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Described as a ‘trailblazer’ and ‘giant in his field’, Burnet Institute’s Head of International Development, Dr Chris Morgan has been awarded the Institute’s prestigious 2017 Fenner Award for his contribution to international public health.
A physician with special interests in health systems strengthening, primary health care, international child health, maternal and newborn care, and health worker education and training, Dr Morgan has worked at Burnet since 2001.
He’s the principal investigator of Burnet’s Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (HMHB) collaborative research project aimed at providing life-saving health care for women and children in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
In his introduction to the 2017 Fenner Lecture, Burnet Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC described Dr Morgan as a worthy winner of the award and someone who’s following closely in Frank (Fenner)’s footsteps.
“Chris has an incredible array of achievements and experience in PNG, China, Tibet, Kenya, Myanmar, and elsewhere in Asia and the Pacific,” Professor Crabb said.
“He spends a lot of time in Geneva and in developed countries because it’s the co-ordination between the two that makes the most difference.
“His work ranges from the most hands-dirty work you can imagine to the highest level of strategic work with multi-lateral groups like the WHO and governance at the most senior levels in the Department of Health.
“Chris is a giant in his field and the antithesis of the ‘big man’ but wherever he goes he’s considered quite heroic.
“Whether it’s the developing world or the UN or WHO, he’s an absolute trailblazer who’s changing the world.”
Dr Morgan’s Fenner Lecture entitled, The Science of How? Integrating development and research for mothers and babies in resource-constrained settings focused on the importance of bridging the gaps between implementation and delivery and provided an update on HMHB, which he said is making great progress.
“I’m thankful for the award and humbled a bit,” Dr Morgan said. “This was certainly a bit of a surprise, but I’m very grateful.”
The Frank Fenner Award acknowledges significant contribution to Burnet’s vision and mission in the areas of medical research and public health, and is named after the great Australian virologist, the late Professor Frank Fenner AC.
Image: Professor Brendan Crabb presents the 2017 Fenner Award to Dr Chris Morgan