2023 HDA CRF PhD Excellence Awards, 12th Cohort Scholars Announced

2023 HDA CRF PhD Excellence Awards, 12th Cohort Scholars Announced

The Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation joins Healthy Development Adelaide in announcing Zahra Ali Padhani and Jamal Giri as the 2023 and 12th Cohort recipients of the Annual CRF PhD Excellence Awards.

In a statement released today, Healthy Development Adelaide (HDA) thanked CRF for its ongoing financial support of the PhD Excellence Award and its partnership of 16 years helping HDA to foster research excellence and career development in South Australia.

The two successful applicants, our 12th cohort, will each receive $5,000 per annum for 3 years to augment their scholarships.

Zahra Ali Padhani is a PhD candidate within the Adelaide Medical School and the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide. 

Zahra’s PhD research project is on ‘Preconception health interventions and risk factors among adolescents and young adults and its impact on maternal, perinatal, and child health’. In this project she aims to prepare an evidence gap map to comprehensively identify, map, and describe existing empirical evidence on interventions implemented to improve the health and wellbeing of adolescents and young adults (10 to <25 years of age) before pregnancy. She plans also to use the Global Burden of Disease data to assess the burden and identify causes and risk factors of morbidity and mortality among Australian adolescents and young adults, followed by a secondary data analysis of Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health to explore demographic, maternal and obstetric factors associated with poor maternal, perinatal, and child health outcomes. Lastly, she plans to conduct a research priority exercise involving subject experts and policymakers to recommend preconception interventions to improve maternal and child health outcomes.

“I feel privileged and honoured upon receiving the HDA and Channel 7 PhD Excellence Award 2023. I would like to generously thank HDA and CRF not only for the award funds, but also for providing me the opportunity/platform for my professional growth and development. I would also like to thank my supervisor (Zohra Lassi) and co-supervisors (Gizachew Tessema and Jodie Avery) for their continued support and motivation. I hope that through this research, together we can improve the preconception health of adolescent and young adults and prevent maternal and child mortality and adverse health outcomes.”

Jamal Giri is a PhD candidate within the Craniofacial Biology Research Group, Adelaide Dental School at the University of Adelaide.

Jamal’s research project ‘Development of dental occlusion and facial profiles of monozygotic and dizygotic Australian twins, from the primary to the permanent dentition’ aims to provide evidence of the relative contribution of genes and environment in the development of malocclusion by evaluating the timing and progression of occlusal and facial development in serial dental casts and facial photographs of monozygotic and dizygotic twins from the primary to the permanent dentition.

“I am humbled to be one of the recipients of the PhD Excellence Award 2023 and would like to thank Healthy Development Adelaide and Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation for this professional development opportunity during my PhD candidature. My project will serve as a basis for incorporating early anatomical biomarkers in interceptive treatment planning, reducing the need for orthodontic treatment in adolescence and thereby minimizing the personal and financial burden of the treatment.”