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15 Dec 2022

Garvan researcher wins Highly Commended in the Annual Health and Medical Research Awards

Prestigious national award recognises Dr Deborah Burnett’s outstanding contribution to health and medical innovation.

Senior Research Officer at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research Dr Deborah Burnett has been awarded Highly Commended in the Griffith University Discovery Award, at a ceremony held at Melbourne’s Metropolis Southbank on 8 December.

One of eight categories of the 19th Annual Health and Medical Research Awards, the Griffith University Discovery Award recognises an early career researcher whose paper, patent or discovery has already demonstrated its importance or impact.

Dr Burnett has made an important contribution to immunology by pioneering new ways to direct immune responses to generate antibodies to key viral targets. This research is being used to generate new vaccines that could help end various disease outbreaks, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

“My research has focused on developing new strategies to assess how B cells make exquisite and precise antibodies that can neutralise foreign threats, without causing harm to our own tissues – then using this knowledge to improve vaccine responses. I’m very grateful to all my colleagues who have made this work possible, and to Research Australia for this wonderful acknowledgement of our work,” says Dr Burnett.

The Annual Health and Medical Research Awards have been presented by Research Australia since 1980 to recognise outstanding achievements in medical research. Research Australia is the national alliance representing the health and medical research pipeline, from the laboratory to the patient and the marketplace. A key part of its role in research advocacy is acknowledging talent and excellence in the sector, to encourage future generations of researchers.

Find out more about the 19th Annual Health and Medical Research Awards. 

Dr Deborah Burnett is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at St Vincent’s Clinical School, UNSW Medicine and Health.