Brett Hambly awarded 2011 Professor J A Young Medal
Associate Professor Brett Hambly from the School of Medical Sciences has been awarded the 2011 Professor J A Young Medal for excellence in research and exemplary service to Sydney Medical School and the University, in particular in the area of postgraduate scholarships and student recruitment, and the community at large.
Brett’s research has focussed in the area of cardiovascular disease, with two broad strands. In the basic science strand, he has focussed on understanding contractile protein structure and molecular interactions, utilizing spectroscopic techniques such as spin resonance and fluorescence. In this way, a significant body of his work has progressively been able to demonstrate dynamically the conformational changes that occur in myosin that result in force generation in muscle. This earlier work has proven to be fundamental to the second strand of his research that is oriented towards the pathology of cardiac disease. He has examined a number of disease processes, in particular, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, where are he has focussed on understanding protein structure and molecular interactions in the causative mutant contractile proteins. In addition, his more recent work over the last decade has included studies on cardiac ischaemia reperfusion injury as well as various vasculopathies, particularly atherosclerosis and transplant arteriosclerosis.
Over the past 20 years he has been continuously funded for his research and has during this time supervised five successful PhD students and co-supervised another 11, as well as supervising and co-supervising dozens of Science and Medicine Honours students.
His undergraduate and graduate coursework teaching has attracted outstanding feedback and he is consistently the top-ranked lecturer in Cell Pathology and performs well above average in Sydney Medical program PBL teaching. He has made major contributions to the development and implementation of a number of aspects of the Sydney Medical Program.
Brett has provided exemplary service to Sydney Medical School and the University at large, most notably in his capacity as Associate Dean (Postgraduate Scholarships and Student Recruitment) and his membership of the Postgraduate Awards Sub-Committee (PGASC) of the Academic Board. He joined this committee in 2005 as the Chair of the Health Cluster ranking committee (Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and now including Nursing) and is now the 2nd longest serving person on the PGASC. Over the past six years, Brett has worked tirelessly as an advocate for research students in the health faculties, in particular Medicine, and fought for recognition of their qualifications and professional and research experience in the University’s ranking system for Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs) and also International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS). In 2010 the proportion of APAs awarded to postgraduate students in Medicine had risen from approximately 15% to 20%.
Brett’s service to the community includes the provision of leadership in professional associations, including as an executive member of the Australian Society for Biophysics for 15 years as NSW State Representative, Treasurer, Vice-President and President (2007-2008).