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Research Symposium

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The 2023 Barwon Health Research Symposium was a great success! A crowd of over 90 - in person and online - were treated to an impressive line-up of presentations and posters that highlighted the important work being conducted throughout Barwon Health and across the healthcare spectrum. The Symposium celebrated our year in research and reinforced the strong sense that we’re all part of something important. It also demonstrated how our shared endeavours can contribute to better health and wellbeing outcomes – here in the Barwon South West region, nationally and internationally.

Barwon Health Deakin University Research Prizes

Frances Diver, Chief Executive, Barwon Health, presented the 2023 Research Prizes to the following winners:

Best Paper of the Year Award (Clinician researcher):

  • Dr Bridgette McNamara, Barwon South West Public Health Unit: Comprehensive case-control study of protective and risk factors for Buruli Ulcer, southeastern Australia

Best Paper of the Year Award (Scientist):

  • Dr Luba Sominsky, IMPACT and CHeRUB: Pre-pregnancy obesity is associated with greater systemic inflammation and increased risk of antenatal depression

Bridgette McNamara        Luba Sominsky

Research Poster Awards:

  • Basic Science: Trang Truong, IMPACT, Deakin University: Network-based drug repurposing for schizophrenia (accepted by Dr Bruna Pannizutti Parry)
  • Clinical Registry/ Data Analysis: Dr Tia Smith, Aged Care, Barwon Health: Evaluation of the utilisation and clinical outcomes of an afterhours emergency telehealth service to residential aged care facilities
  • Clinical Trials: Allison Bone, ICU Research, Barwon Health: A pilot feasibility randomised controlled trial of bone anti-resorptive agents on bone turnover markers in critically ill women (accepted by A/Prof Neil Orford)
  • Cohort/ Population Studies: Jacob Harland, IMPACT, Deakin University: Bone mineral density and trabecular bone score values in novel subgroups of adult-onset Diabetes
  • Qualitative Research: Erin Parker, Social Work, Barwon Health & Maryam Esghaei: Healthcare gaps and barriers to service utilisation within Geelong refugee communities: a co-designed research and service improvement project.
  • Translational Research: Dr Samantha Dawson, Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University: The Pregnancy Research and Translation Ecosystem: Improving the proportion of women meeting the dietary guidelines in pregnancy

Trang Truong    Tia Smith   Allison Bone and ICU   Jacob Harland   Samanatha Dawson

 To view all submitted posters, please take a virtual walk through the BH DU Research Poster exhibition at


Read on below for photos and presenters from the day

Last Modified: Friday, 01 December 2023