Congratulations to our HDA Publication Award winners for 2023

This award recognises and promotes research publications of our PhD students, early career researcher (ECR) and mid career researcher (MCR) members. Each awardee receives $500 for their winning publication.

MCR category – Dr Clare van Eyk, Hospital Research Foundation Fellow, The Australian Collaborative Cerebral Palsy and Neurogenetics Research Groups, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Adelaide

Redefining cerebral palsies as a diverse group of neurodevelopmental disorders with genetic aetiology. 

Clare L. van Eyk, Michael C. Fahey & Jozef Gecz 

Nature Reviews Neurology

Cerebral palsy is a clinical descriptor covering a diverse group of permanent, non-degenerative disorders of motor function. Around one-third of cases have now been shown to have an underlying genetic aetiology, with the genetic landscape overlapping with those of neurodevelopmental disorders including intellectual disability, epilepsy, speech and language disorders and autism. Here we review the current state of genomic testing in cerebral palsy, highlighting the benefits for personalized medicine and the imperative to consider aetiology during clinical diagnosis. With earlier clinical diagnosis now possible, we emphasize the opportunity for comprehensive and early genomic testing as a crucial component of the routine diagnostic work-up in people with cerebral palsy.


ECR category – Dr Amanda Machell, Research Fellow in Public Health,
College of Medicine & Public Health, Flinders University,
Healthy Communities, Flinders Health & Medical Research Institute, Adjunct Research Fellow - UniSA Allied Health & Human Performance

Children's activity and diet behaviours in the summer holidays versus school year *

Amanda Watson, Carol Maher, Rebecca Golley, Dot Dumuid, Alexandra Manson, Grant Tomkinson, Francois Fraysse, Tim Olds

Paediatric Obesity

* This paper was from a NHMRC funded study completed at UniSA.

A growing body of evidence indicates that more weight is gained during the summer holidays, compared with the school year. This weight gain may be due to engagement in relatively more obesogenic behaviours (e.g., low levels of physical activity, high levels of screen time and poorer diet) during the summer holidays. A recent meta- analysis of 296 studies of obesogenic behaviours on school days versus non-school days (i.e., weekends of summer holidays) found that adolescents (12–19 years) engaged in lower levels of physical activity and more screen time on less structured days. Sleep timing and diet quality were also less healthy on less structured days.


PhD category – Meredith Smith, Lecturer Physiotherapy, School of Allied Health Science and Practice, University of Adelaide

Chronic pain interference assessment tools for children and adults who are unable to self-report: A systematic review of psychometric properties.

Meredith G. Smith, Lucy C. Farrar, Rachel J. Gibson, Remo N. Russo, Adrienne R. Harvey

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology

Chronic pain is a common condition worldwide, with prevalence estimated to be between 11% and 38% in children and adolescents and 11% to 20% in adults. The prevalence of chronic pain is even higher in populations of individuals with disability, such as cerebral palsy, intellectual or developmental disability, and dementia, although pain assessment is often overlooked or misunderstood in this population. Despite the higher prevalence of pain, there are far fewer published studies on chronic pain management in these populations. This systematic review focuses on pain interference assessment tools currently available for children, adolescents, and adults with chronic pain and the inability to self-report in any setting.

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