Associate Professor Chris Levi from Hunter New England Health and the University of Newcastle has received the 2009 HMRI Award for Research Excellence.
Supported by the Sparke Helmore / NBN Television Triathlon, the award recognises the Hunter’s leading researcher.
Associate Professor Levi has made significant contributions to the global research effort to improve the health of people who suffer a stroke.
In addition to his role as Director of Acute Stroke Services at John Hunter Hospital, he is Director of the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research, and leads the HMRI Brain and Mental Health Research Program and the HMRI Clinical Trials Unit.
Associate Professor Levi leads a talented team of clinical and medical researchers who are tackling stroke from many perspectives.
"Their new model of pre-hospital stroke care has demonstrated how to overcome the time barrier to delivering effective stroke treatment in both metropolitan and now, rural regions. This has lifted stroke treatment rates in the Hunter to above international best practice," said HMRI Director, Professor Maree Gleeson.
"Importantly, it has made world class stroke treatment available to our community, saving many lives and reducing the devastating impacts of a stroke on the person and their families."
The HMRI Award for Early Career Research, sponsored by PULSE, supports a promising researcher in the early stage of their career. This year the HMRI Award for Early Career Research has been jointly awarded to two of the Hunter's outstanding young researchers, Associate Professor Philip Morgan and Dr Lisa Wood, both from the University of Newcastle.
Associate Professor Morgan's research focuses on encouraging physical activity and healthy eating in children, and developing and delivering weight loss interventions for men. Importantly, his research is already making a difference to those who have participated in his studies here in the Hunter.
Dr Lisa Wood has established a successful nutrition research team within the HMRI VIVA Program and the University of Newcastle's Priority Research Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases. Her internationally significant research is focused on exploring the relationship between dietary fat in airway inflammation, and the link between obesity and airway disease.
Dr Wood has already discovered that antioxidants in food can modify airway inflammation. She demonstrated that increasing the level of antioxidants in a person's diet impacts on airway inflammation, which in turn reduces asthma symptoms.