Women excel in NHMRC awards

The country’s peak body for health and medical research has recognised three UNSW researchers for their outstanding contributions.

Rebecca Guy 1

The Kirby Institute's Rebecca Guy.

The country’s peak body for health and medical research has recognised three UNSW researchers for their outstanding contributions.

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has presented 20 Excellence Awards to the highest ranking applicants in their funding schemes – and three of them are women from UNSW.

Only UNSW and Monash University received three awards, which are based on peer review of thousands of NHMRC applicants.

The UNSW recipients of the Excellence awards are:

UNSW Associate Professor Jane Butler, who is based at NeuRA, has been awarded the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship, as the highest-ranked female research fellow in the clinical category. Her work could lead to a new understanding of the basic control of respiration and how it changes with disease. Part of the focus is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, obstructive sleep apnoea and breathing muscle control in people with spinal cord injury.

UNSW Associate Professor Rebecca Guy, who is based at the Kirby Institute, was named the top ranked applicant in population health for her work in the prevention of sexually transmissible infections (STI) in Australia, through evaluating new strategies that increase the accessibility of STI testing; information technology to improve the efficiency of health services; and a better understanding of the impact of social media on young people’s sexual health.

Dr Julie Brown, who is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer in UNSW’s School of Medical Sciences based at NeuRA, has been named the top ranked applicant with an industry partner for her research into developing effective and implementable solutions to reduce traffic injury risk.

“By 2020 traffic crashes will be the third leading cause of death and illness worldwide,” she says. “This research works towards real solutions to reduce injury risk among child and elderly car occupants and motorcyclists.”

NHMRC CEO Warwick Anderson says: “The Excellence Awards recognise and reward achievement in the highly competitive health and medical research field. This year’s award winners represent the top 20 of the 5236 applications peer reviewed for funding in 2012.”

Media contact: Susi Hamilton, UNSW Media Office, 0422 934 024