2022 HMRI Award winners announced 

Nov 11 2022

The winners of the 2022 HMRI awards were announced last night at NEX in Newcastle in front of friends, families, HMRI staff and supporters.   

With $90,000 in prize money on offer, the HMRI Awards honour the best overall researcher, mid-career researcher, early career researcher and research team.   

This year’s overall winner for Research Excellence is Professor Brett Nixon from the HMRI Infertility and Reproduction Research Program. Professor Nixon’s research focuses on genetic and environmental factors that impact sperm quality.   

The Mid-Career Researcher of the Year is Professor Pradeep Tanwar from the HMRI Cancer Detection and Therapy Research Program. Pradeep specialises in gynaecological research and is the Director of the University of Newcastle’s Global Centre for Gynaecological Diseases.  

The Early Career Researcher of the Year is Dr Michelle Kennedy from the HMRI Equity and Health and Wellbeing Research Program. Dr Kennedy created a smoking cessation program for pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.    

The Research Team Excellence Award has gone to the Physically Active Children in Education team (PACE), headed up by Dr Nicole Nathan from the HMRI Active Living Research Program . This project aims to improve the delivery of physical activity by teachers in primary schools.   

HMRI Director, Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin says the researchers recoginsed this year are doing globally relevant work.,  


“HMRI’s purpose is to improve the health and wellbeing of our communities and these researchers are having an impact on the health of people everywhere,” said Professor Kay-Lambkin.  


“This recognition and the award funding gives our researchers the ability to push further and faster in their chosen fields. Huge congratulations to them and sincere thanks to the donors who make these awards possible.”  

Watch the full livestream of the night:


Full details of winners and finalists below:  

  • HMRI Award for Research Excellence ($20,000)
    Finalists: Professor Geoff Isbister and Professor Brett Nixon
    Winner: Professor Brett Nixon  
  • Director’s Award for Mid-Career Research ($20,000)
    Finalists: Associate Professor Matt Dun, Associate Professor Jay Horvat and Professor Pradeep Tanwar
    Winner: Professor Pradeep Tanwar  
  • HMRI Award for Early Career Research ($20,000)
    Finalists: Dr Michelle Kennedy and Dr Rachel Sutherland 
    Winner: Dr Michelle Kennedy  
  • HMRI Foundation Research Team Excellence Award ($30,000)
    Finalists: No Money No Time Team (led by Laureate Professor Clare Collins), and Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) Team (led by Dr Nicole Nathan)
    Winner: Physically Active Children in Education (PACE) Team (led by Dr Nicole Nathan)