RSV President David Zerman emphasises the Medal is not just about discovery and innovation, but also about fostering and supporting a thriving research community and workforce to achieve collective impact. “Some of this is demonstrated through a scholar’s personal output of journal articles and the related citations, or through patents and commercialisation, but it is also the research ecosystem that a leader supports through mentorship, collaboration and public engagement. We look very favourably on research leaders who bring effective teams together, and who actively promote younger scientists in particular, either through direct supervision, co-authorship of major papers, or simply creating opportunities for meaningful, purposeful work in an intensely competitive job market.”
Having seen first-hand the increasing number of children with allergic reactions admitted to the RCH, Professor Katie Allen and her research group sought to identify the exact rate of food allergy in the population and devised the HealthNuts study. The study followed 5300 children from Melbourne aged 1 to 10 and assessed their reactions to specific foods known to commonly trigger allergic reactions (allergenic foods) – peanut, egg, cow’s milk and sesame. It found that over 10% of children had ‘challenge-proven allergy’, which is when a child is observed to have an allergic reaction to a specific food and treated in a safe clinical setting.
Warmest congratulations to Professor Trevor Lithgow! Trevor is this year’s winner of the prestigious RSV Medal for Excellence in Scientific Research in Category I: Biological Sciences (non-human). The award of the Medal to Professor Lithgow acknowledges his outstanding contributions to the fields of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. Based at the Department of Microbiology within Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute, he heads a team researchers to examine cellular microbiology, uncovering clues on how to tackle important issues like the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria – a priority on the Global Health Agenda. The knowledge his work has uncovered provides an essential step towards developing new anti-microbial strategies required by this century’s environmental, agricultural and health industries.