Image: Dr Suman Majumdar presents the 2019 Gust-McKenzie Oration
Burnet Institute Deputy Program Director, Health Security and Co-Head of the Tuberculosis (TB) Working Group, Dr Suman Majumdar, has been awarded the prestigious Gust-McKenzie Medal for 2019.
Named in honour of founding directors of the Burnet and Austin Research Institutes, Professor Ian Gust AO and Emeritus Professor Ian McKenzie AM, the award is presented annually to an outstanding mid-career Burnet staff member in recognition of excellence in research and/or public health.
Dr Majumdar’s role focuses on the clinical and programmatic management of TB/drug-resistant TB, HIV medicine, the training of healthcare workers, and health systems strengthening.
In his acceptance address at Burnet’s 30th Annual General Meeting, Dr Majumdar said the award was an acknowledgement of an important field of research.
“What we do at Burnet is address major and complex global health issues and nothing is more in that realm than TB in terms of its burden and its impact on people, particularly its impact on the poor,” Dr Majumdar said.
“The response to TB at Burnet really deploys the unique skills that we have, from providing on-the-ground assistance and support, to training and building capacity, to conducting research which translates to inform policy, and working with partnerships at global and national level to drive an agenda of change.”
Image: Burnet Institute Chair Ms Mary Padbury, Dr Suman Majumdar, Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC
Dr Majumdar said he was pleased to accept the award on behalf of his colleagues in the TB program, including Professor Steve Graham, Dr Philipp du Cros, Dr Khai Huang, Mr Geoff Chan, Ms Tope Adepoyibi, and Technical Team Leader in Papua New Guinea (PNG), Dr Stenard Hiasihri, as well as PNG Country Manager, Mr James Lawson.
“I’m very humbled to receive this award,” he said. “Even though it’s in recognition of an individual’s achievement, everything I’ve done has been a team effort and with the support of many colleagues.”
Dr Majumdar said Burnet’s leadership in this field has never been more relevant, particularly in PNG where rates of drug-resistant TB are extremely high.
“Unfortunately TB has been around since the beginning of human history and it’s still a devastating and important public health and development issue and disease.
“I’m pleased that Burnet is trying to address it, because it does need different thinking and different approaches.
“That’s something our team has been trying to bring, from care and delivery at individual level, to community level, to the national level, and also hopefully to the international and global stage as well.”
Find out more about Burnet’s work in health security and programs relating to tuberculosis.