Research Excellence Awards 20202020-10-30T11:47:26+10:00

The awards attracted 66 outstanding submissions and showcases the diverse and far-reaching research projects conducted by individual researchers and teams from across all facilities.

Research is vital in driving change in clinical practice to improve patient outcomes, and it was a difficult task to select 21 finalists across seven categories and 8 candidates for Researcher of the Year.

Congratulations to the winners and highly commended recipients.

2020 Researcher of the Year

Winner, Professor David Paterson

Professor David Paterson is among the most outstanding translation-oriented researchers in the country and is Australia’s most cited Infectious Diseases Physician. His research focuses on the molecular and clinical epidemiology of infections with antibiotic resistant organisms, with the intent of translation of knowledge into optimal prevention and treatment of these infections.

Professor Paterson has consistently been recognised for his research, reflected in an exceptional and consistent capacity for gaining funding over the past 15 years from national and international funding bodies, totalling over $30M from sources such as NIH, CDC, MRFF and NHMRC.

Professor Paterson is the country’s highest cited researcher in the field of Microbiology. He has been in the ISI Thomson Reuters Highly Cited List annually from 2015 to 2019. He has published 477 journal articles, 43 book chapters and 3 books.

Highly Commended: Professor John Fraser

Rising Star Award

Winner, Dr Nicole Marsh

Over the last 10 years, Dr Marsh has made an extraordinary contribution to Nursing and Midwifery Research within MNHHS, in her roles at the Nursing and Midwifery Research Centre, RBWH. After commencing her research journey as a Project Manager for National Health and Medical Research Council-funded trials (DRIP and SAVE, both published in one of the highest-ranking journals in the world – the Lancet), Dr Marsh has gone on to a prolific research career, attracting over $4 Million in research funding and accomplishing 67 peer-reviewed publications since 2012.

In 2019, Dr Marsh attained her PhD; the same year she was successful in her application to the role of Nursing and Midwifery Director, Research a unique and prestigious role responsible for the support of Nursing and Midwifery Research RBWH-wide. Since this time, she has supported and mentored a plethora of nursing, midwifery and interdisciplinary researchers, and has achieved remarkable outcomes.

Highly Commended: Dr Clare Burns

Researcher Support Award

Winner, Associate Professor Karen Whitfield

Associate Professor Karen Whitfield is a clinical pharmacist at RBWH and Associate Professor with the School of Pharmacy at The University of Queensland. She demonstrates a high level of leadership in the area of pharmacy research. She develops, mentors and inspires individuals on their research journey from undergraduate students to senior pharmacists. She supervises, collaborates and advises on a range of research, from small studies through to multisite studies.

She works across boundaries and collaborates with the multidisciplinary team to impact patient care through evidence-based research. Her students have presented their research undertaken within MNHHS locally, nationally and internationally. Her passion and dedication to research is contagious and inspiring, with pharmacists saying, “If you spend too much time with Karen Whitfield, you’ll find yourself enrolled in a PhD”.

Highly Commended: Dr Matthew Roberts

Discovery and Innovation Research Award

Winner, The Silicosis Research Program, The Prince Charles Hospital

Australia is facing a terrifying epidemic of silicosis in workers exposed during the cutting and polishing of engineered stone benchtops. In Queensland alone almost 200 young men have acquired silicosis and many are already gravely ill. Queensland has been at the forefront of the fight against this new occupational lung disease threat with an extensive screening program since 2018. Recognising the gravity of the situation, The Silicosis Research Program team has devoted resources to developing new ways to diagnose, monitor and treat silicosis using a combination of sophisticated laboratory techniques including advanced microscopy, flow cytometry, mass spectrometry, proteomics, metabolomics and scanning electron microscopy. With the support of Metro North, the team’s laboratory discoveries

have translated into a world first program of whole lung lavage or ‘lung washout’. Together, the team has rapidly built on fundamental scientific discoveries to implement a potentially curative treatment program for Queensland’s tradies.

Highly Commended: Critical Care Research Group

Clinical Research Award

Winner, Practical Implementation Of advaNcEd EchocardiogRaphy (PIONEER) Research Group, Echocardiography Laboratory

The echocardiography research group includes academic cardiologists, cardiac scientists and a cardiology research fellow, and was formed to study the clinical implementation of advanced echocardiography. Left ventricular diastolic dysfunction is a powerful predictor of survival following myocardial infarction (MI) and forms an essential component of clinical echocardiography. This research program adopted a comprehensive ‘bench to bedside’ approach to a number of unresolved questions regarding diastolic dysfunction following MI.

In a series of seven inter-related original studies, the PIONEER Research Group team examined basic pathophysiological inter-relationships (between infarct size and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction), haemodynamic correlations (between invasively measured left ventricular filling pressures and echocardiographic variables) and the prognostic implications of diastolic dysfunction in 472 consecutive patients following MI. The prognostic value of contemporary diastolic dysfunction guidelines was validated, prognostic data for a novel diastolic parameter

(minimal left atrial volume) were presented, and a novel risk score for predicting all-cause mortality was developed and validated.

Highly Commended: TPCH Skin Integrity Program

Complex Health Challenges Research

Winner, Allied Health Research Collaborative

The Allied Health Research Collaborative represents five researchers and clinicians with a common goal of improving rehabilitation processes through their research. This includes addressing issues using a multidisciplinary approach, across a range of chronic disease patients.

The group focusses more on vulnerable patients, such as those with multiple diseases or the frail and aging, as they are more likely to be at risk of harm or injury whilst in our care. Its vision is to be a nationally recognised research unit delivering outcomes that support healthy and productive lives. To achieve this, Allied Health Research Collaborative bring together clinicians from Allied Health, Internal Medicine and Nursing to implement an evidence-based practice that improves both in-hospital care and long-term outcomes for patients. There are many disciplines that fall under Allied Health including dietetics, occupational therapy, podiatry, physiotherapy and speech pathology, and to be successful as team, we strive for continuous improvement across each discipline.

Highly Commended: Critical Care Research Group

Health Services and Implementation Research Award

Winner, Partners in Prevention: Understanding and enhancing first responses to suicide crisis situations

Queensland Forensic Mental Health Service (QFMHS) has made substantial, globally unique , research contributions to health services that are informing service delivery improvements for individuals who have a suicide related contact with police or paramedics.

Partners in Prevention: Understanding and Enhancing First Responses to Suicide Crisis Situations (PiP), run by QFMHS, was established in 2017 to address knowledge gaps surrounding police and paramedic responses to individuals in suicide crises, and to inform systems enhancements. PiP includes: a globally unique data linkage study regarding characteristics, pathways and outcomes of individuals who had a suicide

related contact with police or paramedics; literature reviews; service mapping; and an examination of police knowledge, skills, attitudes and confidence in responding to suicide crisis situations. Research is supported by consultation with individuals with lived experience of suicide. PiP has shaped Mental Health Liaison Services delivered in the Police Communications Centre and Queensland Ambulance Service.

Professor Joan Webster Nursing and Midwifery Award

Winner, Professor Paul Fulbrook

Professor Paul Fulbrook established the Nursing Research and Practice Development Centre (NRPDC) at The Prince Charles Hospital (TPCH) in 2010 as a collaborative research partnership between the nursing services at TPCH and the School of Nursing, Midwifery and Paramedicine of Australian Catholic University.

Through Paul’s directorship, the centre has enhanced nursing research capacity through high-quality research studies and publications, successful grant applications, graduation of local nurses from higher-degree research studies and collaboration with researchers across Metro North. As a recognised leader in critical care nursing, Paul receives many International guest speaker invitations. Paul’s focus on pressure injury (bedsore) prevention research has led to significant international recognition for Metro North research through four research citations in the most current International pressure injury (PI) prevention guidelines and national recognition via awards, specific research acknowledgement in accreditation surveys and citations in national PI prevention guidelines.

Chief Executive Award

Winner, Dr Susan de Jersey

Dr Susan de Jersey is a Metro North Clinician Research Fellow within the Perinatal Research Centre at the Centre for Clinical Research.

Susan is an Advanced Accredited Practicing Dietitian with a PhD from Queensland University of Technology, a Masters of Public Health from the University of Queensland and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement Studies (QUT).

Susan’s research focusses on clinically relevant perinatal health concerns and translation into clinical practice. She has a national reputation as an expert and leader in early life nutrition. Her program of research is focussed on understanding the role of weight and nutrition in improving outcomes for mothers and their offspring in the reproductive years.

Susan is a clinical leader to a team of dietitians working in antenatal care across Metro North and provides care to women and their families within the antenatal clinic at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Susan’s team work to implement and evaluate routine practice changes to ensure women are provided with evidence informed care.

Thank you to our sponsors:

TPCH Foundation