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Professor Josh Vogel - Gust-McKenzie Oration

  • 06 Oct 2023


Image: Professor Josh Vogel with his Alastair Lucas Prize and Gust-McKenzie Medal

Burnet Institute excellence in maternal and child health research has been showcased in a special online presentation from Gust-McKenzie Medalist and winner of the Alastair Lucas Prize in 2020, Professor Josh Vogel.

Delivering the 2023 Gust-McKenzie Lecture, Professor Vogel charted the growth of Burnet’s Global Women’s and Newborn’s Health (GWNH) Group with a focus on his interest in intervention trials, clinical epidemiology and guideline development and implementation, and the importance of teamwork in research.


“There is at times an unhelpful narrative about individual scientists working away in the laboratory and coming up with answers that are going to change the world, but my direct experience is that we only go as far as the collaborations that we can put together,” Professor Vogel said.

“An action trial takes several hundred people working across the world … and if you want to go a long way, you’ve got to learn how to listen and learn how to work with others.

“So those who are aspiring to be global health researchers in this space, I really encourage you to think carefully about how you connect with networks and communities because that’s the major mediator of research success and impact.” 

A Senior Principal Research Fellow and co-head of the GWNH Group, Professor Vogel’s research addresses maternal and perinatal health issues of global concern with a focus on improving the quality of maternity care for women in resource-constrained settings. 

He has published more than 170 peer-reviewed articles and has led the development of several WHO guidelines in the field of maternal and perinatal health.

Named in honour of founding directors of the Burnet and Austin Research Institutes, Professor Ian Gust AO and Emeritus Professor Ian McKenzie AM, the Gust-McKenzie Medal is presented annually to an outstanding mid-career Burnet staff member in recognition of excellence in research and/or public health.

Professor Vogel said he was honoured to receive the Gust-McKenzie Medal and to have the opportunity to acknowledge his Alastair Lucas Prize which was unable to be formally presented in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Alastair Lucas Prize, which includes $100,000 per year for two years, is awarded to a researcher who wishes to establish or is establishing their career primarily at Burnet to pursue diseases and health issues of major national or global importance that align with the mission and focus of the Institute. 

Professor Caroline Homer AO won the inaugural Alastair Lucas Prize in 2018, while previous Gust-McKenzie Medalists include Dr Alisa Pedrana (2022), Dr Nick Scott (2021), Professor Leanne Robinson (2020), Dr Suman Majumdar (2019), Dr Anna Hearps (2018), and Associate Professor Joseph Doyle (2017).