St George’s prizes for excellence in research announced
Published: 06 December 2019
Five St George’s academics have been recognised for their contribution to healthcare research at the University’s annual Research Day.
Selected by a committee, including each of the University’s Research Institute Directors and Deputy Principal (Research and Enterprise) Professor Jon Friedland, the prizes were awarded as part of Research Day, which takes place every year as a flagship celebration of research across the institution.
In recognition of their achievement, each winner was invited to speak about their work.
Outstanding Research Publication – Dr Yingfen Hsia
Dr Hsia picked up the prize for Outstanding Research Publication for her global study on antibiotic use and classification.
By analysing the sales of antibiotics across 70 middle- and high-income countries, Dr Hsia and her colleagues, Dr Julia Bielicki and Professor Mike Sharland in the Paediatric Infectious Disease Research Group, uncovered wide variation in antibiotic use across countries. Their study directly influenced World Health Organization discussions on suitable indicators for monitoring national antibiotic consumption.
It’s hoped that the findings from this work will support countries’ antimicrobial stewardship programmes on antibiotic use, and improve access to core antibiotics that are less likely to encourage antimicrobial resistance when used.
Postdoctoral Research Scientist Award – Dr Sebastian Fuller
Dr Fuller from the Institute for Infection & Immunity, received his award for his social science work on bridging the gap from development to implementation for products that show promise for clinical improvement.
Dr Fuller’s work has included designing and implementing research to uncover the facilitators and barriers to adopting point of care tests for sexually transmitted infections, and a further project to understand people’s opinions of health products created through molecular pharming. Dr Fuller summarised by outlining his hopes that integrating social science into health sciences will improve health product relevance, increase the uptake of new innovations and support policy development.
Excellence in Public/Civic Engagement in Research – Professor Nan Greenwood
Professor Greenwood from the Joint Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education received an award for her work into investigating the research priorities of older, informal carers. This growing group of unpaid carers is often overlooked by research, and more is required to understand their roles in supporting older people with dementia and other long-term conditions.
Hosting workshops for older carers, Professor Greenwood was able to find out this group’s experiences in their caring role. Her research has led to four publications, two dissemination events, a new project focused on carers’ end of life care, and the creation of a support worker role for older carers in Kingston. Professor Greenwood’s work demonstrates the value of patient and public involvement and civic engagement in research and dissemination.
Outstanding Research Achievement by a University Lecturer – Dr Sally Hargreaves
Dr Hargreaves from the Institute for Infection & Immunity was given her award in recognition of her work into improving the health of migrants.
Her research has helped to understand the barriers and facilitators to healthcare for these groups, and has informed guidance on screening and vaccination for migrants to Europe. “There are currently a billion people moving globally,” she said, “and we don’t yet fully understand the health needs of the diverse groups of migrants in Europe or how we can adapt health systems to improve their outcomes.”
Dr Hargreaves is now focusing her NIHR Advanced Fellowship funding on a programme of work aimed at exploring innovative approaches to vaccine delivery for the migrant community in the UK.
Outstanding research achievement by a University Senior Lecturer – Dr Iain Carey
Dr Carey from the Population Health Research Institute received his award for his work using primary care databases across a variety of projects. Working with researchers from multiple St George’s institutes, Dr Carey’s research has covered different research areas such as diabetes and air pollution.
Speaking on his recent research, Dr Carey finished by outlining his latest project. Funded by Muscular Dystrophy UK, this new study will describe the prevalence and incidence for different neuromuscular diseases in the UK and gather information on the health of people living with these rare conditions.
After hearing from the award winners, Deputy Principal, Professor Jon Friedland congratulated each of them on their hard-earned prizes:
“It was no easy task to pick the winners of this year’s awards. We had extremely high-quality nominations from across the University, representing the fantastic research we do at St George’s.
“This year’s winners showcased great academic achievements, and were all characterised by the impact their work is having and will continue to have on society in the years to come. Recognising these achievements really is a highlight of the year, and I’m already awaiting next year’s submissions with anticipation.”