This year’s Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation (BGRF) Medal has been awarded to Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) Neurologist, Professor Terence O’Brien.
The medal was presented recognition of his internationally-acclaimed research that has transformed the lives of many people with epilepsy as well as traumatic brain injury, dementias and brain tumours.
Patients with difficult to control, drug-resistant epilepsy now have access to more effective treatment options, including surgery, and a better understanding of the adverse effects of long-term medication use. Women with epilepsy have also benefited and now have better information about minimising the risk of medication on their unborn child while maximising the chance of seizure control.
Presenting the BGRF medal on behalf of the foundation, Professor Stephen Davis, Director Neurology at The RMH and a previous winner, reflected on Professor O’Brien’s stellar national and international reputation.
“Under his inspired leadership the Department of Medicine has grown enormously and his skill as a leader, mentor and collaborator have been at the heart of this success,” Professor Davis said.
“He builds a bridge between the laboratory and the clinic and is one of Australia’s leading clinical and translational neuroscientists.”
Professor O’Brien is the James Stewart Professor of Medicine at the Royal Melbourne Hospital (RMH) and The University of Melbourne as well as an esteemed consultant neurologist at the RMH.
Accepting the BGRF Medal, Professor O’Brien said it was humbling to receive a medal previously awarded to Australia’s most pre-eminent neuroscience researchers. He stressed the collaborative nature of his research and acknowledged the enormous contribution of his team.
“My achievements would not have been possible in isolation. They are the result of collaboration and the effort of a large translational research team over many years," Professor O’Brien said.
The impact of Professor O’Brien’s work can also be seen in his prolific publishing achievements with over 335 peer-reviewed papers.