Two University of Queensland researchers have joined the ranks of the nation’s top scientists after being elected to the Australian Academy of Science.
UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC said the prestigious fellowships were given to a select group of scientists each year, recognising leading and innovative research.
“Academy Fellows are elected by their peers, so this is a tremendous honour and great recognition for their significant contributions,” Professor Høj said.
“Professor Bernhardt and Professor Hodges are leaders in their fields and are committed to important research that can create change and shape the future.
“Debra is an outstanding scientist who conducts computational methods to model systems with implications at the nano and microscale, and these theoretical developments are leading to practical outcomes.
“Paul is a leading researcher in movement control, pain and rehabilitation, and his approach from molecular biology to brain physiology and human function is leading to discoveries that have transformed understanding of why people in pain move differently.
“On behalf of the UQ community, I’d like to congratulate both researchers on their election and for their outstanding achievements.”
Professor Bernhardt, from UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, said she was honoured to be named a new Fellow.
“I really enjoy being able to understand the world around us and try to use that knowledge in ways that will have a positive influence on people and society,” she said.
“My research group is using computational methods to model systems, particularly at the molecular level, to help design and select new materials for technologies such as fuel cells, batteries and supercapacitors, which can store energy.”
UQ’s Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences researcher Professor Hodges said he was proud to be the first scientist with a physiotherapy background elected as a Fellow.
“It is particularly rewarding because it recognises not only my work but also the quality of research that underpins the physiotherapy profession,” he said.
“An important focus of my work is that it both generates new ideas and then applies this to improve health outcomes for a range of health conditions including chronic pain.”
Professor Bernhardt and Professor Hodges have joined more than 36 UQ academics who have been elected to the Australian Academy of Science.
The full list of 2019 Academy fellows is here.