Year

Professor Kwun Fong

Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer deaths in the world, with a huge burden of disease and very poor survival. As a researcher and clinician-scientist, Professor Kwun Fong’s vision is to improve health outcomes for patients with lung cancer and support their families by developing novel high value interventions, then implementing these into clinical practice. His full-time clinical role as a thoracic physician allows him to interact with people with lung cancer.

His early work after completion of his PhD in Brisbane led to highly-cited publications including a 2005 paper in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute on epidermal growth factor receptor gene mutations in lung cancer, which has been cited 1,464 times. His leadership in providing samples from patients with lung cancer, who have consented to be part of The Prince Charles Hospital Lung Bank in the Metro North HHS, led to contribution to a high impact publication in the leading scientific journal, Nature, with The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network.

His track record has been exceptionally productive, with >$20 million awarded in 106 grants, 168 publications, and supervision of >40 HDR students. A multicentre study to test CT screening for lung cancer in 4,000 participants in Australia and Canada. This landmark prospective study will prospectively measure the effectiveness of lung cancer CT screening in Australia.

Kwun is the President of the Asian-Pacific Society of Respirology.

Chief Executive’s Award

Professor Louise Cullen

Professor Louise Cullen’s research is changing practice in our emergency departments.

The ACRE and IMPACT projects are saving crucial time and reducing the pressure on busy EDs by helping identify which patients with chest pains are having heart attacks.

This work is now being rolled out statewide across Queensland public hospital emergency departments and has informed national and international guidelines in chest pain management.

Louise also manages to find time to train the next generation of clinician researchers while participating in numerous collaborations, producing journal articles, and sharing her knowledge and expertise at conferences around the world.

As an advocate for value based healthcare, Louise is also ensuring that those she cares for, works with and trains understand the importance of asking what matters most to our patients.

This is the third year we have held the Metro North Research Excellence Awards. The 2017 Research Excellence Awards attracted 74 high calibre submissions across seven categories.

Thank you to our sponsors

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