IMB scientist wins top Minister’s award

10 Jun 2016
Dr Joseph Powell
Dr Joseph Powell

Dr Joseph Powell from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience has been awarded the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research.

The prestigious award administered by the National Health and Medical Research Council recognised Dr Powell’s research into the ways genetic differences in humans can affect their disease susceptibility. Dr Powell is the only Queensland researcher to receive this accolade in its 16 year history.

Dr Powell said the last decade had seen a dramatic increase in our understanding of the role of genetic variation in common diseases, with studies cataloging thousands of common genetic variants that affect human health. 

“Despite this, most mechanisms by which this genetic variation predisposes individuals to disease are still poorly understood, which impedes researchers’ ability to develop effective therapeutic interventions,” he said.

“My team uses sophisticated statistical methodology and high performance computing resources to unlock some of these mysteries.

“I’m really grateful to the NHMRC for this prize, which will go a long way to helping us with this important research.”

The award was presented at The Australian Society for Medical Research Gala Dinner in Melbourne on 9 June 2016, as part of their ASMR Medical Research Week celebrations.

Initiated in 2000 and based on independent expert review, the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research is awarded to the top-ranked NHMRC Career Development Fellowship recipient. Career Development Fellowships are highly competitive, four-year fellowships that support the most outstanding early- to mid-career health and medical researchers.

Contact: Heidi Jones, IMB A/Communications Manager, 3346 2134,