Staff member in Cath Lab in scrubsStaff in scrubs in the Cath LabStaff in scrubs in the Cath Lab


Professor Rinaldo Bellomo wins the GSK Award for Research Excellence 2021

Rinaldo holding award
Professor Rinaldo Bellomo (right) with Professor Jamie Cooper AO

16 December 2021

Professor Rinaldo Bellomo, Austin Health’s Director of Intensive Care Research and Staff Specialist in Intensive Care, has won the GSK Award for Research Excellence 2021 in conjunction with his colleague Professor Jamie Cooper AO, a Senior Specialist in Intensive Care at The Alfred Hospital. 

The award recognises their innovative research and leadership that has revolutionised critical care medicine on a global scale, including ongoing registries and trials focused on COVID-19 patients in ICU.

The research was undertaken through the Australia and New Zealand intensive Care Research Centre (ANZIC-RC), where professors Rinaldo and Cooper are Directors.

A recent project profiled as part of their receipt of the award has contributed to a global understanding of the impact of highly specialised extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) technology in the management of cardiac arrest, severe cardiac failure and respiratory failure including for COVID-19 patients. 

ECMO operates by pumping and oxygenating patient’s blood outside the body, completely substituting the function of the lungs and heart. In places like US and Australia, it has saved countless lives of COVID-19 patients who were not improving on ventilators.

The $80,000 prize that comes with the award will be used on supporting early and mid-career investigators who are overseeing critical care research like the ECMO study at the ANZIC-RC at Monash University.

“We are driven by wanting to ensure the best care for critically ill patients and finding better ways to treat the conditions they are experiencing,” Prof Bellomo says.

“By providing early-career researchers with the necessary opportunities and resources including seed funding for projects, cutting edge technology and software, and research support; we are supporting discoveries that have strong potential to improve longer-term outcomes and quality of life for patients around the world.”

Professor Bellomo says winning the GSK Award for Research Excellence is testament to the power of collaboration.

“Collaboration is at the heart of medical research. This is a moment we can celebrate the efforts of our global and local colleagues, industry and patients who so generously participate in clinical trials,” he says.