2016 Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research presented by the Hon. Jill Hennessy

27 June

On Wednesday, 1 June at an event at Government House, Dr. Stephanie Simonds was named as the Recipient of the 2016 Premier's Award for Health and Medical Research by the Minister, Hon Jill Hennessy.

Dr Stephanie Simonds was presented with $16,000 to further develop her research career.

In Australia and globally cardiovascular diseases are the number 1 cause of death. While science had speculated a link between obesity and the development of cardiovascular diseases, Dr Simond's research was able to demonstrate the linking factor, furthering our understanding and uncovering a mechanism of how cardiovascular diseases develop in obesity.

After initial experiments on the link between the hormone Leptin and obesity in mice, Dr Simonds went on to collaborate with a human genetics laboratory in Cambridge UK to confirm her findings and demonstrate that Leptin is the key factor linking obesity to hypertension in humans, causing increased blood pressure, by 8mmHg.

This research has led to a change in the way we think about researching and developing therapeutics for both obesity and cardiovascular diseases with the findings of this research presented widely both internationally and nationally. Dr Simonds has also been invited to present her work by numerous international organisations including Harvard University, Yale University, and Cambridge University and the research has been published in both Cell and Nature scientific journals.

Dr Simonds PhD was supervised by veski innovation fellow, Professor Michael Cowley*, at Monash University within the Department of Physiology and the Biomedical Discovery Institute.

The three Commendees announced at the event were; Dr Julia Marchingo, Dr Brian Liddicoat and Dr Thomas Oxley, each receiving $8,000.

veski was honoured to deliver this prestigious awards program in 2016.

*Professor Michael Cowley was awarded with his veski innovation fellowship in 2007.

 

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