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Professor Steve Vucic wins Eric Susman Prize

3 November 2016
Pinpointing the causes of motor neurone disease

Neurologist recognised for pioneering research

Professor Steve Vucic

Neurologist Professor Steve Vucic has been awarded the Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Eric Susman Prize for his pioneering work over the past five years to identify the mechanisms that underlie motor neurone disease (MND).

Steve is a clinical academic and professor of neurology at the Western Clinical School, University of Sydney, Westmead Hospital and Westmead Institute for Medical Research.

His research has aided the development of new techniques for diagnosing MND (also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS), resulting in earlier, more effective interventions. His work has also led to the identification of new therapeutic targets and neuroprotective therapies for the disease, which kills two Australians every day.

Sufferers of MND progressively lose the use of their limbs and the ability to speak, swallow and breathe, while their mind remains intact. There is currently no cure.

After completing his clinical training in neurology at the Royal Prince Alfred and Concord Hospitals, he did further training in clinical and research neurophysiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Following his return to Australia, he completed a PhD under the supervision of Co-Director of the Brain and Mind Centre, Professor Matthew Kiernan.

Steve has received numerous research awards, including the 2007 ANZAN Young Investigator Prize, the 2007 JG Golseth Young Investigator Prize of the American Academy of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine, the 2008 University of Sydney Medal for excellence in Medical Research, the 2010 MAB Brazier Young Investigator Award in Clinical Neurophysiology and the 2014 Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Prize for Discovery in Medical Research, shared with his University of Sydney colleague Associate Professor Anthony Gill. He was also awarded the Gottschalk Medal at the 2016 Australian Academy of Science awards.

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians Eric Susman Prize is awarded annually to a Fellow of the College for the best contribution to the knowledge of any branch of internal medicine. Steve will be presented with the prize at the Royal Australasian College of Physicians Congress in May 2017. 

Elise Pitt

Communications Specialist (Research)
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