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13 Apr 2017

Epidemiologist honoured in Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research

Doherty Institute Epidemiologist, Dr Katherine Gibney has received a Commendation in the 2017 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research for her working looking at the surveillance and burden of infectious diseases in Australia.

As part of her PhD project completed at Monash University, Dr Gibney reviewed 21 years of data from Australian’s National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System (NNDSS), which included information about laboratory-diagnosed cases of 65 infectious diseases in Australia.

“The data revealed some diseases, for example measles became less common through immunisation. Other diseases like chlamydial infections, influenza, pertussis were diagnosed more often, partly through improved diagnostic tests and increased testing,” Dr Gibney said.

Her research also found Indigenous Australians and residents of remote and/or socioeconomically disadvantaged areas had higher disease rates.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be honoured in the Premier’s Awards for Health and Medical Research,” she said.

“It’s acknowledgement of a lot of hard work and helps bring awareness to the importance of protecting Australians from common infectious diseases.”

Doherty Institute Director, Professor Sharon Lewin said Dr Gibney is not only a talented epidemiologist but a dedicated infectious diseases physician as well.

“Katherine is leading the way in examining infectious diseases burden in Australia and that is recognised through this prestigious Commendation,” Professor Lewin said.

“I join everyone at the Doherty Institute in congratulating Katherine on this award and the important work she has done and continues to do."