Awards

Barry Preston Award

The Barry Preston Award recognises a senior researcher in the matrix biology field. The awardee is an outstanding leader distinguished by a sustained record of achievement, commitment to mentoring new researchers and exceptional communication skills.

This award is named after Barry Preston who was one of the first lecturers in Biochemistry at Monash University. Barry applied the principles of physical chemistry to biopolymers. Utilising model systems, Barry made major contributions to the understanding of the transport and excluded volume properties of matrix proteoglycans and hyaluronan. He was an enthusiastic teacher and mentor to young researchers and is remembered with great fondness and respect by those who had the good fortune to work under his guidance.

Barry was the driving force behind the formation of the Connective Tissue Society of Australia and New Zealand, as MBSANZ was then known, in 1975. He was the inaugural president of the society and served as such on four other occasions. He was director and board member of the Arthritis Foundation of Victoria. Barry passed away in 2000 and in his memory, the MBSANZ established the Barry Preston Award to honour his achievements in the matrix biology field.

The award is open to any Australian or New Zealand researcher in the matrix biology field currently at a national or international research institution, who exemplifies the same passion for discovery and commitment to innovation that Barry typified.

The Executive will call for nominations for this award prior to a society meeting. Current members of the Society may nominate candidates for this award. Nominations should include:

  1. Name and affiliation of the nominee
  2. A statement of the reasons for the nomination
  3. CV of the nominee (maximum 5 pages) including education, honours already received, main field of professional activity and a list of publications

The award is determined by the selection committee chaired by the President. The awardee will deliver a plenary lecture at the society conference on their research.

Bob Fraser New Investigator Award

The Bob Fraser New Investigator Award recognises an emerging early/mid career researcher in the matrix biology field who has demonstrated outstanding research contributions and potential leadership in the future. The Executive will call for applications for this award prior to a society meeting. To be eligible for this award, the applicant must:

  • have been a financial member of MBSANZ for more than 1 year prior to application
  • have no more than 10 years post-doctoral experience
  • register for the conference and submit an abstract for oral presentation

The application must include:

  1. Name and affiliation of the applicant
  2. Verification that they have been a member of the society for more than 1 year
  3. Verification of the date of conferral of their PhD
  4. CV (maximum 3 pages) including education, main field of professional activity and a list of publications
  5. Abstract submitted to the society conference

Finalists are chosen from the application and invited to present at the next society conference. The winner is determined by the selection committee chaired by the President and based on the oral presentation delivered at the society conference.

Dennis Lowther Student Award

The Dennis Lowther Student Award recognises a student researcher in the matrix biology field who has demonstrated outstanding research contributions and communication.

Dennis Lowther established the connective tissue research group at Monash University in the 1960s. This was the first group of its kind in Australia and under Dennis’s leadership developed a strong graduate teaching program. Many of the Australian leaders in the matrix field today, located both in Australia and overseas, can trace their beginnings back to this group. To continue in the spirit of student mentorship initiated by Dennis, the MBSANZ established the Dennis Lowther Award in 1992.

The Executive will call for applications for this award prior to a society meeting. To be eligible for this award, the applicant must:

  • be a financial, student member of MBSANZ
  • register for the conference and submit an abstract for a poster presentation

The application must include:

  1. Name and affiliation of the applicant
  2. Verification that they are a current student member of the society
  3. Abstract submitted to the society conference

Finalists are chosen from the application and invited to present a poster at the next society conference. The winner is determined by the selection committee chaired by the President and based on the poster presentation delivered at the society conference.

MBSANZ Award Winners

Barry Preston Award

2018 Matthew Hoffman, National Institutes of Health, USA.

Dr. Matt Hoffman received his BDS from the University of Otago Faculty of Dentistry in New Zealand. Dr. Hoffman worked clinically for two years for the Wellington Hospital Board, while doing part-time microbiology research at the Medical Research Council. He received a Fulbright Scholarship to study in the United States, and completed a PhD in microbiology and immunology at the University of Rochester, N.Y. in 1994. Dr. Hoffman began postdoctoral training at NIH studying extracellular matrix and cell differentiation, and established his lab at NIDCR in 2004. Dr. Hoffman’s laboratory studies salivary gland development, by investigating how stem/progenitor cells are directed along a series of cell fate decisions during organogenesis, aiming to identify targets for gene- and cell-based regenerative therapies. Dr. Hoffman is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was appointed deputy scientific director of NIDCR in 2016, and was named scientific director of NIDCR's division of intramural research in July 2018.

2016 Shireen Lamandé, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2015 John Whitelock, UNSW Sydney

2014 John Ramshaw, CSIRO

2013 Tony Weiss, University of Sydney

2012 Chris Overall, University of British Columbia

2011 Rik Thompson, St Vincent's Institute

2010 Christopher Little, University of Sydney

2009 Bruce Caterson, Cardiff University

2008 John Bateman, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2007 Amanda Fosang, University of Melbourne

2006 Tony Poole, University of Otago

2005 Miranda Grounds, University of Western Australia

2004 Lydia Sorokin, Lund University

2003 Jeremy Turnbull, University of Liverpool

2002 Peter Johnson, University of Sydney

2001 Veronica James, Australian National University

Bob Fraser New Investigator Award

2018 Brooke Farrugia, UNSW Sydney

Dr Farrugia has a multifaceted research background including biomaterial development and characterisation, wound healing, including in vitro models, molecular biology and glycobiology. Dr Farrugia's research interests lie in the fields of biomaterials and tissue engineering, through the development and characterisation of biomaterials and analysis of how they interact with various biological environments. Specifically, her research activities and interests lie in the fields of wound healing and tissue regeneration; the molecular mechanisms behind their occurrence, and the development of new therapies.

2016 Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina, UNSW Sydney and Yu Suk Choi, University of Western Australia

2015 Chris Turner, University of South Australia

2014 Giselle Yeo, University of Sydney

2013 Cindy Shu, University of Sydney and Ainslie Derrick-Roberts, South Australia Pathology

2012 Dan McCulloch, Deakin University and Miriam Jackson, University of Sydney

2011 Dada Pisconti, University of Colorado at Boulder

2010 Trevor Cameron, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2009 Julie Nigro, CSIRO

2008 Megan Lord, UNSW Sydney

2007 Ian Smyth, Monash University

2006 Justin Allen, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2005 Jason White, University of Melbourne

Dennis Lowther Student Award

2018 Richard Wang, University of Sydney

2016 Sunderajhan Sekar, Queensland University of Technology

2015 Claire Vennin, Kinghorn Cancer Center Sydney

2014 Adam Piers, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2013 Adrian Kaczmarek, University of Adelaide

2011 Izza Tan, University of Adelaide

2010 Leona Tooley, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2009 Leona Tooley, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2009 Chantelle McIntyre, SA Pathology and University of Adelaide

2008 Else Jacobson, North Shore Hospital

2007 Wilson Chan, University of Hong Kong

2006 Rishika Pace, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2005 Rena Hirani, University of Adelaide and Bianca Barnado, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2004 Tom Samiric, La Trobe University

2003 Justin Allen, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute

2002 Jessica Faggian, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute