Mark Cocks, OAM

For 10+ years, Transplant Australia has been committed to funding research, medical technology and science to achieve better health outcomes for transplant recipients through the Mark Cocks Research Scholarship.

The Mark Cocks Research Scholarship is a prestigious award to recognise the life of kidney recipient Mark Cocks, his contribution to Transplant Australia and the wider transplant community.

The award is presented by the Transplant Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ), and has produced some key findings, particularly around the management of cancer post-transplant and Children’s Kidney Disease (CKD).

The scholarship is offered by Transplant Australia to encourage members of the transplant community to study or enhance transplantation techniques and procedures, or develop innovations that will improve survival rates and the quality of life of patients.

Transplant Australia is proud to support our healthcare professionals, doctors and scientists as they make exciting breakthroughs in the field of organ and tissue donation.

Winners of the Mark Cocks Research Scholarship

2017

Doctor Michael Stormon

TOPIC: An investigation into how pre and post-transplant (liver and kidney) children can engage in physical activity. Dr Stormon bases his study on the Back to Life Program, a pilot study sponsored by Transplant Australia highlighting the importance of family engagement/benefits of using activity trackers in encouraging children with chronic diseases (liver/kidney) to participate in physical activity.

BIO: Dr Michael Stormon is a Senior Staff Specialist Paediatric Hepatologist and Gastroenterologist at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead. Dr Stormon has played an instrumental role in improving liver transplants for children. Since returning from training overseas 16 years ago, he has not only seen the rate of transplants double but has been a part of some major clinical developments, including the use of ‘split’ liver grafts.

Dr Stormon was part of the team that performed a liver transplant on one of Australia’s youngest and smallest transplant recipients – just six weeks old and weighing 2.7 kilograms. Dr Stormon’s focus for the future is research into organ tolerance, attempting to identify those children who after transplant may not need immunosuppression, thereby avoiding the life-long toxic effects of anti-rejection drugs.

2016

Doctor Wai Lim

TOPIC: An open-labelled single arm non-randomised study to determine whether probiotics will reduce gastrointestinal (GI) intolerance in kidney transplant recipients.

BIO: Doctor Wai Lim is the Medical Director of Kidney Transplantation, Consultant Nephrologist, Director of Medical Research at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Dr Lim completed a PhD in transplantation immunology in 2006; is involved in clinical transplant and chronic kidney disease research, and is a member of the ANZDATA steering committee and transplant working group.

He is on the Longitudinal Study of Aging Women (LSAW) team, a collaboration maximising the utility of a large population-based epidemiological study of ageing to determine the influence of nutritional and lifestyle determinants on health impacts and in women. The research findings will be disseminated and translated to the community to create a sustainable platform for continued use/access to a valuable epidemiological resource to achieve research into healthy ageing, whilst providing a cost-effective data source for future Australian and International higher degree students/researchers to increase outputs, collaborations and grant success in those studying lifestyle and genetic associations with diseases of ageing.

2015

Doctor Robert Carroll

TOPIC: Comprehensive Immune monitoring in Kidney Transplant Recipients: Primary and Secondary Prevention of Cancer Studies.

BIO: Dr Robert Carroll is well-recognised internationally for his work on immune studies. He is a Transplant Nephrologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Senior Lecturer with the University of Adelaide. His clinical interests lie in the transition of young adults with renal problems and he has established the Young Adult Renal Clinic; the first and only one in Australia.

Dr Carroll studied Regulatory T cell immunology under Prof Kathryn Wood, Nuffield Department of Surigical Sciences, University of Oxford. He has supervised Dr Hope to completion of his PhD with a Dean’s Commendation for thesis excellence. He has also supervised Honours students to 1st class honours.

Has clinical interests in transition of young adults with renal problems and established a Young Adult Renal Clinic the first and only in Australia.

2013

Professor Richard Allen

TOPIC: Exploration of attitudes to deceased organ donation in Australia’s ethnic communities. (ENDORSE project): pilot study.

BIO: Richard Allen is Professor of Transplantation Surgery at the University of Sydney and Director of Transplantation Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

As a transplant surgeon and one of the architects of the paired kidney exchange program Professor Allen is passionate about making transplantation more accessible to all Australians. He has sat on the Board of Transplant Australia for a number of years.

Professor Allen trained in Melbourne before travelling to England in the 1980s, where he began working in the exciting field of transplantation, at the interface between discoveries in the laboratory and clinical practice. When Westmead Hospital wanted a transplant surgeon in 1986, Dr Allen answered the call. He moved to RPA in 2003 to join the transplant teams at Westmead and RPA to create a more efficient system. He is passionate about the job and says the best part about it is working in a team and seeing people’s lives improve.

2012

Doctor Martin Howell

TOPIC: Skin Cancer and Kidney Transplantation.

BIO:  Martin Howell is a Research Fellow at the University of Sydney, School of Public Health. He has worked at the Centre for Kidney Research (CKR) for KHA-CARI guidelines since 2008. In 2016 he was awarded a PhD from the University of Sydney titled Kidney transplant patients’ preferences and priorities for outcomes after transplantation.

Martin’s prime area of interest is in patient preferences, values and priorities and how these should be captured in research and patient care.

Dr Howell’s areas of expertise include development of clinical practice guidelines and health economics, in particular the use of econometric methods to elicit preferences and priorities. At CARI, Martin oversaw the introduction of the GRADE evidence evaluation framework. More recently he has worked with the Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) project team to introduce novel survey techniques to their international Delphi consensus surveys.

2011

A/Prof Allison Tong

TOPIC: Quality of life and support needs of adolescents and young adults waiting for a kidney transplant.

BIO: Associate Professor Allison Tong is a Principal Research Fellow at the School of Public HealthUniversity of Sydney and holds an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship. She is a social scientist with experience in using applied qualitative research methods to the area of chronic disease; to inform practice and policy for improved patient-centred outcomes.

Allison has a particular interest in stakeholder engagement (including patients and consumers) in the context of research priority setting/development of core outcomes for research. She co-founded and is on the Executive Committee of the global Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) Initiative, which aims to establish consensus-based core outcomes across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease.

Allison has taught qualitative health research methods internationally for government and university institutions including Stanford UniversityMayo Clinic, and The University of Calgary. She also worked on The Kaleidoscope Project.

2010

Doctor Germaine Wong

TOPIC: Quality of life and support needs of adolescents and young adults waiting for a kidney transplant.

BIO: Dr. Wong is a nephrologist at Westmead Hospital, with special interests in transplantation. She is also Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Post-doctoral Research Fellow, Ludwig Engel Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at the School of Public Health, University of Sydney.

Her main area of research interests include: cancer epidemiology in the chronic kidney disease; social ethics in organ donation and allocation; decision analytical modelling; health economics; population health research,  and quality of life studies in patients with chronic kidney disease.

A Research Member at the Centre for Kidney Research (CKR), Doctor Wong has produced key findings in the Kids with CKD (KCAD) study, a partnership between researchers and clinicians from six different institutions in Australia and New Zealand which takes a life-course approach to explaining outcomes of children with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

2009

Doctor Robert Carroll

TOPIC: To confirm that a given immune phenotype identifies kidney transplant recipients (KTR) at a higher risk of developing Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC).

BIO: Dr Robert Carroll is well-recognised internationally for his work on immune studies. He is a Transplant Nephrologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Senior Lecturer with the University of Adelaide. His clinical interests lie in the transition of young adults with renal problems and he has established the Young Adult Renal Clinic; the first and only one in Australia. He has worked with The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Dr Carroll studied Regulatory T cell immunology under Prof Kathryn Wood, Nuffield Department of Surigical Sciences, University of Oxford. He has supervised Dr Hope to completion of his PhD with a Dean’s Commendation for thesis excellence. He has also supervised Honours students to 1st class honours.

Has clinical interests in transition of young adults with renal problems and established a Young Adult Renal Clinic the first and only in Australia.

2008

A/Prof Allison Tong

TOPIC: Adolescent perceptions of quality of life following kidney transplantation.

BIO: Associate Professor Allison Tong is a Principal Research Fellow at the School of Public HealthUniversity of Sydney and holds an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Career Development Fellowship. She is a social scientist with experience in using applied qualitative research methods to the area of chronic disease; to inform practice and policy for improved patient-centred outcomes.

Allison has a particular interest in stakeholder engagement (including patients and consumers) in the context of research priority setting/development of core outcomes for research. She co-founded and is on the Executive Committee of the global Standardised Outcomes in Nephrology (SONG) Initiative, which aims to establish consensus-based core outcomes across the spectrum of chronic kidney disease.

Allison has taught qualitative health research methods internationally for government and university institutions including Stanford University, Mayo Clinic, and The University of Calgary. She also worked on The Kaleidoscope Project.