Bowl of Hygeia goes to Maree Smith


Leading researcher and Queensland pharmacist Professor Maree Smith has won the 2016 Bowl of Hygeia Award, presented by the PSA.

PSA National Vice President Dr Chris Freeman presented the most prestigious pharmacy Award in Queensland on Friday, October 28.

Dr Freeman said Professor Smith received the Bowl of Hygeia for her outstanding leadership in novel drug discovery and design, particularly in the area of pain management and innovative education programs providing inspiration to future generations of researchers.

“On behalf of PSA, I warmly congratulate Professor Smith on her outstanding achievements,” Dr Freeman said.

“Professor Smith has been a vanguard through her research and the development of new drugs and innovation in education. She has also supported the next generation of pharmacists and researchers in Queensland and around the world.”

Presented annually since 1980, the Bowl of Hygeia Award recognises exceptional service of a PSA member who has long demonstrated excellence, leadership or innovation in advancing the profession.

Prof Smith said she was delighted and honoured to receive the Bowl of Hygeia Award.

“Receiving this Award is such a wonderful honour and I sincerely thank PSA for its support,” Professor Smith said.

“As a long-time specialist and researcher in the pain field, it’s very satisfying and rewarding to be recognised for all your hard work and passion, especially by your colleagues.”

From the University of Queensland, Prof Smith is Executive Director of the Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development, which she built along with its commercial interface to be recognised as a unique, accredited drug development centre in Australia.

She is also a UQ Professor of Pharmacy and was included in the inaugural list of Australia’s top innovators in 2015.

As the inventor of the new EMA401 oral drug for chronic pain, Prof Smith’s work was the basis last year for Australia’s largest-ever biotech deal, which is likely to change the lives of millions of people worldwide who live with chronic pain.

Prof Smith also has considerable expertise in biomedical discovery and translation with specialist expertise in the pain field, encompassing a portfolio of 15 rodent pain models that mimic individual human pain conditions.

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