ResearchFest scientistA research scientist in the cancer research laboratoryA research scientist in the cancer research laboratory


2021 Highlights

2021 Highlights

Hosting a festival of Research during a pandemic has given Austin LifeSciences researchers the opportunity to share their enthusiasm for research in different ways.

ResearchFest is a key opportunity to showcase our current and emerging research leaders, and the work they’re doing to transform medical treatment and care – both in Australia and across the world.

Our festival of research has been a highlight of the Austin Health academic calendar for 29 years. This year, 200 abstracts were submitted across 32 areas, including Aboriginal health, cancer, neuroscience, nursing, cardiology, respiratory and sleep medicine, and emergency and critical care, to name a few. 

Instead of seeing research displayed on posters and speaking in-person with the authors, participants viewed research posters presented as 3-minute videos displayed across a series of themed online galleries. Abstracts are published here

Hosting a Festival of Research in a pandemic when healthcare is focused on the immediate needs of patients and staff offers special challenges

ResearchFest flexed our collective agility muscles and split the program (October 2021, March 2022) 

Professor Sue Walker, Mercy Hospital for Women, gave an outstanding Plenary lecture about the role of collaboration, resilience and persistence in the attempts to solve two huge issues for expectant parents and their unborn children.  She described a part of the journey to effective treatment for pre-eclampsia, a complication of pregnancy that can have dire outcomes for mother and baby and the surviving family.  Noting that ‘you cant whistle a symphony’ Prof Walker acknowledged the orchestra of her research team completing the lecture with her A list; balancing ambition and altruism, agility and assiduousness and focusing on authenticity

Following the lecture; the awards for early career researchers were announced.  The gathering also honoured Professor Jonathan Cebon, the AMRF Distinguished Scientist for 2021.

Research Week Prizes and Awards 2021

Congratulations to the winners of Austin LifeSciences Research Week 2021 prizes and awards.

These are the winners of the awards for 2021. The abstracts of these works are available here: Austin LifeSciences Research Week Abstracts.

Professor Jonathan Cebon, AMRF Distinguished Scientist Award.
To honour Professor Cebon's contribution to the research community at Austin Health, in both clinical and basic research and his commitment to fostering young people into research and supervision of post-graduate degree students.

Austin Medical Research Foundation Young Investigator Award – Linda Dalic
Electrical Stimulation of Thalamic centromedian nucleus for Epilepsy of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (ESTEL): a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled epilepsy treatment trial.
Linda has demonstrated a successful treatment for a type of epilepsy that is very difficult to treat.

The Nursing Research Award – Priscilla Gates
Feasibility of longitudinal assessment of cancer-related cognitive impairment in people newly diagnosed aggressive lymphoma.
Priscilla's work shows that a comprehensive assessment of cognitive outcomes for patients during initial treatment will assist in reducing the impact of cognitive impairment in lymphoma populations

Rob Pierce Memorial Award – Danielle Wilson
A trial of a position modification device for the prevention of supine sleep during pregnancy.
Danielle showed using a pillow designed to decrease the amount of time an expectant mother spent sleeping on her back (supine position) was not effective in late pregnancy. Supine position at sleep onset is related to a 2.6 times increase in the risk of stillbirth.

Allied Health Research Award- Kim Luong
Elements of the Therapeutic Relationship in CBT for Anxiety Disorders: A Systematic Review.
Kim's work looked at the effectiveness of parts of the way cognitive behavioural therapy is used in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

ONJCRI Scholarship – Ashleigh Poh
Reprogramming myeloid cells to improve anti-tumour responses to immunotherapy.
Ashleigh's work describes a way that immunotherapy could be more effective for tumors that are difficult to treat.

Austin LifeSciences Discovery Research Award – Tian Nie
Estradiol preserves endocortical bone deposition in an adolescent pre-clinical model of gender affirming hormone therapy
Tian Nie looked at the effects of gender affirming hormone therapy (GAHT) administered during puberty on bone microarchitecture in a preclinical model.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Neuroscience Award – Carolina Restrepo
Comparison of White Matter Hyperintensity Abnormalities and Cognitive Performance in Individuals with Low and High Cardiovascular Risk: data from the Diabetes and Dementia (D2) study
Carolina showed that a combination of high cardiovascular risk and type 2 diabetes was associated with a marker of white matter dysfunction, and with deficits in processing speed and attention.