The Ramaciotti Foundations are a philanthropic organisation that provides financial support to medical research in Australia.
The Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence is awarded annually to an Australian researcher who has made a significant contribution to biomedical research in Australia. The award is accompanied by a medal and a cash prize of AUD $50,000. The recipient of the award is selected by a panel of experts in biomedical research, who evaluate the nominees based on the quality and impact of their research.
The Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence is considered one of the most prestigious awards in biomedical research in Australia and is highly sought after by researchers in the field.
In 2022, Professor Matthew Kiernan was the recipient of the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence and the associated $50,000 award. Professor Kiernan is considered one of Australia’s most prominent clinical neurologists and neuroscientists and has received the Ramaciotti Medal in recognition of his extensive research into neurodegenerative disease including dementia and motor neurone disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; MND/ALS).
His extensive record of research into the pathophysiology of MND has resulted in breakthroughs that have changed the management of the disease by physicians worldwide. His research has closed the loop from bench to bedside with technique developments and scientific discoveries translating into greater understanding of the disease and improved patient management.
Professor Kiernan is the Bushell Chair of Neurology and Co-Director of the Brain and Mind Centre at The University of Sydney. He is Professor of Neurology and Staff Specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. His work has led to appointments including Chair of the World Federation of Neurology – Motor Neurone Speciality Disease Group, and international recognition through The Forbes Norris Award of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations and most recently the Sheila Essey Award of the American Academy of Neurology for significant research contributions in the search for causes, prevention, and cure of ALS.
Australian Health Journal spoke with Professor Kiernan to hear about his journey in medicine and science to try and uncover and understand diseases and his generosity of spirit to pass on what he has learnt.