Meet the 2019 recipients of the Melbourne Medical School's Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women
The inaugural round of the Melbourne Medical School's Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women, assisting talented female academics with career progression, attracted an unprecedented number of high-calibre applications.
The additional funding contributions from our external partners made it possible to increase the number of grants awarded in this round.
From the strong and highly competitive field, eight outstanding women were awarded funding.
Introducing the 2019 Outstanding Women
Dr Katie Ayers, an Honorary Fellow at the Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), and Team Leader at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), is an emerging leader in the field of Sex Differentiation research.
As a passionate and committed researcher in understanding and improving genetic diagnosis and clinical outcomes for patients born with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD), Dr Ayers acknowledged the Award has come at a great time for women in science.
"I'm very grateful for this Award and see it is an amazing opportunity for women, with successful applicants in a range of areas, from basic research through to clinicians," Dr Ayers said.
Dr Ayers is the recipient of a jointly funded MMS-MCRI grant.
Associate Professor Penelope Bryant, Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is a Paediatric Infectious Diseases Physician at the Royal Children's Hospital and the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI).
As a clinician-researcher, Associate Professor Bryant is focused on improving antibiotic use to reduce resistance in children in hospital and at home.
"I am honoured to be among the first recipients and proud to be an ambassador for women in STEM."
Associate Professor Bryant will utilise the Award to employ a research assistant to further develop her research program to ensure she is well-positioned to be competitive for new funding opportunities.
Associate Professor Bryant is the recipient of a jointly funded MMS-MCRI grant.
Dr Lisa Cheshire, Doctor of Medicine (MD) Course Director, Department of Medical Education, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is passionate about teaching, learning and enhancing flexibility for students.
Leading the current MD review, Dr Cheshire will utilise the Award to establish the knowledge foundation, through literature reviews and visiting international universities which offer flexible programs, to redesign the curriculum.
"I want to ensure our new MD is recognised as a world leader in providing innovative and tailored learning solutions which meet individual needs and career trajectories."
Associate Professor Kate Drummond, Department of Surgery, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is the Director of Neurosurgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Director of the Neuro-Oncology Tumour Stream at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
As a clinician-scientist, she is focused on the care of patients with tumours of the brain and spine and oversees the Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumour Bank database which captures and tracks patient outcomes following surgery.
Associate Professor Drummond will utilise the Award for administrative support to assist in data analysis, manuscript preparations and grant application development.
Dr Amy Gray, Director of Medical Education at the Royal Children's Hospital, and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is focused on improving hospital care for children through increasing healthcare worker capacity and strengthening the translation of evidence into practice.
Dr Gray intends to pilot a mobile learning platform to create building blocks for curricula utilising the expertise of teachers, training doctors and students.
"It is exciting to have the support of this Grant to progress these ideas and it has been heartening to see the support given to myself and others who have received grants, from colleagues around us."
Dr Amanda Gwee, Senior Lecturer, Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is a general paediatrician, infectious diseases physician and clinical pharmacologist at the Royal Children's Hospital.
Her research, as a clinician-scientist fellow at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI), employs pharmacometric modelling to produce simple, practical solutions to optimise antimicrobial therapy for drug-resistant infections.
"It is really forward thinking that the School and MCRI are providing these types of initiatives to support women," Dr Gwee said.
The MMS-MCRI Grant will assist Dr Gwee to build research capacity and expertise at the University and MCRI, extend her research network and secure additional research funding.
Dr Gwee is the recipient of a jointly funded MMS-MCRI grant.
Associate Professor Natalie Hannan is a NHMRC CDF Principle Research Fellow, at the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), and leads the Therapeutics Discovery and Vascular Function Group.
Her research focus is on women's health and understanding serious pregnancy complications, especially preeclampsia for which there is no cure, through leading preclinical discovery and supporting translation to the clinic.
"It's amazing I was selected by the committee for this prominent and eminent Award amongst such a strong field of outstanding women," she said.
Associate Professor Hannan will utilise the Grant to complete a women's leadership course and employ administrative support to streamline workflow and increase research output.
Dr Yasmin Jayasinghe, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), is a paediatric gynaecologist and translational researcher with a particular focus in oncofertility in children.
Her research, based at the Royal Children's Hospital and Royal Women's Hospital (RWH), is transforming the way fertility is addressed for children who have medical conditions or receive cancer treatments that can cause irreversible damage to fertility.
"I'm incredibly honoured to receive this Award in recognition of our hard work towards establishing this discipline and the School's commitment to women in medicine and academia."
Dr Jayasinghe is the recipient of a jointly funded MMS-RWH grant.