Research Establishment Fellowships

2020 recipients

Associate Professor Rebekah Ahmed
Croxon Research Establishment Fellowship for Alzheimer Disease Research ($75,000)
'Sleep, autonomic and physiological changes: broadening our understanding in neurodegeneration'

Associate Professor Rebekah AhmedAssociate Professor Rebekah Ahmed is a NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the Brain and Mind Centre and staff specialist neurologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where she directs the multidisciplinary Memory and Cognition Clinic. She graduated from medicine at the University of Adelaide, receiving the University Medal, and completed her neurology training at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. Rebekah was awarded the Australian and New Zealand Association of Neurology Fellowship to the National Hospital of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London and completed a Clinical Research Fellowship at the Dementia Research Centre, University College London. Her PhD focused on eating and metabolic abnormalities in frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Rebekah is a clinician scientist with her research focusing on metabolic and physiological biomarkers in neurodegeneration.

Dr Helen Barrett
RACP ESA Research Establishment Fellowship in Endocrinology ($50,000)
'The role of increased gut permeability in hypertensive disorders of pregnancy'

Dr Helen BarrettDr Helen Barrett is an obstetric physician and endocrinologist, and the Director of Endocrinology at the Mater Hospital Brisbane. She's also a senior research fellow with Mater Research and holds an NHMRC Early Career Research Fellowship. Helen has a strong interest in improving the outcomes of complicated pregnancy, with a particular focus on maternal obesity, diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy. Her current research continues to explore maternal metabolism, with emphasis on the role of the microbiome.

Dr Rachel Joelle Black
Barbara Cameron ARA Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Reassessing the Mortality Gap in Rheumatoid Arthritis in Australia'

Dr Rachel BlackDr Rachel Black completed her MBBS at the University of Adelaide in 2004, and received her RACP Fellowship in 2012, specialising in rheumatology. In 2013 she was awarded the prestigious Ken Muirden Overseas Training Fellowship and spent a year in the UK, where she commenced her PhD with the Arthritis Research UK Centre for Epidemiology at the University of Manchester. Since her return to Adelaide in 2014, Rachel has worked in both public and private settings and currently works as a consultant rheumatologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

She continued her PhD on a part-time basis, having completed this in 2019 with a Dean’s Commendation. Her thesis describes a series of work looking at the epidemiology and patient perspectives of glucocorticoid use in rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic diseases. Rachel was the inaugural fellow and is an ongoing participant in the Outcomes in Rheumatology (OMERACT) Glucocorticoid Working Group and was an invited participant in the OMERACT Emerging Leaders Program in 2018. She is currently on the steering committee for two Australian Rheumatology Association special interest groups – Australian Rheumatology Association Database (ARAD) and Early Career Group (ECG). Her goal for the future is to continue her epidemiological research in combination with her clinical work, as a clinician researcher.

Dr Ada Cheung
Cottrell Research Establishment Fellowship ($75,000)
'Anti-androgens in transgender women: a randomised controlled trial'

Dr Ada CheungDr Ada Cheung is an endocrinologist at Austin Health and an NHMRC research fellow at the University of Melbourne. She leads the Trans Medical Research Group and works with trans community members to improve health outcomes. Her research findings have contributed to the investment in two new multidisciplinary gender clinics in Victoria and a statewide training program for health professionals in trans health and new national guidelines in the hormonal management of trans and gender diverse individuals. Ada has won numerous national and international awards for her research including the only Australian to win a US Endocrine Society Early Investigator Award. Ada was also a finalist for the Premiers award for health and medical research.

Associate Professor Philip Andrew Clayton
The Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship ($90,000)
'Leveraging Australia's kidney transplant registry to improve clinical policy and practice'

Associate Professor Philip ClaytonAssociate Professor Philip Clayton is a senior consultant nephrologist and epidemiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. He completed his clinical nephrology training in 2010 at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. He then worked as the Australia and New Zealand Dialysis and Transplant (ANZDATA) Registry Epidemiology Fellow, concurrently completing a Masters in Clinical Epidemiology followed by a PhD in kidney transplant epidemiology. Philip received the Kidney Health Australia Prize for best clinical presentation, among other prizes, at the 2011 Transplantation Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) Annual Scientific Meeting. He also received the Peter Bancroft Prize for PhD thesis acceptance without emendations or amendments. During this time, Philip also worked as a senior lecturer in Evidence Based Medicine at the University of Sydney, establishing a Research Methods course for its medical students. In 2014, he undertook a year of postgraduate research supported by the Sydney Medical School Medical Foundation Fellowship. In 2015, Philip moved to Adelaide to take up his current clinical role and to work more closely with the Adelaide-based ANZDATA. As ANZDATA’s Deputy Executive Officer, he has several roles including editing its annual report, supervising statisticians and the Epidemiology Fellow, and developing its technical capacity. Philip provided scientific and technical oversight of the successful recent modernisation of the Registry's database that is being used to support the BEST-FLUIDS, RESOLVE and TEACH-PD multinational registry randomised trials.

Dr Leticia Miranda Alle Deveza
RACP ARA D.E.V. Starr Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Clinical Evaluation of Osteoarthritis (OA) Biomarkers for Regulatory Qualification: The Foundation for the National Institute of Health Biomarkers OA Consortium (PROGRESS OA)'

Dr Leticia DevezaDr Leticia Deveza is a rheumatology specialist and a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sydney Medical School. She has obtained valuable clinical and research experience as a clinical and research fellow between 2015 and 2016 at Royal North Shore Hospital prior to her PhD. Leticia contributes with teaching at the University of Sydney Medical School and has given several lectures and tutorials to medical students. As a clinician, she manages patients with inflammatory and non-inflammatory musculoskeletal conditions.

Dr Nidhi Garg
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Multimodal assessment of the chronic immune-mediated neuropathies'

Dr Nidhi GargDr Nidhi Garg is a neurologist who recently completed her PhD through the Brain and Mind Centre, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney. She completed her junior and Basic Physician Training through Concord Hospital and Advanced Training in Neurology through Concord and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals. Following this, she undertook a year of subspecialty training in neuromuscular medicine through a clinical fellowship at Concord Hospital. Nidhi's subspecialty area of interest is in the field of neuromuscular medicine, focused on immune-mediated disorders affecting peripheral nerves. Her PhD research focused on neurophysiological and immunological biomarkers in immune-mediated neuropathies.

Dr Katherine Gibney
RACP GSK Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Invasive group A streptococcal disease (iGAS): Establishing an evidence-base for public health guidelines'

Dr Katherine GibneyDr Katherine Gibney has combined her public health, epidemiology and clinical infectious disease experience in her research involving high-risk groups (Indigenous Australians, immigrants and refugees, and travelers), communicable disease surveillance, arboviral infections and Strep A disease. As both an infectious diseases and public health physician, she brings clinical and public health perspectives to her infectious diseases research. Her further training through the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) fellowship at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides an additional applied epidemiology perspective to her research. This was followed by a PhD at Monash University (2016). Katherine's thesis, ‘Surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia’, was awarded a commendation in the Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research. She works in the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Austin Hospital and is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow at the Doherty Institute.

Dr Shom Goel
RACP Fellows Research Establishment Fellowship ($75,000)
'Inducing apoptosis to improve the efficacy of CDK4/6 inhibitors in breast cancer'

Dr Shom GoelDr Shom Goel is a physician-scientist with an interest in the development of new therapies for the treatment of breast cancer. He has recently joined the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne having spent the last 10 years at the Harvard Medical School in Boston. Shom graduated from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 2002 and received both the University Medal and Honours Alumni University Medal. He completed clinical training in Internal Medicine in Sydney, receiving the Bryan Hudson Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, and completed his medical oncology Fellowship in 2009. Supported through the WG Walker Fulbright Scholarship, he relocated to Boston to conduct his doctoral research at the Massachusetts General Hospital. He was later appointed as a Goldfarb-Rudkin Fellow in Breast Oncology at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and joined the faculty at the Dana-Farber and Harvard Medical School in 2015. Shom has developed an international reputation for the study of cell cycle biology in breast cancer, with a focus on the CDK4/6 pathway. His laboratory findings have been published in prestigious journals such as Nature and Cancer Cell, and his seminal results have translated directly from bench to the bedside through the opening of numerous international clinical trials.

Dr Claire Louise Gordon
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Whole body analysis of human immune cells'

Dr Claire GordonDr Claire Gordon is an infectious diseases physician at Austin Health in Melbourne and an early career scientist at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, University of Melbourne. After completing infectious diseases training, Claire completed a four and a half-year research fellowship at Columbia University Medical Center – New York Presbyterian Hospital focusing on peripheral anti-viral T cell immunity and a two-year research fellowship at the University of Oxford studying novel T cell vaccines. Since returning to Australia in mid-2018, Claire has embarked on setting up a repository of human organ donor tissues for use in biomedical research in a collaboration with Austin Health transplant surgeons and DonateLife. Her project aims to make the gift of organ donation go further by providing much-needed tissues to Australian biomedical scientists to advance discovery of new treatments and vaccines for a wide range of human diseases. In the field of immunology, Claire is leading a collaborative team of researchers at the Doherty Institute to investigate and map immune cells around the body.

Dr Amanda Gwee
RACP Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Optimising vancomycin dosing in young infants using model-based dosing (through a web app) and earlier therapeutic drug monitoring'

Dr Amanda GweeDr Amanda Gwee is a general paediatrician, infectious diseases physician and clinical pharmacologist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne. In addition, she is an academic senior lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, and Clinician-Scientist Fellow and Team leader at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. Her research focuses on improving the use of antibiotics in children. For her PhD, she won the NHMRC Gustav-Nossal Award as well as received the RACP Basser Research Entry Award. Amanda is an editor for the Journal of Paediatrics & Child Health and expert reviewer for the Neonatal Medicines Formulary Consensus Group, Australian Medicines Handbook and Therapeutic Guidelines Developing Country Program.

Dr Ingrid Hopper
RACP/Foundation for High Blood Pressure Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Can wavelet electrocardiogram analysis predict new heart failure in healthy older Australians?'

Dr Ingrid HopperDr Ingrid Hopper is a clinical pharmacologist and general physician. She is a consultant physician at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne and a Senior Lecturer at the Monash School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine. Ingrid is a NHMRC early career fellow and her research interests include healthy ageing, the safe and effective use of medicines and high risk implantable medical devices, drug repurposing, and quality improvement in health care through clinical quality registries, clinical trials and epidemiology. She was awarded a NHMRC new investigator grant to run the STAREE-HEART trial, a sub-study of the 18,000-person STAtins in Reducing Events in the Elderly (STAREE) trial, run by Monash University. STAREE-HEART will investigate the impact of statins in the prevention and treatment of cardiac diseases of ageing including heart failure and atrial fibrillation.

Dr Jessica Howell
The Robert Maple-Brown Research Establishment Fellowship ($60,000)
'Achieving the National Hepatitis B Strategy targets to reduce hepatitis B-related liver cancer in Australia'

Dr Jessica HowellDr Jessica Howell is a gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, a Senior Research Fellow at the Burnet Institute and an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at Monash University and University of Melbourne. She combines clinical, basic science, epidemiological and public health expertise in translational research projects in liver cancer and viral hepatitis focused on marginalized populations including people who inject drugs. Jessica currently leads several national and international multi-centre studies in rapid point-of-care diagnostics in viral hepatitis, biomarker development in liver cancer and international health programs. She has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and 80 abstracts presented at national and international meetings and has been awarded over $13 million in competitive grant funding. Jessica is regularly invited onto panels for multiple national and international clinical guidelines and is a technical advisor to the WHO (WPRO).

Dr Adam Nelson
Diabetes Australia Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'A multifaceted intervention to improve the care of patients with diabetes and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease'

Dr Adam NelsonDr Adam Nelson is a cardiology postdoctoral research fellow from Adelaide, South Australia. After finishing medical school at the University of Adelaide, where is was awarded Mace Bearer, Adam completed both physician and cardiology training at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. Later, he completed an honours and a PhD under the guidance of Professor Matthew Worthley, where he was awarded competitive funding through unrestricted grants from Pfizer, National Heart Foundation, Florey Medical Research Foundation and the University of Adelaide. Adam has contributed over 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and conference proceedings to date and has been invited to present his work internationally in Europe, Asia and the United States. He is undertaking a period of postdoctoral research at Duke University, supported by the RACP, where he is focusing on ways to improve the translation of guidelines to clinical care for patients with diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Adam aspires to return to Australia as a leading academic interventional cardiologist with clinical skills in the cutting-edge management of coronary artery disease and a research focus that leverages clinical datasets to establish learning health system pathways to care for patients with cardiovascular disease.

Associate Professor Piero Perucca
The Robert Maple-Brown Research Establishment Fellowship ($60,000)
'Behavioural outcomes following in utero exposure to antiepileptic drugs'

Associate Professor Piero PeruccaPiero Perucca is an Associate Professor at the Department of Neuroscience, Central Clinical School, Monash University, a consultant neurologist and epileptologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Alfred Health, and an Honorary Senior Fellow at the Melbourne Medical School, the University of Melbourne. He received his MD and specialist-in-neurology degrees from the University of Pavia, Italy. He undertook higher training in epilepsy at Columbia University, USA, the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University, Canada, and the Royal Melbourne Hospital. He obtained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, with a thesis focused on the role of genetics in the aetiology of focal epilepsies and outcomes of epilepsy therapy. Piero has authored over 45 articles and is published in leading journals such as The Lancet Neurology, Nature Reviews Neurology, Annals of Neurology, Brain, and Neurology. He has delivered more than 55 lectures and oral presentations at various national and international conferences. He sits on committees of different scientific organisations, including the Epilepsy Society of Australia and the International League Against Epilepsy. He is an associate editor for Epilepsia Open. Piero’s main research interests include epilepsy genetics, electroencephalography, the pharmacological and surgical treatment of epilepsy, and genomic and electrophysiological biomarkers of epilepsy outcomes.

Dr Andrea Katharina Viecelli
The Jacquot Research Establishment Fellowship ($90,000)
'Towards improving patient-important outcomes in haemodialysis'

Dr Andrea ViecelliDr Andrea Viecelli is a senior lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Queensland and nephrologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She is a clinical trialist of the Australasian Kidney Trials Network and a lead investigator of the FAVOURED study, an international, multi-centre randomised controlled trial of fish oil and aspirin for preventing arteriovenous fistula failure. As a coordinating committee member of the global Standardised outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) initiative, she is leading international collaborative studies to establish standardised core outcome measures for vascular access and fatigue. Her research focus is in clinical trials, meta-analyses, and qualitative research in patient-important outcomes. Andrea is an academic editor for PLOS ONE and reviewer for six international nephrology journals. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles, five book chapters. Andrea has received numerous awards including the Kidney Health Australia Clinical Science Award, the 2016 and 2017 Young Investigator Award at the Australian and New Zealand Society of Nephrology Annual Scientific Meeting and the Young Investigator Award at the ERA-EDTA Congress in 2017 and 2018.

Dr Craig Thomas Wallington-Beddoe
The Servier 'Barry Young' Research Establishment Fellowship ($50,000)
'Investigating Desmoglein-2 as a Superior Biomarker and Therapeutic Target for Multiple Myeloma'

Dr Craig Wallington-BeddoeDr Craig Wallington-Beddoe is a consultant haematologist at Flinders Medical Centre and Senior Research Fellow at Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. He is Director of Haematology Clinical Trials for Southern Adelaide Local Health Network, where he is the principal investigator for several clinical trials for patients with the blood cancer multiple myeloma. Craig also heads the new Translational Multiple Myeloma Research Laboratory at Flinders University, which aims to translate basic research to the clinic, focusing on novel therapeutic strategies for myeloma. After completing his specialist training in haematology at Westmead Hospital, Sydney in 2009, Craig undertook PhD studies through the University of Sydney. His research sought to investigate novel drug targets for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and resulted in several high impact publications and numerous national and international conference presentations. In recognition of this work, Craig was awarded the 2012 Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand Albert Baikie Memorial Medal and New Investigator Grant. He relocated to Adelaide in 2013 to undertake postdoctoral research, supported by a NHMRC Peter Doherty Research Fellowship, investigating how certain lipids can be manipulated in myeloma to enhance current therapies. Thereafter, he was appointed to his current clinical and research positions and awarded the 2018 Servier Staff 'Barry Young”'Research Establishment Fellowship through the RACP Foundation for his project 'targeting sphingolipid metabolism to re-sensitise proteasome inhibitor resistant multiple myeloma'. The Servier Fellowship – together with funding from the NHMRC, Viertel Foundation and other sources – have greatly assisted in progressing multiple myeloma research in South Australia. The support has directly led to the creation of the new Translational Multiple Myeloma Research Laboratory, several peer-reviewed publications and high-profile conference presentations.

Associate Professor Susan Rosemary Woolfenden
The Sir Roy McCaughey Research Establishment Fellowship ($75,000)
'Social prescribing for housing to address child health inequities: developing equity focused pathways for clinicians to improve child health'

Associate Professor Susan WoolfendenAssociate Professor Sue Woolfenden is a senior staff specialist in the Department of Community Child Health and the former clinical lead in Integrated Care at Sydney Children’s Hospital Network. She is a Conjoint Associate Professor and Senior Research Fellow with the University of New South Wales School of Women’s and Children’s Health. In her clinical, service development and research roles she aims to address child health and health care inequities in Australia and globally particularly for children at risk of or with neurodevelopmental problems. Sue has over 70 peer-reviewed publications and was co-chair of the RACP Working Group for the Inequities in Child Health Position Statement. She has been awarded an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship for 2019 – 2022 to further undertake translational research in her field.

Dr Paul Andrew Yates
Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation Research Establishment Fellowship ($60,000)
'Obesity and Adiposity Biomarkers in Preclinical Alzheimer's Disease: Identifying Opportunities for Prevention of Dementia'

Dr Paul YatesDr Paul Yates is a geriatrician working at Austin Health and an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne and Florey Neuroscience Institute. Paul has clinical and research interests in ageing including management of frail elderly at the hospital-community interface, advance care planning, dementia and neuroimaging. His PhD examined the contribution of vascular risk and cerebrovascular disease to Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers and cognitive change using Aβ Positron Emission Tomography Imaging and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Paul is currently involved with projects aiming to improve care outcomes of people with frailty and dementia across the hospital, residential care and community settings, as well as dementia prevention.

Past recipients
Research Establishment Fellowships

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