Inspiring Health
Transforming Care

Introducing our 2021 Research Excellence Awards Recipients


Left to right: Mrs. Claudia Bishop, A/Prof. Susie Connor, Prof. Ian Harris. Dr. Frances Doyle,
Dr. Tara Roberts and Dr Mei Ling Yap.

Each year, the Ingham Institute Research Excellence Awards celebrates the achievements of some of the best researchers in Australia. Our 2021 winners all hold multiple roles not just as researchers, but also as clinicians and educators.
We are proud to introduce them to you now.

Lady (Mary) Fairfax AC, OBE Distinguished Researcher Award
Awarded to Prof Ian Harris
Research Group: Whitlam Orthopaedic Centre
Ian Harris leads the WHITLAM orthopaedic research group at the Ingham Institute for Applied Medical Research in Liverpool, is an orthopaedic surgeon with a clinical interest in trauma care, and a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the South Western Sydney Clinical School of UNSW Sydney. He is also Honorary Professor at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney where his research is based at the Institute for Musculoskeletal Health in Camperdown.

Ian’s research interests are in surgical outcomes and the appropriateness of medical care. He conducts randomised trials, systematic reviews, cohort studies and methods studies and has over 200 publications and has received over $22 million in grant funding since 2012.

He is a critic of many aspects of modern medical practice and is a campaigner for more science in medicine and in society.

He published his book Surgery, the Ultimate Placebo in 2016 and received a Rockefeller Foundation Academic Writing Residency in 2018 to complete another book focusing on the negative aspects of our reliance on surgery in society.

Lady (Mary) Fairfax AC, OBE Distinguished Researcher Award
Awarded to A/Prof Susan Connor
Research Group: Gut and Microbiome Academic Unit
A/Professor Susan Connor leads the Gut and Microbiome Academic Unit at the Ingham Institute, is Head of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) service at the Liverpool Hospital in Sydney where she also serves as a Senior Staff Specialist. Susan is also a Conjoint Associate Professor with the University of New South Wales (UNSW).

A/Professor Connor is widely recognised as an international figure in the field of IBD. Susan is on the management committee for the Australian and New Zealand IBD Consortium, Chair for the Australian IBD Association and one of two Australian faculties for Cornerstone Health. Her clinical interests encompass IBD, advocating the improvement of patient care for bowel disease and promoting models for chronic disease management. As well as this, her passion is in developing better training environments for medical doctors and improving research within the South Western Sydney Local Health District (SWSLHD), expanding throughout Australia and New Zealand.

Higher Degree Student Award
Awarded to Dr. Mei Ling Yap
Research Group: Collaboration for Cancer Outcomes Research and Evaluation (CCORE)
Dr Yap is a cancer researcher at the Ingham Institute whereby she completed four population-based studies on the radiotherapy utilisation of cancer patients in the 45 and Up Study, NSW. This has resulted in four accepted first author publications in international radiation oncology journals and the Medical Journal of Australia. She is also Staff Specialist Radiation Oncologist at the Liverpool & Macarthur Cancer Therapy Centres.


Early Career Researcher Award
Awarded to Dr. Frances Doyle
Research group: Academic Unit of Child Psychiatry
Dr Doyle is a clinical child psychologist and the Project Manager and Senior Psychologist of the ‘Watch Me Grow for REAL’ birth-cohort research project at the Ingham Institute, which analysed the psycho-physiological Responsiveness, Emotional Attention, and Learning (REAL) factors that may be associated with childhood wellbeing or ill mental health of almost 800 mothers and their infants since 2017.

Dr Doyle has 12 published peer reviewed academic journal articles on child, adolescent, and family psychology (6 first-author papers), and 7 manuscripts under review (4 first-author papers).

Frances’ research aims to lower rates of childhood mental health problems by: (1) creating an informative and innovative trans-diagnostic model of the development of childhood mental health problems that can better inform prevention and treatment; (2) considering parents and carers as partners when promoting and optimising family wellbeing; and (3) improving access and knowledge about evidence-based prevention and treatment.

Excellence in Teaching Award
Awarded to Dr. Tara Roberts
Research Group: Cancer
A/Prof Tara Roberts exhibits unparalleled dedication to teaching of clinicians and scientists at the Ingham Institute, Western Sydney University and in the SWSLHD. As a Midcareer Researcher Dr Roberts has already supervised 7 PhD, 2 Masters and 4 Honours students to completion; all former students have moved on to outstanding careers in medicine, science and industry after being fostered by her excellent mentorship. She currently supervises, inspires and mentors 12 Honours, Masters and PhD students. Tara is also the Higher Degree Research Director for the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, working to continuously improve support for students across a range of campuses – Macarthur clinical school, Liverpool and Ingham Institute, Campbelltown campus, Blacktown hospital and the Westmead precinct.

Best Research Support Award
Awarded to Ms Claudia Bishop
Research Group: Diabetes
Claudia is a Clinical trials and project coordinator for the Ingham Institute and the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University.

Claudia has mentored all present and past members of our team in clinical trials methodology, including both those who are clinical (medical, nursing and allied health) and non-clinical.

Claudia commenced her role as the Trial Coordinator for the NHMRC funded ToBOGM randomised controlled trial, a large project across 4 countries and 5 Australian sites/territories. Claudia was responsible for compliance, finance and general clinical trial tasks and still assists a research assistant (without prior clinical trial expertise) coordinate the trial

We are very proud to work alongside such highly accomplished colleagues, and are excited to see what their careers bring in the future.

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