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The George Institute’s Researchers Celebrated for Impact and Innovation

It’s been a busy two weeks for The George Institute’s staff with a string of high profile awards.

Ms Patricia Cullen, Research Fellow with the Injury Division, was one of just two researchers last night to win the Sax Institute’s 2017 Research Action Awards for her work on supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to gain driver licences.

“These awards recognise researchers whose work has made a real-world difference to people’s health and wellbeing,” said Sax Institute CEO Professor Sally Redman.

Low rates of licensed drivers in many Aboriginal communities are a “missing piece of the puzzle” – a driver’s licence is critical not just for safe driving but for accessing healthcare, education and employment and for reducing the risk of incarceration, says Ms Cullen.

“Having a driver licence can do much to improve health and reduce road injury.”

Ms Cullen, a PhD candidate, evaluated the community-led program Driving Change, which aims to help Aboriginal people to overcome barriers to gaining a driver licence.

As a result, the NSW Government directly funded 14 communities across the state to deliver the Driving Change model of support for driver licences in 2016-17, with further communities set to become involved this year.

Read more about the other award winner here. And you can watch a interview with Ms Cullen here.

Other recent George Institute’s award winners include Associate Professor Meg Jardine, who was awarded a Medical Research Future Fund TRIP Fellowship. Associate Professor Jardine is a practicing clinician delivering healthcare to people with chronic kidney disease and her fellowship will address the gaps between evidence and practice in the delivery of evidence-based guidelines for people with chronic kidney disease and diabetes, assessing outcomes using an innovative adaption of routine clinical data systems.

Chief Scientist Professor Anushka Patel, who last week was one of four UNSW scientists to receive a prestigious Australian Academy of Science medals. Professor Patel is the recipient of the Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health, and was awarded for her, “ground‐breaking research discoveries that have overturned conventional thinking about cardiovascular disease risk factor management”.

Professor Bruce Neal, Senior Director of The George Institute, Australia, and Senior Professorial Fellow Mark Woodward, have once again been named amongst the world’s most impactful scientists with the release of the 2017 Highly Cited Researchers List.

The report by Clarivate Analytics identifies the most frequently cited researchers as determined by the extent to which their papers have supported, influenced, inspired and challenged other researchers around the globe. It identifies authors who have consistently won peer approval from international researchers in the form of high citation counts.

They were two of just 127 Australians on the list and over the last 12 months have between published papers in the New England Journal of Medicine, The Lancet and The British Medical Journal, as well as numerous others.