Life-changing fellowship for SAHMRI spinal cord injury research leader

19 Sep 2023
Life-changing fellowship for SAHMRI spinal cord injury research leader

The SAHMRI community congratulates Dr Ryan O’Hare Doig, Head of Spinal Cord Injury Research at the Neil Sachse Centre, for being awarded a prestigious Churchill Fellowship to further his outstanding work in the field.

Ryan is the recipient of the ‘Dr John and Mrs Joy Yeo Churchill Fellowship to advance molecular imaging of the spinal cord to predict neurological outcomes following injury’. 

His team has already developed advanced functional and molecular imaging techniques and protocols to provide a 'live-feed' of the injured spinal cord by accurately mapping biomarkers of spinal cord pathology and quantifying dysfunction following acute and chronic SCI.

Ryan says the overall goal is to build a functional molecular clinical imaging pipeline that will change how we diagnose and treat SCI, "and ultimately lead to improved quality of life for patients and their families."

“I’m incredibly surprised, but grateful and excited to be named a Winston Churchill Fellow and awarded the Dr John and Mrs Joy Yeo sponsorship.” Ryan said.

“After a year of grant rejections, contract negotiations and everything else in between, it’s so good to be recognised.”

“I will use this fellowship to visit world leaders in neurotrauma and gain hands on experience with novel molecular biomarkers and the cutting-edge medical imaging platforms applied to support their use.”

CEO of the Churchill Trust, Adam Davey, said the Fellowship had been delivering positive results for almost 60 years in honour of the memory of the famous wartime UK Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

“The Churchill Fellowship celebrates curiosity, encourages inquisitive thinking, promotes innovation and generates a positive impact,” Mr Davey said.

“Our aim is to provide ordinary Australians with extraordinary opportunities to expand our collective knowledge and provide contemporary solutions to the issues and challenges we’re facing as a nation.”

In 2023, Churchill Fellowships have been awarded to 104 everyday Australians. Fellowships are awarded to 22 people from NSW, 24 from VIC, 16 from QLD, 13 from WA, 6 from the ACT, 8 from SA, 8 from TAS, 6 from the NT, and, 1 from Norfolk Island.

“I can’t wait to be a leader in my community and carry this badge of honour across the globe,” Ryan said.

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