Prestigious TJ Neale award presented to Mater Researcher

Tuesday 05 September 2017

A Mater Researcher has been awarded the prestigious TJ Neale award by the Australia and New Zealand Society of Nephrology (ANZSN). The award is made annually to a clinician or scientist who is deemed to have made the most outstanding contribution to nephrological science.

Professor Josephine Forbes was awarded the accolade on 5 September at the ANZSN Annual Scientific Meeting in Darwin for her outstanding contribution to diabetic kidney disease complemented by her mentorship of others and involvement with the greater renal and diabetes communities both in Australia and globally.

Nominated by the Director of Nephrology at Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney, Prof Carol Pollock said Prof Forbes was a worthy recipient.

“Prof Forbes has shown long-standing innovation, excellence and self-direction in her research program in diabetic kidney disease and is a leader in Nephrology research globally,” Prof Pollock said.

“Prof Forbes has made a truly outstanding contribution to understanding the pathogenesis of diabetic nephropathy, as well as developing a research program to better understand issues in the diabetic milieu relevant to glycaemic control, one of the major risk factors for diabetic kidney disease.”

The nomination also cited Prof Forbes’s international reputation in diabetic kidney disease, excellence and impact of her research and her leadership role in research both in Australia and overseas.

“I am not alone in believing that her research is outstanding.  She has received numerous national and international accolades for her research including the prestigious Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Medical Research,” Prof Pollock said.

“More recently she received the Research Prize for Women in Science Technology Engineering and Maths at the World Science Festival in 2016 and the Excellence in Life Sciences Award from ‘Women in Technology’ in Queensland in 2014. She has previously received other high accolades including an NHMRC excellence award (2010), a Victorian Young Tall Poppy Award (2009), a Millennium Award for type 1 diabetes (DARP, 2007) and a young researcher award from the International Diabetes Federation (2002).”

Speaking of her award, Prof Forbes said she was overwhelmed by the nomination.

“I am deeply honoured to have been chosen for this award and for the acknowledgement of my work in the field of diabetic kidney disease,” Prof Forbes said.

“This award could certainly not have been achieved without the commitment of my research team, the support I’ve received from Mater Research and the collaboration of my colleagues across Australia and overseas.

“I would also like to acknowledge the funding bodies who have supported my research including Kidney Health Australia, Diabetes Australia, the Juvenile Diabetes Research foundation, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) USA and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).”

Deputy Director Research at Mater Research Professor Mike McGuckin said the award was well deserved.

“Prof Forbes has shown significant commitment in leading the Mater Research Glycation and Diabetes Group, has overcome many challenges in her field and has provided exemplary mentorship in her role and thoroughly deserves this award,” Professor McGuckin said.