Prof Sarah-Jane Dawson, Prof Mark Dawson and Prof Karin Thursky have been awarded prestigious Dame Kate Campbell Fellowships from The University of Melbourne in recognition of outstanding research performance.

The Peter Mac researchers received the Dean’s Fellowships for Research Excellence, named after noted Australian physician and paediatrician Dame Kate Campbell, from the University’s Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences (MDHS).

The fellowships are appointed based on excellence in research impact, national and international research standing, leadership and demonstration of Faculty values.

Prof Mark Dawson, consultant haematologist, Head of the Translational Haematology Research Program and research Group Leader at Peter Mac, says it is an extraordinary honour to be a recipient of an award for research excellence that bears Dame Campbell’s name.

He studies epigenetic regulators in normal and malignant haemopoiesis, with an aim to use these insights to identify novel therapies for the treatment of blood cancers.

“Dame Kate Campbell was an outstanding physician-researcher whose acute clinical acumen, coupled to her curiosity and meticulous research led to the immeasurable benefit of preventing a lifetime of visual impairment for premature babies around the world,” he says.

Prof Sarah-Jane Dawson, a consultant medical oncologist, Head of the Molecular Biomarkers Research Program and Group Leader in Peter Mac’s Research Faculty, was awarded a fellowship for her research on developing non-invasive blood tests for early cancer detection, risk stratification and disease monitoring in cancer.

“I am very grateful to the University of Melbourne for this opportunity and the wonderful recognition it provides of our research achievements,” she says.

Prof Karin Thursky is an infectious diseases physician and health services researcher who is the Implementation Stream Lead for the National Centre for Infections in Cancer at Peter Mac, the Director of the National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship at the Doherty Institute and Director of the Guidance Group at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

Her research spans paediatric and adult medicine, health informatics, immunocompromised patients, primary and secondary healthcare, and antimicrobial stewardship across One Health. 

“It is an extraordinary honour to be awarded this fellowship. It really reflects the incredible teams that I work with. We have an opportunity to promote health services across our health system and to create great pathways for clinician researchers”  says Prof Thursky.

The Peter Mac researchers were appointed a third of the total nine Level E fellowships offered across the entire MDHS Faculty.

“This is a great achievement by all three of our researchers, and something that they and Peter Mac should be rightfully proud of,” says Peter Mac’s Executive Director of Research, Prof Ricky Johnstone.

“Peter Mac greatly values our important strategic relationship with the University of Melbourne and these fellowships embody our growing collaborative efforts.”

The Dame Kate Campbell Fellowships will commence in 2020.