10 of the Best: Recognising Australia’s top researchers delivering extraordinary outcomes


The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has released the 15th edition of its ’10 of the Best’ publication, showcasing the calibre of our nation’s health and medical researchers working to prevent disease, improve detection and treatment methods, increase our understanding of common health conditions and deliver extraordinary outcomes.

NHMRC provides funding through its grant program, investing in innovative projects across the research spectrum that have the potential to solve complex problems, and that support the translation of research into healthcare delivery, policy, and real-life practice.

The health and wellbeing of all Australians remains at the forefront of NHMRC’s vision of building a healthy Australia. The researchers honoured in NHMRC’s 10 of the Best – Fifteenth Edition are addressing pressing health concerns faced by many, as well as developing cross cutting innovations that will enable other researchers to solve future health challenges. The 10 projects featured in this edition were first funded in 2021.

NHMRC CEO Professor Steve Wesselingh said that ‘investment in research discoveries and the translation of knowledge into practice, as well as a workforce that fosters collaborations, ensures we are advancing health and medical knowledge and outcomes for all Australians.’

‘NHMRC’s reputation as the key driver of health and medical research spreads beyond our nation’s borders, positioning Australia as a leader in helping the next generations to live longer and healthier lives through the research we fund’ he said.

10 of the Best – Fifteenth Edition showcases the innovative projects, and their outcomes, that have been translated into our research-embedded health system. It includes stories, from across Australia, of researchers examining the use of addiction therapeutics to treat obesity, evaluating vaccine formulations to prevent ear disease among school-aged Indigenous children, redefining the nutritional requirements and dietary energy balance for pregnant women to prevent preterm birth, and developing a program to assist schools in improving physical activity levels among adolescents.

‘To have a hypothesis is one small aspect of successful research – having the fearlessness to share ideas, explore methods and expand the knowledge for the benefit of many is what differentiates projects such as these and makes them so significant.’

‘With a focus on the end-user, NHMRC will continue to invest in health and medical research that has the potential to lead to healthier and more productive communities.’

‘Congratulations to the researchers and their teams highlighted in this 15th edition of 10 of the Best, and behalf of all Australians, I thank you for delivering such extraordinary health and medical outcomes now and for future generations.’ said Professor Wesselingh.

Table 1: The projects featured in 10 of the Best – Fifteenth Edition

Project title



Developing an evidence-based intervention and tools to assess and predict risk, protective and promotive factors of psychosocial resilience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adolescents: A mixed methods program of research

Professor Roxanne Bainbridge

Central Queensland University

Otitis media, hearing loss and school readiness of Indigenous children followed from birth in two randomised controlled trials of novel pneumococcal conjugate vaccine schedules (VOICES. Vaccines to prevent Otitis media In Children Entering School)

Professor Amanda Leach

Menzies School of Health Research

Foods for Future Australians

Professor Robert Gibson & Professor Maria Makrides

University of Adelaide

A novel approach for the treatment of obesity: examining the potential of addiction therapeutics

Dr Robyn Brown

University of Melbourne

The Implementation of MinimAlly INvasivE hysterectomy (IMAGINE) trial

Professor Andreas Obermair

University of Queensland

Innovative responses to prevention and treatment of mental disorders and substance use

Professor Maree Teesson

University of Sydney

Novel Clinical Biomarkers of Glaucoma Management

Dr Zhichao Wu

Centre for Eye Research Australia

Superior surgical fixation using a novel orthopaedic expandable fastener

Dr Intan Oldakowska & Dr Matthew Oldakowski

Curtin University

A randomised trial of an intervention to facilitate the implementation of evidence based secondary school physical activity practices

Dr Rachel Sutherland

University of Newcastle

Improving prevention, tracking and treatment of major human bacterial pathogens

Professor Ben Howden

University of Melbourne

/Public Release. View in full here.