2023 SGOW Recipients

Meet the 2023 recipients of the Melbourne Medical School's Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women

The 2023 round of the Melbourne Medical School’s Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women has drawn to a close.

This year’s recipients represent a diverse and talented field of women researchers, clinicians and educators who have made significant impact in their speciality area.

The grants create an opportunity for recipients to build connections and visibility in line with their research, clinical and teaching goals.

Congratulations to the successful applicants!

2023 Recipients of the Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women

Dr Yasmine Ali AbdelhamidDr Yasmine Ali Abdelhamid is an intensive care specialist and clinician-scientist. Her postdoctoral work focuses on improving long-term outcomes for survivors of critical illness. She is passionate about fostering the next generation of medical researchers and holds key leadership roles in the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society and its Clinical Trials group, as well as the University.

This grant will allow Dr Abdelhamid to progress her research program and build her team, dedicate additional time to student supervision and mentoring, while building international connections and pursuing important leadership roles.

Charlotte Denniston Profile Picture.jpgDr Charlotte Indermaur Denniston leads the Professional Practice Curriculum in the Melbourne MD and is a member of the Work Integrated Learning Portfolio in the Department of Medical Education. Dr Denniston is interested in the development of a healthcare workforce that can meet and respond to the needs of the communities they work with and serve.

She has a growing interest in participatory approaches in health professions education and how the voices of consumers and the community are represented in the curriculum. This grant will enable Dr Denniston to build expertise in these approaches, broaden her networks and work towards creating an impact in this space.

Haines Headshot 2022 2-compressed.jpgAssociate Professor Kimberley Haines is a mid-career researcher and Clinical Associate Professor/Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Critical Care. Associate Professor Haines is the Physiotherapy Research Lead at Western Health, and is undertaking her NHMRC Investigator Grant EL1 in co-designed ICU recovery.

Associate Professor Haines is an emerging national and international leader in the field of critical care survivorship, and is a preeminent leader in consumer engagement and co-design. This grant will support Associate Professor Haines to build out her research program in this area, and build research capacity by developing the next generation of researchers at the University of Melbourne.

Howell_J_photo.jpgAssociate Professor Jessica Howell is a gastroenterologist and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow in the Department of Gastroenterology at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, University of Melbourne and Burnet Institute, where she co-leads the Hepatitis B and Liver Cancer research group.

Associate Professor Howell leads studies in rapid point-of-care diagnostics and biomarker development in liver cancer, health systems research and international health programs for viral hepatitis in low resource settings. This grant will be used for research staff support, leadership courses and an international study tour to strengthen global collaborations for her liver cancer research program.

photo dawson mcclaren.jpegAssociate Professor Belinda McClaren is the academic coordinator of the Department of Paediatrics Honours and Master of Biomedical Science programs, and the Master of Genomics and Health internship coordinator and program committee co-chair. She facilitates work-integrated learning for students in research and genomic medicine.

Associate Professor McClaren will work with a learning designer to redesign the curriculum and assessments for the internship program, drawing on principles of universal design for learning. She will participate in leadership training including the 12-month Advanced Leadership program (Women and Leadership Australia) and the Developing Strategic Thinking and Action program (Melbourne Business School). She is a Team Leader with the Genomics in Society group at the Murdoch Children's Research Institute, researching the implementation of genomic health care that engages and empowers people and that is delivered widely, equitably, safely and competently.

McDougall headshot 1 - Copy.jpegAssociate Professor Rosalind McDougall is an ethicist, who co-leads the Clinical Ethics and Decision Support Unit in the Department of Surgery (Austin) at the University of Melbourne. Associate Professor McDougall's research and teaching focus on the ethical challenges faced by health professionals. She has been involved in providing clinical ethics support in Melbourne hospitals since 2008.

Associate Professor McDougall's background is in philosophy and qualitative research, and she brings these ideas and approaches to interdisciplinary analysis of issues in patient care. This grant will enable a substantial expansion of the Unit’s education program, including the establishment of a UoM student clinical ethics committee.

Paratz.jpegDr Elizabeth Paratz is a cardiologist, World Heart Federation Emerging Leader and the Wilma Beswick Senior Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne. She gained her medical degree with honours from the University of Melbourne and qualified as a cardiologist in 2017.

Alongside her medical training, she undertook additional studies at Imperial College London and Harvard University. Her PhD (completed 2023, Melbourne University), focused on young cardiac arrest and received the Paul Korner PhD Medal and was a finalist for the Premier’s Award for Clinical Research. She is also Deputy Medical Director of the East Timor Hearts Fund and a Designated Aviation Cardiologist. This grant will provide pivotal funding for Dr Paratz in establishing her post-doctoral research program in cardiac arrest research.

Patel - SGOW_photo.jpgDr Sheila Patel, is a Senior Research Fellow in the Cardiovascular Research Group at the Melbourne Medical School - Austin Health. Her research focuses on identifying novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease, with a goal to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease and its complications by developing new treatment strategies.

The grant will allow Dr Patel to employ a research assistant to increase research output so that she can further develop her research program and be competitive for future funding opportunities.

Peate - HS_3911.jpegAssociate Professor Michelle Peate is an interdisciplinary researcher who brings together cross-discipline knowledge to lead a focused research program on psychological, social, and behavioural aspects of reproductive health. Her goal is to develop resources for people who need them and their evaluation through prospective, multi-centre studies.

The support provided by this grant will bolster her academic capability, productivity, and career advancement by freeing up time to focus on intellectual work, completion of projects, writing papers, and expanding collaborations. It will also support the growth of junior researchers through the development of research skills seminars, a clinical fellowship pipeline and fellowship mentoring.

Laura Ross.pngDr Laura Ross is an academic rheumatologist at the University of Melbourne, St Vincent’s Hospital and Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. Her research interest is in systemic sclerosis (commonly known as scleroderma), a devastating multi-system autoimmune disease. She has specific expertise in the assessment of cardiopulmonary manifestations of autoimmune diseases and the development of outcome measures for use in clinical trials.

This grant will enable Dr Ross to build her research team to support new projects. Her research program focuses on the investigation of non-pharmacological treatments to improve the quality of life for patients with scleroderma and the development of a Scleroderma Supportive Care Program.

Said headshot 2.jpgAssociate Professor Joanne Said is the Head of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Joan Kirner Women’s and Children’s at Sunshine Hospital, Western Health and a clinician researcher with the Department of Obstetrics, Gynaecology and Newborn Health.

She currently leads an international randomised trial investigating antenatal corticosteroids prior to caesarean section in women with diabetes (the PRECeDe trial) as well as the Australian arm of the international C*STEROID trial investigating antenatal corticosteroids prior to caesarean section in women without diabetes. The grant will support her to co-design the long-term follow-up for children born to mothers participating in these trials.

Emily See.jpgDr Emily See is an Intensivist and Nephrologist at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and a Senior Honorary Fellow in the Department of Critical Care at the University of Melbourne. Her clinical and research interests centre around acute kidney injury, continuous renal replacement therapy, and the management of vasodilatory shock.

This grant will allow Dr See to undertake pivotal work investigating the safety and efficacy of angiotensin II in the management of critically ill patients with vasodilatory shock. The findings of this research program have the potential to fundamentally change the way vasodilatory shock is managed on a global scale, while focusing on impacting the outcomes prioritised by patients, caregivers, and clinicians.

Bergen.jpgDr Nicole Van Bergen graduated with a PhD from the University of Melbourne and is a Team Leader at MCRI. Nicole leads the discovery of several new disease-associated genes. A major focus is the development of precision therapies for rare genetic diseases.

Nicole co-led a team that identified that pathogenic variants in NAXD cause a rapid and lethal neurodegenerative disease. The team is developing robust cellular models and working toward targeted therapeutic approaches for NAXD deficiency. The SGOW will allow Nicole to continue drug screening for NAXD deficiency, and the funding will support a talented research assistant to help with drug validation.

20221205_Vanslambrouck-Jess.jpgDr Jessica Vanslambrouck is a Team Leader in the Kidney Regeneration Group, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Paediatrics, Melbourne Medical School.

Leading a program focussed on bioengineering functionally-enhanced human kidney tissue from stem cells, Dr Vanslambrouck’s research aims to reduce the growing burden of kidney disease impacting childhood, adolescent, and adult health.

The grant will further strengthen Dr Vanslambrouck’s academic leadership skills and research visibility, while supporting her vision to create functional stem cell-derived kidney proximal tubules to improve chronic kidney disease treatments and understanding.