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CONCERT members dominate Ingham Research Excellence awards

Three of five Ingham Research Excellence Awards have been awarded to CONCERT members earlier this month.

Dr Vikneswary Batumalai follows up her recent SWS award from UNSW with Ingham’s Early Career Researcher Award.

“I am humbled and honoured to have been selected to receive this award. This accomplishment would not be possible without the support and dedication from my mentors; Prof Barton, Prof Delaney, Prof Vinod, Prof Apte and A/Prof Holloway. Thank you also to the Ingham Institute for recognising the importance of supporting early career researchers like me, and to SPHERE for the fellowship that has allowed me to focus on my passion to improve clinical practice in radiotherapy,” Vicky said.  

Vicky is a Research Radiation Therapist at Liverpool and Macarthur (Hospital) Cancer Therapy Centres and has led many innovative projects and supported the introduction of new technologies for cancer treatment.   She has published 26 research papers that focus on improving clinical practice in cancer treatment. Her latest paper ‘Pattern of use of palliative radiotherapy fractionation for bone metastases and 30-day mortality was published in November’s  Radiotherapy & Oncology journal.    

Vicky has shown the detrimental effect on survival of poor access to cancer treatment and quantified the cost of overcoming the gaps in treatment access. She is one of the first radiation therapists in Australia to obtain a PhD.  

Dr Srinivasa Pothula is the recipient of Ingham’s Best Research Support Award this year.

“ I am deeply humbled and encouraged that I have been nominated by multiple research groups, and been selected to this award. It has been a great journey in this institute, where I started my PhD about nine years ago. I thank all my mentors and colleagues, who helped me on this incredible journey,” said Sri.

Upon completing his PhD with the Institute’s Pancreatic Research Group in 2015, Sri was appointed the position as the Institute’s Laboratory Manager. He provides critical laboratory expertise, scientific equipment training and clinical support to over 85 researchers across 17 research groups whilst also facilitating research collaborations between clinicians and scientists working with the local health district and universities. Sri was CONCERT’s Member of the Month in June this year. Read more here:  https://www.concert.org.au/sri-pothula-uncovering-the-secrets-of-pancreatic-cancer/

Medical oncologist, Dr Pei Ding, received Ingham’s Higher Degree Student Award.

“I can’t thank my supervisors, Drs Tara Roberts, Therese Becker, Wei Chua and Victoria Bray, enough for making this PhD journey a truly inspiring one,” Pei said.  

“I am deeply honoured to have the support and help from the amazing scientists at the Ingham Institute and the clinicians from the medical oncology department at Liverpool Hospital throughout my research journey.”  

Pei is a Medical Oncologist who treats patients with gastrointestinal, genitourinary, thoracic and breast cancers. In addition to her clinical role, Pei is working on a PhD that is focused on the understanding of how liquid biopsy with circulating tumour cells and circulating tumour DNA could be used to monitor for disease response and resistance to treatment for patients with metastatic EGFR mutated lung cancer. Pei is actively involved in clinical trials with lung cancer patients across NSW.