In recognition of her ground-breaking work, Professor Georgina Long AO was presented with the inaugural Medal for Outstanding Female Researcher by the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Before receiving her award, Professor Long gave an address at NeuRA on ‘Achieving Zero Deaths from Melanoma’. Her research has prolonged life for people living with stage 4 melanoma who would have previously died, including those with brain metastases.
Professor Long is ranked the world’s 5th and Australia’s 1st melanoma expert in all fields and disciplines. Her work features extensive clinical trials with a focus on therapies and immuno-oncology. Professor Long has already received multiple awards including the CINSW Outstanding Cancer Researcher and Excellence in Translational Cancer Research Award, as well as the Sir Zelman Cowen Universities Fund Prize for Discovery in Medical Research.
She is the first woman to be President of the Society for Melanoma Research and has authored over 300 publications in melanoma clinical and translational research.
Professor Long says this success requires “energy and a clear vision and therefore support from one’s family and friends. Relationships and people are important for solving complex problems in science and medicine”.
She also credits the role of building high-impact, collaborative clinician-researcher teams who care deeply about their work.
“I have wonderful colleagues I work with, and spend a lot of energy building teams that are passionate about making a difference. For us, it’s about making a difference in cancer and melanoma.”
“I also believe it’s important to invest time in mentoring the younger generation of researchers and clinician-researchers, and to create a culture of research in our everyday clinical life”.
Professor Long offers this advice for young researchers wanting to follow in her footsteps:
“If there’s an opportunity and it interests you say “Yes”! Worry how you will fit this in or achieve your goals later. If it’s of interest it will fall into place and you quickly learn how to prioritise. Challenge yourself.”
In presenting the award to Professor Long, NeuRA Deputy Director, Professor Simon Gandevia said: “There is a disproportionate under-representation of women in many areas of medical research, particularly in the higher levels. This is something that desperately needs to change.”
“We all hope that Georgina Long’s example and the role models of all subsequent winners of the Medal will not only bring them well-deserved recognition but provide a beacon to inspire all medical researchers.”
To learn more about Professor Georgina Long and her research go to: https://melanoma.org.au/news/team/professor-georgina-long-ao/