Lisa Keay: Helping future research leaders

Meet Associate Professor Lisa Keay, Deputy Director of our Injury team. 

How long have you been working at The George Institute?

I have been working at the George Institute since 2007, though I was in the US for 2 years before joining on-site at the Sydney office in January 2009.

What attracted you to working at The George Institute?

Like many, I was already familiar with The George Institute’s reputation and was impressed with the scope of work being done and the mission of the institute. The opportunity to work in a global organisation, surrounded by people who I can learn from is ideal for building a career in public health research.

What are you currently working on?

I have a new trial evaluating a falls prevention program for older people with low vision or blindness.  This is in collaboration with Guide Dogs and will be a state-wide community-based trial funded by NHMRC.  Other work I am developing includes evaluating semi-autonomous vehicle technology to keep older drivers safe on the road, best practice management of cataract and chronic eye disease and eyecare service delivery in India. 

What difference will this make to healthcare and why?

I have active collaborations with policy makers and the professional community and endeavour to make research evidence available to inform policy and practice. 

You recently won an award for being an outstanding research supervisor. What was your reaction when you were first told?

I was delighted to get this award and grateful to my students for supporting my nomination.  I really enjoyed being a PhD student myself and I have tried to recreate a positive experience for my students. 

What motivates you when working with PhD students?

PhD students are the future leaders in our field and it is a privilege to work with students over a three year period on a dedicated project.  Invariably they end up knowing far more than I do on a given subject and consolidating their ability for independent research.  PhD students are highly productive, especially with regards to publishing their work and are a valuable asset to any project.

What is your professional background?

I originally trained as an optometrist before completing a PhD in epidemiology and Masters of Public Health. I did my post-doc at an ophthalmology department at Johns Hopkins University and have moved into injury prevention research with focus on injury in older people, disadvantaged populations and vision impairment.

Why do you enjoy working at The George Institute?

Every day is different. There are always new challenges and opportunities. The culture at The George Institute is positive and it is a vibrant academic environment.  The higher degree training program is growing but quality is being maintained.  Alumni of The George are set to make a significant impact on public health both within and outside our organisation.

To explain to people what I do I say…

I work on solutions to promote health and prevent injuries.

My biggest achievement so far…

Gaining NHMRC funding for research trials.

Find out about studying with The George Institute.