18th Annual Health and Medical Research Awards

Research Australia thanks everyone who joined us at this year’s Australian Health and Medical Research Awards in celebrating the remarkable achievements in health and medical research throughout 2020 and 2021. 

As the national peak body for health and medical research, these prestigious awards are our recognition 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.

And the winners for 2020-21 are…

A big congratulations to all Award winners and highly-commended finalists for their truly amazing efforts and achievements in health and medical research over the past two years.

Health Services Research Award Sponsored by the NSW Government

Winner:  Professor Brett Mitchell, Newcastle University 

Highly commended: Professor Imogen Mitchell & Dr Brett Scholz, ANU and Professor Catherine Mihalopoulos, Deakin University

Data Innovation Award Sponsored by Bupa Health Foundation

Winner: Dr Tracy Dudding-Byth, Hunter New England LHD

Highly commended: Dr Qing Zhong, Children’s Medical Research Institute

Frontiers Research Award Sponsored by ANU

Winner: Dr John Parker, Saluda Medical

Highly commended: Professor Wojciech Chrzanowski, University of Sydney and Robert Newton, Edith Cowan University

Griffith University Discovery Award

Winner: Dr Mo Chen, Griffith University

Highly commended: Dr Natalie Hyde, Deakin University and Dr Heidi Staudacher, Deakin University

Advocacy Award

Winner: Damien, Bob & Debbie Thompson, Chimera Legacy Foundation

Highly commended: Professor Megan Munsie, Melbourne University

Great Australian Philanthropy Award

Winner: Andrew & Jean Miller, Miller Foundation

Highly commended: Mr Bruce Neill, Menzies Institute

GSK Award for Research Excellence

2020 winner: Professor Mark Febbraio, Monash University 

2021 winners: Professor Jamie Cooper, Monash University and Professor Rinaldo Bellomo, Austin Health 

The Peter Wills Medal

Winner: Professor Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer, Federal Department of Health

Thank you to our 2020-21 Awards Sponsors for partnering with us to deliver a wonderful awards program in recognition of our incredible health and medical research sector.

2019 Awards

The winners and highly commended finalists for 2019 were:
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.

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