2020 Research Excellence Awards

Professor Deborah Sweeney, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President, Research, Enterprise and International presented the following Awards:

Research Excellence Awards

  • Research Excellence through Partnership
  • Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Team Award

Research Excellence Through Partnership


Herbal Medicines Supporting Healthy Brain Aging

  • Dr Ritesh Raju, Lecturer in Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Dr Erika Gyengesi,Senior Lecturer, Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Professor Tim Karl, Professor for Behavioural Neuroscience, School of Medicine
  • Professor Chun Guang Li,Professor Pharmacology, NICM Health Research Institute
  • Professor Gerald Muench,Professor of Pharmacology, School of Medicine
  • Garry Niedermayer,Lecturer, Pathobiology, School of Science
  • Associate Professor Genevieve Steiner,NHMRC-ARC Dementia Senior Research Development Fellow, HICM Health Research Institute

The "Herbal Medicines supporting Healthy Brain Aging" (or short: Brain Herbs) Team has shown an impressive array of research partnerships, with community, industry and international partners. In particular, they have worked with three major Australian companies in projects identifying potent anti-inflammatory drug extracts from medicinal plants. Professor Tim Karl, Professor Chun Guang Li, Dr Ritesh Raju and Dr Erika Gyengesi, along with their PhD students, have led industry-based projects, discovering novel anti-inflammatory drugs from herbal sources, including tropical rainforest plants, and tested them in animal models of chronic neuroinflammation and in patients with cognitive decline.


  • Associate Professor Ajesh George, Director, Centre for Oral Health Outcomes and Research Translation, School of Nursing and Midwifery

Excellence in Research Interdisciplinary Group Award


Eating Disorder and Body Image (EDBI) Research Network

  • Professor Phillipa Hay, Professor of Mental Health, School of Medicine
  • Dr Janet Conti, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, School of Psychology
  • Lucy Dahill, Student , Doctor of Philosophy, Translational Health Research Institute
  • Dr Rakime Elmir, Lecturer, School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Dr Catharine Fleming, Lecturer, Public Health, School of Health Sciences
  • Dr Nasim Foroughi, Research Officer, School of Medicine
  • Dr Haider Mannan, Lecturer, Translational Health Research Institute
  • Deborah Mitchison, Research Fellow, Translational Health Research Institute
  • Tiffany Patterson-Norie ,Research Assistant, School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Dr Milan Piya, Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine
  • Katarina Prnjak, Student, Doctor of Philosophy, Medicine
  • Associate Professor Lucie Ramjan, Director of Academic Workforce, Parramatta, School of Nursing and Midwifery
  • Dr Evelyn Smith, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology (Assessment), School of Psychology
  • Fiona Wright, Sessional Academic, Writing and Society Research Centre, School of Humanities and Communication Arts

Adjunct Members:

  • Shazna Buksh, Visiting Fellow, School of Medicine
  • Adam Burt, Conjoint Associate Lecturer, School of Medicine
  • Dr Gabriella Heruc, Adjunct Fellow, School of Medicine
  • Dr Jon Mond, Adjunct Appointment , School of Medicine
  • Dr Marly Amorim Palavras, Adjunct Fellow, School of Medicine
  • Dr Jayanthi Raman, Conjoint Senior Lecturer, School of Medicine
  • Dr Anoop Sankaranarayanan, Conjoint Associate Professor, School of Medicine
  • Dr Monica Sekowski, Adjunct Fellow, School of Social Sciences and Psychology
  • Dr Beth Shelton,  Adjunct Fellow, School of Medicine

The Eating Disorder and Body Image Network (EDBI) was established in 2019 in response to a White Paper that highlighted the need for cross-disciplinary focused research addressing the burden of eating, weight and body image problems. The 23 EDBI members combine disciplines from psychology and psychiatry, to epidemiology and biostatistics, and dietetics, endocrinology, nursing and midwifery. Members are researchers, clinicians, consumers and policy-makers. The group has had a long history of collaboration and high level of impact, evidenced by the development of novel interventions, highly-cited outputs, generation of research funding, and awards at the senior, early career and student level.


Sustainable Protected Vegetable and Fruit Cropping (SPVFC)

  • Profesor Yi-Chen Lan, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Global Development and Provost, Vietnam Campus
  • Dr Sachin Chavan, Research Fellow, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment
  • Associate Professor Zhonghua Chen, Associate Dean, International, School of Science
  • Dr Weiguang Liang, Senior Technical Officer, Crop Management, Research Services
  • Chelsea Maier, Facility Coordinator, Greenhouse RETF, Research Services
  • Dr Premaratne Samaranayake, Senior Lecturer, School of Business
  • Distinguished Professor David Tissue, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment