Dr Joseph Powell 
University of Queensland
2016 | $425,049
24 January 2017

The National Health and Medical Research Council congratulates Dr Joseph Powell from the University of Queensland on winning the annual Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research for 2016.

This prestigious award recognises outstanding individual achievement by a mid-career Australian researcher. It was presented to Dr Powell at the Medical Research Week Dinner hosted by the Australian Society for Medical Research in Melbourne last night.

Dr Powell’s research uses large-scale genomic data to investigate how DNA sequence variants contribute to human disease.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said Dr Powell’s research achievements in the field of statistical genomics make him a highly worthy recipient of the award.

“It is a privilege to honour the achievements of an exceptional researcher whose work is making a significant contribution to our understanding of the genetic basis of human disease.

“I congratulate Dr Powell on this award. His research is developing and exploiting new computational and statistical methods to explore how changes in non-coding DNA cause changes in gene expression that affect disease susceptibility.

“Work at this frontier will ultimately benefit the broader community through new approaches to the control of specific diseases,” Professor Kelso remarked.

Together with the award, Dr Powell receives a $50,000 grant that will help his team at the Institute of Molecular Bioscience at the University of Queensland to further their research.

Initiated in 2000 and based on independent expert review, the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research is awarded to the top-ranked NHMRC Career Development Fellowship recipient. Career Development Fellowships are highly competitive, four-year fellowships that support the most outstanding early- to mid-career health and medical researchers.