Image: Associate Professor Joshua Vogel (left) with colleagues Sr Rosemary Pilakvue and Dr Alyce Wilson, Paparatava Hospital, PNG
Associate Professor Joshua Vogel, Principal Research Fellow with Burnet Institute’s Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health program, and Global Women’s and Newborns’ Health team, is the winner of the prestigious 2020 Alastair Lucas Prize for Medical Research.
A medical doctor with a PhD in maternal and perinatal epidemiology, Associate Professor Vogel’s research focuses primarily on maternal and perinatal health issues affecting women and families living in resource-constrained settings, particularly the major causes of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.
For the past several years he has co-ordinated and contributed to a number of World Health Organization-led primary research, knowledge synthesis and implementation activities in low- and middle-income country settings.
“The Global Women’s and Newborns’ Health team started two years ago around the time that (Professor) Caroline Homer and I both started and joined forces,” Associate Professor Vogel said.
“In that time, we’ve gone from strength to strength, we’re building a really exciting program of research and we’re very interested in improving the quality of care around the time of childbirth for women, particularly women in limited-resource setting.”
Associate Professor Vogel said he was humbled and grateful to the Institute for the award, established as a tribute to the late Alastair Lucas AO, former long-time Chair of Burnet Institute who died after a short illness in July 2015 at the age of 63.
The prize, which includes a competitive award of AUD$100,000 per annum for two years, is aimed at supporting high-calibre researchers who are wishing to establish, or in the process of establishing a career at Burnet, to undertake a program of work that aligns with the mission and focus of the Institute.
Associate Professor Vogel said he would dedicate the award funds to a study into improving intrapartum care in India.
“These resources will allow us to expand that work, do more and better research but also support our PhD students to really get stuck in as well,” he said.
“We want to bring that research capacity-strengthening lens to all of our activities.”
“This year we’ve been buffeted by COVID and the challenges it’s brought, but we’ve been concerned with those women who are pregnant, who are having children in these times and there’s going to be a lot of work to do, now, and as things recover.”
Associate Professor Vogel’s colleague, Professor Homer was the inaugural winner of the Alastair Lucas Prize in 2018.