Business Events Perth announces Perron Institute Aspire Award winner

Neurotrauma researcher Dr Sarah Hellewell is among the eleven recipients of the prestigious Business Events Perth 2021 Aspire Awards.

Dr Hellewell is a Research Fellow in the Neurotrauma Research group at the Perron Institute and Curtin University. Her focus is on expanding magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) expertise in the large-scale Concussion REcovery STudy (CREST).

This study aims to identify factors that predict individuals at increased risk of delayed recovery following concussion.

Dr Hellewell moved to Perth to work with Professor Lindy Fitzgerald, head of the Neurotrauma Research group and CREST in 2020. Previously, as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Alberta, Canada, she worked with the Canadian military to examine bomb blast brain injury.

At the University of Sydney, with a further research fellowship, she investigated concussion and traumatic brain injury, often referred to as a ‘silent’ epidemic.

Receiving the Perron Institute Aspire Award for her research on concussion, traumatic brain injury and brain imaging, Dr Hellewell aims to expand neuroimaging expertise in Western Australia. She plans to use the award to attend the International Society in Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) conference.

Dr Hellewell said she was thrilled to win this year’s Perron Institute Aspire Award.

“I’m so grateful to Business Events Perth and the Perron Institute for enabling me to attend this conference and I will be aiming to bring back some cutting-edge knowledge to Western Australia,” she said.

“The society has more than 9,000 members worldwide, more than 6,000 of whom will be attending.”

Perron Institute Chief Executive Officer Steve Arnott said the Institute was proud to be a sponsor of the Aspire Awards and that Dr Hellewell was among this year’s winners.

“Sarah is very passionate about her research in the important area of concussion. The incidence has increased, and it’s important to understand the impact this type of traumatic brain injury can have,” he said.

Business Events Perth chief executive Gareth Martin said he was delighted his organisation was supporting Dr Hellewell to attend the ISMRM Conference.

“This international forum will be an opportunity for Dr Hellewell to share her expertise, network with other professionals and explore new avenues for collaboration and innovation to benefit Western Australia,” he said.

“Business Events Perth’s Aspire Awards provide opportunities each year for our brightest minds, including researchers such as Dr Hellewell to showcase their knowledge on a global platform as Western Australia’s reputation for achievement in research and development continues to grow.”

Over the past 22 years, the Business Events Perth Aspire Awards Program has sponsored hundreds of local academics and researchers to attend a relevant international conference in their discipline to further their professional development and profile Western Australia on the international stage. The Aspire Awards have led to several large-scale international conferences being confirmed for Western Australia over the years. This includes the International Congress on Neuromuscular Diseases (ICNMD) 2024, with 2020 Aspire winner Dr Craig McIntosh (Murdoch University and Perron Institute) playing an integral role in Perth’s successful bid.

Congratulations, Dr Hellewell!