Asthma Specialist Wins Prestigious Medal

Professor Helen Reddel with Professor Bruce Thompson, TSANZ President.

Professor Helen Reddel with Professor Bruce Thompson, TSANZ President.

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

The Sydney respiratory 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 evidence-based 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 clinical guidelines and communication between patients and health professionals.

A Research Leader at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research, and Clinical Adviser to the Australian Centre for Airways disease Monitoring, Professor Reddel is also the Chair of the Science Committee of the Global Initiative for Asthma (GINA), and a member of the National Asthma Council (NAC) Guidelines Committee. She has contributed her expertise to organisations such as the Lung Foundation of Australia (LFA), National Prescribing Service (NPS) and Asthma Australia.

She has published over 170 peer-reviewed articles, including two that were recently published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, both identified by the journal editor as being of “significant importance to the field of respiratory medicine”. The 2009 report of an international Task Force on asthma outcomes that Professor Reddel co-chaired was recently described as the 18th most influential asthma publication since 1960. Professor Reddel also regularly presents at international respiratory conferences on the challenges of diagnosis and management for asthma and COPD. She continues to lead ground-breaking research, currently co-chairing a multinational study of over 12,000 patients that is investigating mechanisms underlying asthma and COPD.

Professor 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.