University of Sydney: Sydney researchers honoured with NHMRC leadership awards

Two University of Sydney researchers have been recognised for their leadership in research at the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Research Excellence Awards at a presentation held in Canberra on 30 March.
Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison congratulated the recipients, Professor Louise Baur AM FAHMS and Professor Julie Redfern, on their awards.

“I am delighted that Louise and Julie have been recognised through these prestigious awards which acknowledge the extraordinary impact they are both having on our health and medical research sector,” said Professor Ivison.

“They have been recognised by their peers for their leadership in childhood obesity research and heart disease care, and their work will continue to improve the lives of people into the future. They are also both outstanding leaders in our university and have contributed so much to the quality and impact of our research.”

Professor Louise Baur
Professor Louise Baur AM FAHMS received the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant – Public Health (Leadership)

Professor Louise Baur – Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award
Professor Louise Baur, a paediatrician and internationally recognised childhood obesity researcher from the Faculty of Medicine and Health, the Charles Perkins Centre and the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, was awarded the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award – Public Health (Leadership).

The award is presented to the highest ranked female researcher in the public health pillar of the Leadership category of the 2021 Investigator Grants.

Professor Baur welcomed the opportunity the award will present for her research team to continue tackling childhood obesity.

“Obesity in children and adolescents is a serious problem with immediate and future complications. My vision is to lead an interdisciplinary program of research in both preventing obesity in childhood and providing safe, effective treatments to children and adolescents living with obesity,” said Professor Baur.

“The Investigator Award provides very welcome funds to support my research teams for the next five years. My work will result in recommendations for targeting early childhood obesity prevention, personalised approaches to obesity treatment, and models of care and costings for paediatric obesity treatment in Australia.”

“I am very grateful for the support of my fellow academic colleagues who assisted me with the grant and in this latest stage of my research. That level of generosity has been fundamental to my success to date and is one of the major reasons why I so value my work with both The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University’s Charles Perkins Centre and Faculty of Medicine and Health.”

Professor Julie Redfern
Professor Julie Redfern received the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award – Health Services (Leadership)

Professor Julie Redfern – Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award
Professor of Public Health, Julie Redfern from the Faculty of Medicine and Health and the Charles Perkins Centre was presented with the Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Grant Award – Health Services (Leadership).

The award is presented to the highest ranked female researcher in the health services pillar of the Leadership category of the 2021 Investigator Grants.

Professor Redfern aims to use her award to continue to improve the care of people with heart disease.

“I am very humbled and proud to be recognised by my peers with this prestigious award from the NHMRC. This award represents many years of hard work and commitment to research, patient care and leadership. As the first person in my family to go to university, an allied health professional (physiotherapy) and a single parent who also lives with a chronic health condition, it gives me confidence that people from all sorts of backgrounds can still achieve great things,” she said.

“Heart disease causes nearly 20 percent of deaths around the world. My research is modernising the care people receive after they leave hospital. I am leading a team of researchers, clinicians and people with heart disease to make care more effective and efficient.

“I am setting up and testing national tracking and monitoring systems, developing and trialling innovative ways to reach and support more patients, while also supporting clinician, researcher and consumer capacity building. This will ultimately improve quality, outcomes, access and efficiency for the system and people living with heart disease.”

Congratulations are also extended to University of Sydney affiliate Professor Trevor Leong from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre for receiving the NHMRC David Cooper Clinical Trials and Cohort Studies Award for research investigating the use of chemoradiotherapy versus chemotherapy for patients with gastric cancer. Professor Leong is leading the Australian-led, international “TOPGEAR” Phase III trial in partnership with the University of Sydney’s NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre and the Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group.

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