The Kirby Institute’s Dr Louise Causer was awarded the Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship at the NHMRC’s Research Excellence Awards dinner last night in Canberra. The award recognises Dr Causer as the top-ranked successful NHMRC Early Career Fellowship recipient in 2018.
Dr Causer’s current work focuses on evaluations of point-of-care diagnostics for STIs, in particular chlamydia and gonorrhoea. She is a co-investigator on the NHMRC-funded TTANGO (and TTANGO2) “Test, Treat and Go” trial, which is implementing STI point-of-care testing in remote and regional Australia. Point-of-care testing enables people to do a test, receive their results, and if needed, begin treatment, all in the one visit, removing prohibitive barriers such as geographical distance to a health clinic.
As part of TTANGO2 and a new Triple I seed grant, she is exploring ways to improve the utility of routinely collected health data for program evaluation, in particular antibiotic use, and Dr Causer says the fellowship will help to support for her ambition to conduct impactful research that improves the management and control of infectious diseases in Australia and the region.
NHMRC Research Excellence Award recipients. Credit: NHMRC.
“I am honoured to receive this award,” says Dr Causer. “During this fellowship, I’m looking forward to developing a research portfolio that will maximise the benefits of new diagnostic technologies and strategies like rapid point-of-care testing for STIs.”
The NHMRC Frank Fenner Award is named after Professor Frank Fenner, an Australian researcher who played a key role in the eradication of smallpox and also directed the effort to reduce the country’s rabbit population using the myxoma virus. The Frank Fenner Early Career Fellowship is awarded to an individual from the Biomedical or Public Health category whose research focus is in an area of international public health application.