Awards

Research Excellence Awards 2015

NHMRC Research Excellence Awards winners with NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso and Chair of the NHMRC Council Professor Bruce Robinson

Photo credit: Irene Dowdy 

Rear (L - R): Associate Professor Alex Hewitt, Professor Kirill Alexandrov, Associate Professor Anne Tiedemann, Dr Kim Delbaere, 
Professor Peter Currie, Dr Robert Commons, Associate Professor Bruce Campbell, Professor Stephen Nicholls, 

Front (L - R): Professor Robyn Guymer, Dr Joseph Powell, Professor Billie Giles-Corti, Professor Jane Visvader, Professor Anne Kelso AO, Professor Bruce Robinson, Professor Stephen Davis, Associate Professor Gail Garvey, Professor Justin Cooper-White

Absent: Associate Professor Felice Jacka, Associate Professor Jean Yang

The outstanding achievements of 17 of Australia’s most talented health and medical researchers were celebrated at NHMRC’s annual Research Excellence Awards. The winners were assessed by their peers as meeting the highest national and international standards for their research. They represent the top 17 applicants from more than 6,000 funding applications NHMRC received in 2015. The awards are presented to the top-ranked applicants across NHMRC’s funding schemes. 

Awards

Recipient

Institution

Research project

Top Ranked applicants

Rising Star Award
The award is given to the top-ranked application by an Indigenous researcher in the Early Career Fellowship scheme.

Associate Professor Gail Garvey

Menzies School of Health Research

Improving health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians with cancer

Gustav Nossal Award
The award is named in honour of Sir Gustav Nossal and his pioneering work in the field of immunology. It is awarded to the highest ranked applicant for an NHMRC Postgraduate Scholarship in the field of medical and dental research.

Dr Robert Commons

Menzies School of Health Research

Primaquine radical cure of Plasmodium vivax malaria: a risk-benefit analysis

Marshall and Warren Award
The award is named after Australian Nobel Laureates Professors Barry Marshall and Robin Warren, who were awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The award is made to the applicant with the most highly innovative and potentially transformative Project Grant application.

Professor Justin Cooper-White

The University of Queensland

Targeted direct reprogramming of adult cardiac fibroblasts to functional cardiomyocytes

Project Grant
Project Grants support the creation of new knowledge by funding the best investigator-initiated research project in any area relevant to human health. The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Project Grant scheme.

Professor Peter Currie

Monash University

Mechanisms of muscle stem cell action in injury and disease

Program Grant
Program Grants support teams of high calibre researchers to pursue broad based, multi-disciplinary and collaborative research activities. The award is made to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Program Grant scheme.

Professor Stephen Davis

The University of Melbourne

Saving brain and changing practice in stroke

Development Grant
Development Grants support the commercial development of a product, procedure or service that would result in improved health care, disease prevention or provide health cost savings. The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Development Grant scheme.

Professor Kirill Alexandrov

The University of Queensland

Next generation personal diagnostic devices

Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowships
These fellowships are named after Australian-American Nobel Laureate Elizabeth Blackburn, who was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The fellowships promote and foster the career development of female researchers. The award is made to the highest ranked female applicant in each of the biomedical, clinical and public health pillars of the Research Fellowship scheme.

Biomedical

Professor Jane Visvader

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Deciphering breast cancer heterogeneity to improve breast cancer outcomes

Clinical

Professor Robyn Guymer

Centre for Eye Research Australia

Age-related macular degeneration: A cause and a cure

Public Health

Professor Billie Giles-Corti

The University of Melbourne

Building urban planning and health evidence to inform policy and practice that creates healthy, liveable and equitable communities designed to prevent non-communicable diseases.

Fellowship Awards

Practitioner Fellowship
Practitioner Fellowships support research that results in the translation of evidence into improved clinical practice and health policy, delivering improvements in health and healthcare to Australians. The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Practitioner Fellowship scheme.

Associate Professor Alex Hewitt

University of Tasmania

Molecular profiling to identify therapeutic targets for blinding diseases

Research Fellowship
Research Fellowships support leading health and medical researchers in full-time research. The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in NHMRC’s Research Fellowship scheme.

Professor Stephen Nicholls

South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute

Developing innovative pathways for the prevention of lifelong cardiovascular risk

Career Development Fellowships
Career Development Fellowships support Australia’s early to mid-career health and medical researchers. It helps investigators establish themselves as independent, self-directed researchers. The award is given to the highest ranked applicant in each of the biomedical, clinical, industry and population health pillars of the Career Development Fellowship scheme.

Biomedical
Career Development Fellowship – Level 1

Dr Joseph Powell

The University of Queensland

Control of genome regulation and its role in human disease

Biomedical
Career Development Fellowship – Level 2

Associate Professor Jean Yang

The University of Sydney

Statistical bioinformatics for network based prognostic and precision therapy in complex disease

Clinical
Career Development Fellowship – Level 1

Associate Professor Bruce Campbell

The University of Melbourne 

Optimizing stroke therapy - advanced brain imaging and reperfusion therapies

Industry
Career Development Fellowship – Level 2

Dr Kim Delbaere

Neuroscience Research Australia

Using technology towards effective self-management of fall risk in older adults.

Population Health
Career Development Fellowship – Level 1

Associate Professor Anne Tiedemann

University of Sydney

Prevention of falls to promote healthy ageing:  new approaches and enhanced implementation

Population Health
Career Development Fellowship – Level 2

Associate Professor Felice Jacka

Deakin University

Diet and mental health: translating new knowledge into innovative prevention and treatment strategies