Research excellence: 2018 Best Researcher Paper Awarded

After reviewing the competitively high standard of research papers undertaken in 2018, NICM has announced their 2018 recipients of Best Researcher Paper Award - this year undertaken across three categories: Postgraduate Student; Early Career Researcher; and Senior Researcher Paper.

Congratulations to the below 2018 award recipients:

  • Best Postgraduate Poster and Presentation: Emily Yang
  • Best Postgraduate Paper: Muhammad Alsherbiny
  • Best Early Career researcher: Dr Joseph Firth
  • Best Senior Researcher Paper: Dr Caroline Smith

Emily’s study explored the effects of tai chi on stress and cardiovascular function in patients with coronary heart disease and/or hypertension with results showing significant improvements in stress and fitness in the tai chi intervention group.

Muhammad’s paper reviewed the mechanism of ginger as an antidote for various toxic agents such as heavy metals, pesticides, environmental pollutants, and drugs. Findings provided evidence to support ginger’s protective properties against a wide range of natural, chemical and radiation-induced toxicities and suggested that clinical trials of ginger in cancer treatment were warranted.

Dr Joseph Firth was awarded for his population based study examining if handgrip strength provided an indication of cognitive functioning in people with major depression or bipolar disorder. Grip strength was found to be positively associated with cognition and may also provide a useful indicator of cognitive impairment.

Dr Caroline Smith received the award for her investigation on the effect of acupuncture during ovarian stimulation and embryo transfer during in-vitro fertilization (IVF) with research findings not supporting the use of acupuncture to improve the rate of live births among women undergoing IVF.


Full citation:

  • Yang G, Wu X, Gu N, Li W, Wang Y, Liu J, et al. Effects of Tai Chi on stress and cardiovascular function in patients with coronary heart disease and/or hypertension: a randomised controlled trial [Unpublished poster presentation]. 2018 Westmead: NICM Health Research Institute, Western Sydney University.
  • Alsherbiny M, Abd-Elsalam W, El badawy S, Taher E, Fares M, Torres A, et al. Ameliorative and protective effects of ginger and its main constituents against natural, chemical and radiation-induced toxicities: A comprehensive review. Food and Chemical Toxicity. 123 (2019) 72-97.
  • Firth J, Firth J A, Stubbs B, et al. Association Between Muscular Strength and Cognition in People With Major Depression or Bipolar Disorder and Healthy Controls. JAMA Psychiatry. 2018; 75 (7): 740 – 746.
  • Smith C, de Lacey S, Chapman M, Ratcliffe J, Norman R, Johnson N, et al. Effect of Acupuncture vs Sham Acupuncture on Live Births Among Women Undergoing In Vitro Fertilization.  JAMA. May 15 2018; 319 (19): 1990-1998.