National public health awards for UQ researchers

20 Sep 2019

Three University of Queensland researchers have been recognised for their substantial contributions to the health and wellbeing of Australians at the Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) awards.

Immunologist Professor Ian Frazer, health services researcher Dr Danette Langbecker and UQ’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous Engagement) Professor Bronwyn Fredericks received awards at the annual PHAA conference in Adelaide.

Professor Ian Frazer

Cervical cancer vaccine co-inventor Professor Ian Frazer was presented with the 50th Anniversary Public Health Achievement Lifetime award, for members who have given exemplary service to the association for more than a decade.

Professor Frazer’s pioneering work with the late Professor Jian Zhou created the technology behind the human papillomavirus vaccine, a critical step in the ongoing battle to eradicate cervical cancer.

“I never really saw myself as a public health researcher or clinician,” Professor Frazer said. 

“However, Professor Zhou and I saw that what we were trying to achieve in working to make a vaccine for HPV would have potential impact on public health across the planet.

“I’m thrilled that the World Health Organisation has now taken on the challenge of delivering this vaccine globally.”

The inaugural Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Award has been bestowed on Professor Fredericks for her work in Indigenous health.

Professor Fredericks said she was honoured to be the inaugural recipient and dedicated the award to the communities she had worked with who wanted better health.

“The greatest gains and outcomes in Indigenous public health come from approaches where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered and are partners and leaders in solutions and actions,” Professor Fredericks said.

“I call upon and encourage those engaged in public health to employ such approaches.”

UQ Adjunct Fellow and health services researcher Dr Danette Langbecker has also been honoured at this year’s PHAA conference – winning the Mentor of the Year award for being a champion for students and early career professionals.

Media: Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5118, +61 436 368 746.