Congratulations to winners of the 2022 AGITG awards at the ASM

At the 24th AGITG Annual Scientific Meeting, held in Melbourne between 14-17 November 2022, the AGITG presented awards in honour of our trailblazing members and ground-breaking research from this past year.

Award winners

John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Research

The John Zalcberg OAM Award for Excellence in AGITG Research was presented to Prof Eva Segelov in recognition of her significant and outstanding leadership contribution to AGITG research over a sustained period. Since Prof Segelov joined the AGITG in 2002, she led multiple trials including the international ICECREAM and QUASAR2 trials, founded the international and inter-community group CommNETs and developed the model for the AGITG Preceptorship.

Member Fundraiser of the Year Award

The Member Fundraiser of the Year Award was presented to Dr James Dickson.

We would also like to give an honourable mention to Prof Tim Price, whose individual efforts raised a significant amount through the Gutsy Challenge and encouraged many members to participate in the Flinders trek.

Innovation Grant

For the first time, the Innovation Grant opened to two categories this year, each valued up to $200,000.

  • The Innovation Grant for Clinical Trials was awarded to Dr Trang Pham for her research concept titled, “Improved local control using adaptive MRI-guidance to target abdominal cancer with stereotactic ablative radiotherapy: A randomised phase II trial”.
  • The Innovation Grant for Translational Research was awarded to Dr Daniel Cox for his research concept titled, “The Molecular Colonoscopy Study: harnessing cell-free DNA methylation patterns to develop a “second-tier” test to bring precision to triaging in screening colonoscopy for colorectal cancer (LIBERATE substudy)”.

Rectal Cancer Reserach Grant

The Rectal Cancer Research Grant was awarded to the combined winners:

  • Dr Margaret Lee – PREDICT: Patient Derived Tumour Organoid Treatment Sensitivity to guide neoadjuvant therapy decision making in locally advanced rectal cancer, and
  • Prof Vicki Whitehall – PROSECCO: Predicting Neoadjuvant Chemo-Radiotherapy Sensitivity in Rectal Cancer Patients

The winners will collaborate on one study.

This grant is only available to AGITG members thanks to the generous donations of our dedicated GI cancer community supporters.

Best New Concept

The 2022 Best New Concept Award winner was Dr Helen Mohan for her concept, Changing outcomes after low anterior resection – a rectal cancer survivorship trial of pelvic floor prehabilitation prior to reversal of ileostomy (COALA).

The Runner-Up for Best New Concept was awarded to Dr Laura Tam for her presented concept, Combination PD1 and PARP inhibitor as maintenance treatment following platinum-gemcitabine for unresectable locally-advanced or metastatic biliary tract cancers (BIL-PPP).

Best Poster

The Best Poster was awarded to Dr Melanie McCoy for Local and systemic Programmed Death-1 (PD-1) pathway activity predicts complete response to chemoradiotherapy in locally advanced rectal cancer.

Best Fast Forward Presentation

The Best Fast Forward Presentation Award was awarded to Dr Rachel Purcell for her presentation on Human Gene and Microbiome Contributions to Radiotherapy Response in Rectal Cancer.

Outstanding Site Award

The Outstanding Site Award was also offered in two categories this year for the first time.

  • The Outstanding Metropolitan Site Award was awarded to Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, QLD.
  • The Outstanding Regional, Rural and Remote Site Award was awarded to Bendigo Health, VIC.

Early Career Researcher Award

The inaugural Early Career Researcher Award was presented to Dr Christina Teng, who received up to $2,000 to pursue further education.

Christine Aiken Memorial Award for Excellence in AGITG Study Coordination

The second-ever Christine Aiken Memorial Award for Excellence in AGITG Study Coordination was presented to Hui Ling Lau, who received up to $2,000 towards professional development.