Kirby Institute Postgraduate Student Prize 2021

News | Published on 08 Nov 2021

Congratulations to Miss Heather Valerio, who was awarded the Kirby Institute’s Postgraduate Student Prize for 2021.

Miss Valerio is a PhD Student with the Kirby Institute’s Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program. She studied health science and public health at Boston University and completed her MPH at the University of Glasgow. She started her PhD at the Kirby Institute in 2018. Her principal area of interest is achieving hepatitis C elimination and improving the health and wellbeing of people who inject drugs.

The paper for which Miss Valerio has received the award is "Progress Towards Elimination of Hepatitis C Infection Among People Who Inject Drugs in Australia: The ETHOS Engage Study", which was published in Clinical Infectious Diseases in 2020. This paper arose from the ETHOS Engage study; an observational study of hepatitis C care cascade and elimination among people who inject drugs. It demonstrates the significant progress made toward achieving hepatitis C elimination in Australia’s world-leading environment of broad, restriction-free access to curative hepatitis C treatment.

The Kirby Institute Postgraduate Student Prize is an annual award given to the most significant first author paper by a Kirby Institute student, published in the previous calendar year in a peer-reviewed journal in the area of infectious diseases.

Miss Valerio presented her paper at the Kirby Institute Seminar Series online in November, where Professor Anthony Kelleher, director of the Kirby Institute, virtually ‘presented’ the award and commended Miss Valerio’s influential work.