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


2020 Highlights

2020 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 28 years. This year, 185 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. The largest group of submissions came from gastroenterology.

These research projects have included Austin Health staff, as well as the university departments and medical research institutes that make up Austin LifeSciences.

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

Online events hosted large audiences and included the Nursing Research Forum, Austin LifeSciences Symposium and Physiotherapy Research Forum. The Plenary Lecture was given by Dr Rob Grenfell, CSIRO Health and Biosecurity, about the epidemiology of coronavirus, with a focus on the strengths of Australia’s public health response and details of vaccine development.

Our ResearchFest award recipients were also recognised at this online gathering.

Research Week Prizes and Awards 2020

Congratulations to the winners of Austin LifeSciences Research Week 2020 prizes and awards.

These are the winners of the awards for 2020. The abstracts of these works are in the abstracts pdf

Professor Graeme Jackson, AMRF Distinguished Scientist Award.
To honour Professor Jackson'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 - Zimeng Ye
Cerebrospinal Fluid Liquid Biopsy for Detection of Somatic Mosaicism in Brain.
Zimeng's work shows that liquid biopsy of cerebrospinal fluid is useful for detecting mutations in brain cells. The technique can be used to replace brain biopsy DNA to diagnose brain specific somatic disorders.

ResearchFest 2020 Encouragement Award - Jack O'Shaughnessy
Automatic Classification of Breast Ultrasound Lesions into Benign and Malignant Categories using Deep Learning
Jack’s work details the use of machine learning to improve the accuracy of interpretation of breast ultrasound images.

The Nursing Research Award – Andrea Driscoll
Cost effectiveness of an inpatient heart failure nurse practitioner service for patients admitted with heart failure.
Andrea Driscoll's work quantifies the economic benefit of Nurse Practitioners and details not only the benefits for patients but also for our health service.

Rob Pierce Memorial Award – Jasun Li
A low-cost 3D printed tool for radial endobronchial ultrasound simulation training.
Jason Li has worked on a project that uses 3D printing to help respiratory specialists maintain the highest level of skill with a very difficult procedure.

Allied Health Research Award- Nicole Sheers
A randomised controlled trial of regular lung volume recruitment vs active control in people with neuromuscular disease.
Nicole Sheers' work is looking at ways of helping people with neuromuscular disease increase the amount of breath they can take.

ONJCRI Scholarship – Anne Huber
DNA methyltransferases drive gastric cancer growth and present a therapy target for gastric cancer.
Anne Huber's work describes a target therapy for gastric cancer that uses part of the cell growth pathway to stop cancer growth.

Austin LifeSciences Discovery Research Award – Lap Hing Chi
Mechanisms of BMP4-mediated suppression of breast cancer metastasis.
Lap Hing Chi showed that bone morphogenetic protein 4 (BMP4), a secreted cytokine, is a potent suppressor of breast cancer metastasis. The work looks at mechanisms to develop novel therapies for metastatic breast cancer.

Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Neuroscience Award – Quentin Chan
Is abnormal frontoparietal network connectivity associated with cognitive impairment in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome?
Quentin Chan looked at severe drug resistant childhood epilepsy, finding that abnormal brain networks do play a role in the disordered physiological processes these patients experience.