Asthma Specialist Wins Prestigious Medal

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Woolcock respiratory specialist Professor Helen Reddel has been honoured for her outstanding contribution to thoracic medicine.

The Sydney physician is the recipient of the 2019 Society Medal bestowed by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ). The prestigious award was presented at the TSANZ annual conference on the Gold Coast on April 2.

Professor Reddel is a widely-published researcher specializing in practical strategies to improve care for Australians living with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Her work involves collaborations with GPs, pharmacists and nurses, and has a strong focus on improving guidelines and communication between patients and health professionals.

A Research Leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, Professor Reddel has also contributed her expertise to organisations such as the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), National Asthma Council (NAC), Lung Foundation of Australia (LFA), National Prescribing Service (NPS) and the NHMRC.

She has published at least 159 peer-reviewed articles, including two recent contributions to the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine both identified by the journal editor as being of “significant importance to the field of respiratory medicine”. Professor Reddel also regularly presents at international respiratory conferences on the challenges of diagnosis and management for COPD and asthma.

Prof Reddel is the second female to receive this award, following Prof Ann Woolcock in 1998 who supervised Prof Reddel’s PhD studies.

The TSANZ Society Medal was conceived as an acknowledgment of excellence in the advancement of the practice of thoracic medicine in Australia and New Zealand. The inaugural Society Medal was presented in 1992 to Dr Maurice Joseph, who ably embodied the qualities envisaged by this senior prestigious award.