HMRI honours the Hunter's leading health and medical researchers each year through the HMRI Research Awards.

The HMRI Award for Research Excellence is HMRI’s premier award and recognises the achievements of an outstanding senior researcher who has made a sustained contribution to research in the Hunter.

The HMRI Director’s Award for Mid-Career Research recognises and rewards the dedication and achievements of one of the Hunter’s most gifted mid-career researchers.

The HMRI Award for Early Career Research supports and raises awareness of the work of the Hunter's most talented early career researchers, at a critical time in their career.

HMRI Award For Research Excellence
HMRI Award For Research Excellence
Laureate Professor Nick Talley

A gastroenterologist with a special interest in neurogastroenterology, inflammation and infection, Laureate Professor Talley is considered an international authority in the field. His research covers the local and systemic effects of low grade inflammation in the gut, the role of the gut micro-organisms and the gut-brain axis.

Laureate Professor Talley is a member of the Rome Foundation Board for 17 years (the authority in the classification of all the functional GI disorders), former editor of major journals in the field (Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, American Journal of Gastroenterology) and is the Editor-in-Chief of the Medical Journal of Australia, and has been PI on an extensive portfolio of research.

HMRI Director's Award for Mid-Career Research
HMRI Award for Mid-Career Research
Tracy Burrows

Associate Professor Tracy Burrows is an Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitian (AdvAPD) and Senior Lecturer in the School of Health Sciences, Faculty Health and Medicine at the University of Newcastle. She completed her PhD in 2008 and was appointed Lecturer at UON in the same year. Prior to this, she worked in private practice as a dietitian, having obtained an undergraduate degree BHSc (Nutrition & Dietetics). 

Associate Professor Burrows has developed a cohesive program of research on obesity over the lifespan ranging from preschool through to adulthood, with particular focuses on food addiction, biomarkers/validation methods and obesity management. 

She has employed a variety of nutritional biomarkers sourced from blood, plasma and urine including carotenoids, red blood cell membrane fatty acids and double labelled water. Associate Professor Burrows has overcome a range of methodological barriers specific to paediatric populations, including practical family arrangements, limited attention spans, and varying stages of cognitive development, to obtain nutritional outcome measures. 

HMRI Award for Early Career Research
HMRI Award for Early Career Research
Dr Andrew Gardner

Dr Gardner is an NHMRC Early Career Fellow with the School of Medicine & Public Health at the University of Newcastle, and an honorary clinical research fellow with the Hunter New England Local Health District. He is also a Co-Director of HNEH's Sport Concussion Clinic, an Executive Committee Member of the Priority Research Centre for Stroke and Brain Injury, and serves as a member of the Australian Rugby Union's (ARUs) Concussion Advisory Group.

Dr Gardner has conducted research in the field of sports concussion for the past 10 years, having first worked as a research assistant for the New England Paediatric Head Trauma Program. He received first class honours in Psychology (University of New England) in 2005 and subsequently completed a Doctor of Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology) degree at Macquarie University, Sydney, where he conducted research examining the acute and cumulative neuropsychological consequences of sports concussion in semi-professional rugby union players.