Dr John Dixon Hughes Medal

The National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation (NFMRI) is pleased to offer the Dr John Dixon Hughes Medal for Medical Research Innovation every two years to a researcher under the age of 45 for outstanding contribution towards the development and advancement of a biomedical innovation related to the nature, prevention, diagnosis, treatment and incidence of disease and other health problems that have a significant impact on the health of humans.

2017 Medal Winners

The National Foundation for Medical Research and Innovation (NFMRI) announced joint winners of the Dr John Dixon Hughes Medal for Medical Research Innovation in December 2016 at the NFMRI Awards Night in Sydney.  In the presence of industry, business and research experts, successful researchers from across the country received funding to support the advancement of their innovations.

The Medal, developed in honour of Dr John Dixon Hughes OAM (NFMRI’s longest standing Trustee) to showcase and celebrate the achievements of Australia’s recent biomedical research innovators, entails a $50,000 prize in the form of a research grant for each recipient and was awarded to both:

Prof. Mark Kendall from the University of Queensland

“Targeting the skin for needle-free, minimally invasive delivery and diagnostics for disease: Nanopatch”


A/Prof Michelle McIntosh from Monash University

“Development of an inhalable form of Oxytocin to prevent postpartum haemorrhage in resource-poor settings”

Dr John Dixon Hughes OAM said “that the nominations were simply of exceptionally high calibre, demonstrating the sector’s progress and improvement of innovation commercialisation.” He noted that the Foundation’s research advisory committee felt it was impossible to compare and decide between the final two finalists and hence the Board made the decision to award two medals: one to Professor Mark Kendall, for his successes with the Vaxxas nanopatch vaccine delivery system; and one to A/Prof Michelle McIntosh for the development of an inhalable form of oxytocin to prevent postpartum haemorrhage in women from resource-poor settings.

About the Award

The Award is named after our longest-standing Trustee and Chairman of our Research Advisory Committee, Dr John Dixon Hughes OAM, who was a founding member of the Foundation in 1977. Dr Dixon Hughes OAM, an astute consultant general surgeon with over 55 years experience, remains an active, dedicated and passionate board member to this day and is an avid believer in the potential for philanthropy to support and advance innovation.

The medal will be awarded with a prize of $50,000. The prize will be in the form of a grant to support the research activities of the recipient. Nominations will be called for every other year and are treated as commercial-in-confidence.

The medal will be awarded to the researcher judged to be responsible for the best biomedical innovation and development paper published, patent taken out, or commercial-in-confidence report in the previous two calendar years.  Innovations will include Australian research and discoveries into new medicines, vaccines, biologicals, devices, tools or diagnostics.

Judging and Selection

The Trustees of the Foundation will judge the award with support from the Research Advisory Committee.

The award may be shared if the judges agree that more than one applicant is equally worthy of the award.  If no suitable applications are deemed worthy of the award, the Foundation may elect not to offer the award in any particular year.


Nominations should include:

  • A cover letter outlining:
    • Importance of the innovation;
    • Role of the researcher;
    • Progress towards translation and/or commercialisation; and
    • A short non-confidential disclosure of the innovation (the type suitable for industry/investor review).
  • Copies of any papers published by the recipient as lead author associated with the innovation; and
  • Two written referees reports.

Nominations, together with supporting documentation from the candidate, should be submitted via the form below. Submissions sent by email may not be considered.

Nominations closed on  Friday, 22 April 2016. The award will be made available again in 2018.





Looking beyond the research and considering translational needs when funding research. How well are your expectations, application and review processes, measures of success and funding strategy aligned with the next steps for translation?

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