Young Researcher of the Year Award
2015 winner announced

Dr Moran Gilat has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Parkinson’s NSW Young Researcher of the Year Award at a reception at Parliament House in Sydney today.

The award was open to early career researchers who are currently working on a Parkinson’s related project, are 40 years old or less and are PHD students or up to five years post (relative to opportunity).

Young researchers from across NSW submitted posters that outlined their current research project. There were 3 criteria for the judging; scientific merit, design of poster that supported the information and clarity of communication to a layperson.

Dr Moran Gilat works as a member of Dr Simon Lewis’ research team at the Brain & Mind Centre within the University of Sydney. Dr Gilat was inspired to research into Parkinson’s disease by his mother who is a nurse in an aged care facility. During his undergraduate studies, Dr Gilat said “I became inspired when a patient with Parkinson’s disease visited a lecture to talk about the daily problems he faced. One of his major problems was freezing of gait. A phenomenon he explained that most people, including his GP did not know about and therefore couldn’t help him. This really struck me, because how could such a common symptom of Parkinson’s disease still be so poorly understood? Trying to find an answer to this question led me towards the research team at the Brain & Mind Centre.”

“I have been extremely lucky to meet very friendly Parkinson’s patients over the years that has made me dedicated to keep trying my best to provide more knowledge to the field that can translate to better outcomes to those affected by Parkinson’s.” said Dr Gilat.

Parkinson’s NSW CEO, Miriam Dixon said “It is wonderful to see so many young people passionate about research and using their intellect and education to help us find new treatments and ultimately find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.” “We were amazed at the high standard of the submissions we received from all our applicants. Dr Gilat’s poster really stood out for easy to understand language and a very clear design that supported his scientific research.”

The other finalists for the award were; Dr Boris Guennewig (The Garvan Institute), Dr Brianada Koentjoro (Kolling Institute of Medical Research), Dr Sandy Stayte (The Garvan Institute) and Benjamin Trist (Brain & Mind Centre, University of Sydney).

About Parkinson’s disease

  • Over 80,000 Australians live with Parkinson’s disease
  • There is no cure and government funding is limited
  • Parkinson’s affects people from every socio-economic group
  • Access to medical assistance in regional areas is limited and in some cases, non existent
  • The average age at diagnosis is 60, 10% of people diagnosed will be under 40

About Parkinson’s NSW
Parkinson’s NSW provide invaluable, essential services to people with Parkinson’s, their families and carers by providing free services throughout NSW – Counselling, InfoLine staffed by nurses, Neurological Nurses in the community, over 67 Support Groups and funding research to find new treatments and finding a cure.

Every hour of every day someone in Australia is diagnosed with Parkinson’s

MEDIA INFO: Clare Audet, Marketing Director, Parkinson’s NSW (02) 8875 8913 / 0466 782 962 / clareaudet@parkinsonsnsw.org.au

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