OUR 18th Health and Medical Research Awards

Research Australia is pleased to confirm that the 2020 Annual Health and Medical Research Awards will be moved to late 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19 on travel and social distancing.  It will still be held in Sydney at the Four Seasons Hotel.  The new date is Thursday December 9.  

As the national peak body for health and medical research, these prestigious awards are our unique celebration of the outstanding efforts and achievements of individuals and teams who drive and support the opportunities that health and medical innovation bring to each and every one of our lives.

Acknowledging talent and excellence in our sector is not only a key part of Research Australia’s role in advocacy for health and medical research, it is also paramount to encouraging future generations of great researchers.

The Awards are nominated by Research Australia’s Members and decided by the Research Australia Awards Subcommittee and Board of Directors.  Just as nominating plays such a vital role to ensure the success of our annual Awards, so too does showing your support by attending this glittering event.

We now invite you all to book your tickets for the 2020-21 Gala Dinner and Award Ceremony on Thursday December 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

We are fortunate to be able to host the event complying with the social distancing rules. However, and obviously, not if lock downs are in place. If this is the unfortunate case, we will advise of the alternative arrangements.

Please join us for the announcement of the winners, to honour all the finalists and nominees, and to celebrate the extraordinary progress being made in the health and medical research sector.

To encourage participation from students and early to mid-career researchers, we allocate a limited number of specially priced tickets.  Please contact us awards@researchaustralia.org to secure a specially priced ticket.

Book here: https://events.humanitix.com/2020-21-research-australia-awards

Award categories for 2020-21:

    • Frontiers Award Sponsored by ANU
    • Griffith University Discovery Award
    • Peter Wills Medal
    • Advocacy Award
    • Philanthropy Award
    • Data Innovation Award Sponsored by Bupa Health Foundation
    • Health Services Research Award Sponsored by the NSW Government
    • GSK Award for Research Excellence

And the finalists for 2020-21 are…

We are delighted to name and congratulate the finalists for the 2020-21 Awards in the five of the Award categories.  The Peter Wills Award and Philanthropy Award have outright winners and will be announced at the Awards as will the winner of the 2021 GSK Award for Research.

Listed in surname alphabetical order

Health Services Award Sponsored by the NSW Government

Professor Julie Byles – Newcastle University

Nominated by Professor Kichu Nair, Newcastle University & Professor Brian Kelly, HCF Research Foundation

Professor David Hunter – The University of Sydney

Nominated by Professor Manuela Ferreira & Professor Robyn Ward, The University of Sydney

Professor Catherine Mihalopoulos – Deakin University

Nominated by Professor Rachel Huxley & Professor Patricia Livingston, Deakin University

Professor Brett Mitchell – Newcastle University 

Nominated by Professor Rachael Morton, HSRAANZ & Wayne Adams, South Western Sydney LHD

Professor Imogen Mitchell & A/Professor Brett Scholz, ANU

Nominated by Professor Zsuzsorka Kecks & Professor Chirstopher Nolan, ANU

Professor William Rawlinson – UNSW Sydney

Nominated by Prof Ian Jacobs, UNSW Sydney & Prof Christopher Goodnow, Garvan Institute

Data Innovation Award Sponsored by Bupa Health Foundation

Dr Michelle Ananda-Rajah, Monash University

Nominated By Prof Geoff Webb, Monash University & A/Prof Sharon Chenn, ICPMR, Westmead Hospital.

A/Professor Kathryn Backholer, Deakin University

Nominated By Prof Anna Peeters, Deakin University & Dr Jane Martin, Curtin University

Dr Tracy Dudding-Byth, Hunter New England LHD

Nominated By Professor John Attia, Newcastle University & Jane Gray, Cancer Council Victoria

A/Professor Debbie Scott, on behalf of National Ambulance Surveillance System (NASS)

Nominated By Georgie Harman, Beyond Blue & Mr Killick-Moran, AIHW

Dr Qing Zhong (ProCan Team), Children’s Medical Research Institute

Nominated By Maxine Morrison & Professor Roger Reddel AO, Children’s Medical Research Institute

Frontiers Award Sponsored by ANU

Professor Jonathan Baell, Professor Anne Voss & A/Professor Tim Thomas, Monash University & WEHI

Nominated by Prof Douglas Hilton, WEHI & Prof Chris Porter, Monash University

A/Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski, Sydney University

Nominated by Prof Susan Pond, Sydney University & Dr Riccardo Natoli, ANU

Professor Maher Gandhi, Mater Research

Nominated by Prof Geoff McColl University of Queensland & Delaine Smith, Australasian Leukaemia & Lymphoma Group

A/Professor Andrew Gardner, University of Newcastle

Nominated by Prof Kevin Hall, University of Newcastle & Prof Christopher Levi, SPHERE

Dr John Parker, Saluda Medical

Nominated by Scientia Prof Nigel Lovell, UNSW Sydney & Dr David Skellern, RoZetta Institute

Professor Robert Newton, Edith Cowan University

Nominated by Prof Steve Chapman & Prof Caroline Finch, Edith Cowan University

Griffith University Discovery Award

Dr Mo Chen, Griffith University

Nominated by A/Prof James St John, Griffith University & A/Prof Jeremy Crook, University of Wollongong.

Dr Larissa Dirr, Griffith University

Nominated by Prof Mark Von Itzstein & A/Prof Daniel Kolarich, Griffith University

Dr Natalie Hyde, Deakin University

Nominated by Prof Julie Pasco & Prof Patricia Livingston, Deakin University

Dr Danielle Ingle, ANU

Nominated by Prof Benjamin Howden & Prof Deborah Williamson, University of Melbourne

Dr Jiao Jiao Li, University of Technology Sydney

Nominated by Prof Hala Zreiqat, University of Sydney & Prof Joanne Tipper, UTS

Dr Heidi Staudacher, Deakin University

Nominated by Prof Felice Jacka, Deakin University & Prof Kevin Whelan, King’s College London

Advocacy Award

Dr Lee Ashton, Newcastle University

Nominated by Prof John Attia, Newcastle University & Amy Tribe, nib Foundation

Professor Megan Munsie, Melbourne University

Nominated by Prof Melissa Little, MCRI & Prof Christine Anne Wells, University of Melbourne

Dr Christopher Pettigrew, National Breast Cancer Foundation

Nominated by Prof David Currow, Cancer Institute NSW & Prof Roger Reddel, MCRI

Damien, Bob & Debbie Thompson, Chimera Legacy Foundation

Nominated by Prof Fabienne Mackay & Prof David Whiteman, QIMR Berghofer

Please send any queries to awards@researchaustralia.org

Thank you to our 2020-21 Sponsors for these Awards.  We look forward to partnering with you to delivery yet another incredible program thanks to your generous support.

2019 Awards

Last year, the winners and highly commended finalists were as follows:
Please click on the winners name or organisation to view their promotional video from the Awards Ceremony.

Peter Wills Medal


Professor Kathryn North AC FAHMS
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute of Medical Research

Great Australian Philanthropy Award


Mrs Pamela Galli
The Lorenzo and Pamela Galli Charitable Trust

Health Services Research Award Sponsored by the Victorian Government


Professor Libby Roughead
University of South Australia

Highly Commended Finalists

Professor Glenn Marshall AM FAHMS
Children’s Cancer Institute

Data Innovation Award Sponsored by Bupa Health Foundation


Professor John Lynch FAHMS
The University of Adelaide

Highly Commended Finalists

Lifespan Data Team, led by Mathew Phillips
Black Dog Institute

Griffith University Discovery Award


Dr Christine Keenan
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research

Highly Commended Finalists

Dr Alexandra Bannach-Brown
Bond University

GSK Award for Research Excellence


Professor Brendan Crabb AC FAHMS
Burnet Institute

Advocacy Award


Professor Gordon Lynch
The University of Melbourne

Highly Commended Finalists

Annabelle Wilson
Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

Duncan McPherson OAM
Australia New Zealand Gynaecological Oncology Group (ANZGOG)

Frontiers Research Award (NEW)


Associate Professor Jeremy Crook and Team
University of Wollongong Australia

Highly Commended Finalists

Dr Lisa Gillinder
Mater Medical Research Institute

Professor Sailesh Kumar
Mater Medical Research Institute


A most heartfelt thank you to all the people who nominated for the Awards this year.  This event would not be the success it is without the nominators and sponsors who make it such a unique celebration of our progress, innovation, leadership and philanthropy in health and medical research.

To view more photos from the 2019 Awards Ceremony please click here.

Other 2019 Health and Medical Research Award Finalists
(in alphabetical order)

Thank you to everyone who nominated such worthy contributors for this year’s Awards. The calibre of the nominations was truly remarkable.  We are delighted to announce the remaining finalists in three of the categories. 

Griffith University Discovery Award

Dr Berhan Ayele Haile
The Burnet Institute

Dr Lucia Romani
UNSW Sydney

Health Services Research Award

Professor Claire Jackson
University of Queensland

Professor Karin Thursky
Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre & Royal Melbourne Hospital

Data Innovation Award

Associate Professor Adam Dunn
Macquarie University

Professor David Wilson
Burnet Institute

Sincere congratulations to the finalists for their valuable contribution to the health and medical research sector.

For enquiries about sponsorship or attendance please contact Sally Shepherd on 02 9295 8545 or email sally.shepherd@researchaustalia.org

You can see a full list of previous Award winners here.