Test tubes

Sydney health experts elected as fellows to the Australian Academy

13 October 2023
Researchers recognised for outstanding contributions to medical and health sciences
The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences welcomes six University of Sydney experts among their 27 newly elected fellows.

Six University of Sydney academics have been recognised for their work advancing health and medical research by being named Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).

The six researchers from the Faculty of Medicine and Health elected as AAHMS fellows are Professor Joshua Burns, Professor Clara Chow, Professor Lyn Gilbert AO, Professor Mandana Nikpour, Professor Julie Redfern and Professor Angela Webster.

Each year, the AAHMS elects the best and brightest minds in Australia as fellows in recognition of their outstanding achievements and exceptional, ongoing contributions to the field of medical and health sciences.

“Fellows are elected by their peers for their significant contributions to health and medical sciences – it is a selective process that recognises the best and brightest in Australia and highlights those who are truly making a difference in health,” said the Academy’s Interim President Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FRS FAA FAHMS.

"The Academy recognises individuals who have made outstanding contributions in their respective field. The new fellows have demonstrated international research leadership in the broad areas of health sciences, medical sciences, medicine and public health," said Professor Robyn Ward, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health.

Professor Joshua Burns

Prof Joshua Burns

Professor Joshua Burns is Paediatric Neuromuscular Rehabilitation Professor and Head of School and Dean of the Sydney School of Health Sciences in the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

He co-leads the Peripheral Neuropathy Management Clinic at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead, and is Director of the Paediatric Gait Analysis Service of New South Wales at the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network.

Professor Burns is the inventor of ClinicalOutcomeMeasures.org, a web-based scoring system for monitoring response to therapy, housing key clinical trial endpoints such as the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Pediatric Scale (CMTPedS), CMT Functional Outcome Measure (CMT-FOM), CMT Infant Scale (CMTInfS),Rasch-modified CMT Neuropathy Score(CMTNSv2-R) and items from the 1000 Norms Project.

Professor Clara Chow

Prof Clara Chow

Professor Clara Chow is Professor of Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine and Health, Academic Director of the Westmead Applied Research Centre (WARC) and Academic Co-Director of the Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) Westmead.

She is a cardiologist and Clinical Lead Community Based Cardiac Services at Westmead Hospital. She is past President of the Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand and is also Co-chair of the Secondary Prevention Alliance in Australia. 

Professor Chow is a NHMRC Investigator Grant Leadership awardee and with this leads a research program focused on innovation for health service provision and clinical management of cardiovascular disease prevention.

Professor Lyn Gilbert AO

Prof Lyn GIlbert

Credits: The Daily Telegraph

Professor Lyn Gilbert, Honorary Professor and Senior Researcher at Sydney Infectious Diseases Institute, is an internationally recognised clinician-researcher.

She has made major contributions to public health policy and infectious disease diagnosis and surveillance, through influential studies of epidemiology, infection prevention and control, and ethical implications of diseases of public health importance.  Due to her global influence and dedication to combating infectious diseases, she has been appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Professor Mandana Nikpour

Prof Mandana Nikpour

Credits: APLC

Professor Mandana Nikpour is a rheumatologist and a NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow. Her research interests include risk and prognostic factors for clinically important outcomes in lupus and scleroderma, development of clinical tools for screening and prediction of outcome, measurement of disease activity and damage, and clinical trials of novel therapies in the rheumatic diseases.

Professor Nikpour leads several international working groups and research consortia in systemic autoimmune diseases. She and her team have received numerous awards for research contributions including the Australian Rheumatology Association (ARA) Collaborative Research Prize, the ARA Mid-Career Research Excellence Award, and the Parr Prize (ARA’s most prestigious individual award for research achievements).

Professor Julie Redfern

Prof Julie Redfern

Professor Julie Redfern is a public health researcher, 2022 NSW Woman of Excellence and current holder of a NHMRC Investigator Grant Leadership 2 (NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Award for Health Services).

She is also a practicing physiotherapist, leads the Engagement and Co-Design Research (ECHO) Team in the School of Health Sciences, is a fellow of the European Society of Cardiology, a professorial fellow at the George Institute for Global Health and member of the World Heart Federation and Cardiac Society of Australia and New Zealand Scientific Committees.

Professor Redfern has over 15 years of experience developing, testing and implementing scalable strategies to close evidence-practice gaps and improve health outcomes for people with chronic disease.

Professor Angela Webster

Prof Angela Webster

Professor Angela Webster is a clinical epidemiologist, nephrologist and transplant physician and an NHMRC Leadership Fellow.

She splits her time working as Professor in Clinical Epidemiology in the Sydney School of Public Health, Director of Evidence Integration at the NHMRC Clinical Trials Centre, and as a Senior Staff Specialist in Renal Medicine and Transplantation at Westmead Hospital.

She is on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases and was previously an associate editor for Transplantation. Nationally, Angela is the Executive Officer of the Australian and New Zealand Islet and Pancreas Transplant Registry, and former member of the New South Wales Transplant Advisory Committee.

"We’re very proud that the Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences have elected six academics from the Faculty of Medicine and Health to join eminent colleagues in this academy."
Professor Robyn Ward, Executive Dean and Pro Vice-Chancellor Medicine and Health

AAHMS Mentees

Associate Prof Sudarshini Ramanathan

Associate Professor Sudarshini Ramanathan, one of four University of Sydney researchers named as AAHMS mentees

The University also congratulates Associate Professor Philip Britton, Associate Professor Melody Ding, Professor Christine Lu and Associate Professor Sudarshini Ramanathan. who have all been named AAHMS mentorship program mentees.

The AAHMS mentorship program aims to nurture future leaders and support them in their careers by pairing mentees with an Academy Fellow mentor.

Mentees become Associate Members of the Academy for three years, allowing them access to training, support and networking opportunities.

“I was nominated to apply for this program. I believe the AAHMS Mentoring Program will provide me with insights that will help guide the way I think about health impact, prioritisation, collaboration and strategic development of my research program,” said Associate Professor Sudarshini Ramanathan.

“The individualised mentoring, leadership training, career development opportunities, and exposure to the broader AAHMS community and initiatives that I will receive as part of this program will enhance my ability to contribute to improved outcomes for patients, as well as my institution and the broader research community”
Associate Professor Sudarshini Ramanathan
Prof Louise Bar

Professor Louise Bar, President of AAHMS

The Academy also welcomed its new president at the ceremony, Professor Louise Baur AM FAHMS, Chair of Child and Adolescent Health, Sydney Medical School, and Paediatric Consultant in Weight Management Services at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and Charles Perkins Centre member as well as sitting on its Executive Committee.

Congratulations to all of the University of Sydney researchers and academics for this wonderful achievement.

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