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High honour for leading Australian palliative care researcher

Author: Rob Gill
05 November 2014
  • First time win for an Australian researcher; Professor David Currow, Chief Investigator of the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative, wins US award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care

Flinders University’s Professor of Palliative and Supportive Services David Currow, has won the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine (AAHPM) 2015 award for Excellence in Scientific Research in Palliative Care.

It is the first time the AAHPM Award has been bestowed on an Australian and only the third time it has gone outside the USA. It recognises meaningful, exemplary research contributions to the field of hospice and palliative care. Recipients are expected to present their research within the broad context of the field of hospice and palliative care.

Professor Currow is a joint winner of the award with Karen Steinhauser, PhD, a Health Scientist with the Center for Health Services Research in Primary Care, VA Medical Center, in Durham, North Carolina. Professor Steinhauser is also an Associate Research Professor, Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center and Senior Fellow with the Duke University Center for Aging, also in North Carolina.

While the awards were announced in late October, there will be a considerable wait until the honourees get to lift the silverware during the AAHPM & Hospice and Palliative Nurses (HPNA) Annual Assembly in Philadelphia next February.

It is the latest in a long succession of peer recognition for Professor Currow, the Chief Investigator of the Australian government-funded Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC).

The world’s largest clinical trials group conducting studies in people nearing the end of life, PaCCSC was established in 2006 on recommendation from the Palliative Care Medicines Working Group to conduct clinical research into medicines commonly used in palliative care. The collaborative has received approximately $18m in Australian government funding over the past eight years and has successfully gained competitive grant funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council on a number of occasions.

Professor Currow is a past president of Palliative Care Australia and the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia. He is rated one of the top 10 most published palliative care researchers in the world and, in association with four others, is working on the next edition of the Oxford Textbook of Palliative Medicine, the highest-selling textbook in the field.

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