Department of Medicine researchers shortlisted for prestigious Victorian Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research

From L to R: Peter De Cruz (who won the award in 2015 and was the MC), Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, Jason Kwong, Jason Trubiano and Ada Cheung.

Dr Ada Cheung and Dr Jason Trubiano, two bright young researchers from the Department of Medicine, Austin Health were recently shortlisted for the highly prestigious Victorian Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research. The Awards honour the excellent research and findings of emerging early-career health and medical researchers, and are awarded across several categories including basic science, clinical, public health and health services research.

Dr Cheung was highly commended for her research, ‘Muscle effects of hormone therapy in men with prostate cancer’, in the Clinical Research category. Her research focussed on the development of novel approaches to combat muscle loss and frailty in men with prostate cancer who are receiving hormone therapy. Dr Cheung utilised cutting-edge techniques in genetic sequencing to identify increased expression of the ACTC1 gene in human skeletal muscle in such men, which confirmed a target for treatment of frailty and muscle loss. Her ground-breaking research has been resulted in several original research and review publications, and has been recognised through several national and international awards. Further information about Dr Cheung’s research can be found here.

Dr Trubiano was highly commended or his research, ‘The impact of antibiotic allergy on the safe and appropriate use of antibiotics in Australian hospitals’, in the Health Services Research category. Dr Trubiano’s research has defined for the first time the burden of antibiotic allergy on Australia’s healthcare system. His research found that up to 25% of patients admitted to Australian health services had patient-reported antibiotic allergies, resulting in the use of restricted and broad spectrum antibiotic therapies and poor health outcomes. Using a multi-disciplinary multi-centre testing program including skin testing and a lab-based test, Trubiano was able to confirm the responsible antibiotic in more than 70% of patients with antibiotic allergy, allowing elimination of more than 80% of patient-reported allergies which has allowed identification of useful changes in antibiotic therapies. Further information about Dr Trubiano’s research can be found here.