Dr Kim Delbaere photographed against a black backdrop

NHMRC Research Excellence Award for Dr Kim Delbaere

NeuRA’s Dr Kim Delbaere has been awarded a Research Excellence Award for being the top ranked applicant in the Industry – Level 2 category of the highly competitive Career Development Fellowship scheme in 2015 from the National Health and Medical Research Council. The award was presented to her at a formal dinner in Canberra, and recognises the most outstanding mid-career researchers.

Dr Delbaere’s research combines physiotherapy and neuropsychology in the area of accidental falls in older people. She has made major progress in understanding fall risk from physiological, psychological and cognitive perspectives as well as in the development of efficacious fall prevention strategies.

The fellowship will support a research project that will look at using technology to enable effective self-management of fall risk in older adults.

“Our society’s population is ageing rapidly,” she says. “With increasing age, there is an increase in morbidity and in health-related costs. Accidental falls are a major contributor to the burden of disease in older people and a major public health problem.

“In order to reduce the higher levels of dependency and care associated with falls and old age, we need to find innovative and feasible ways to expand responsibility for health beyond the health care providers to the individual and the community. That is why my research is focussed on getting a better understanding of what drives people to successfully self-manage their fall risk and healthy ageing.”

Now celebrating their tenth year, the Research Excellence Awards recognise outstanding performance and excellence in health and medical research and innovation.

NHMRC CEO Professor Anne Kelso said these awards are an opportunity for the health and medical research community to come together to recognise each other’s achievements.

“Of all human endeavours, health and medical research has some of the greatest potential to improve the quality of human life. The current era is one of unparalleled promise in our quest to understand, prevent, manage and cure previously intractable diseases.

“Our Research Excellence Awards winners have all demonstrated exceptional achievement in their chosen research fields and I am struck by the quality and diversity of research they are undertaking with support from NHMRC.

“This research will deliver real benefits through the prevention and treatment of disease in Australia and beyond.”