Honour roll

The Honour Roll recognises past State and
Territory and National Award recipients

Australian of the Year


2020 TAS Australian of the Year Nominee

Dr Dawn Aitken

State: Tasmania

Osteoarthritis researcher

Associate Professor Dawn Aitken is dedicated to helping sufferers of osteoarthritis – a chronic joint condition causing stiffness and pain, which affects one in ten Australians. A researcher at the Menzies Institute for Medical Research, Dawn's work uses MRI to show how osteoarthritis develops and progresses.

Osteoarthritis is a complex disease with different treatment approaches, depending on the individual patient. Dawn's research has shifted how osteoarthritis is understood – leading to new ways of treating and managing the disease.

Dawn leads or collaborates in clinical trials of drugs to slow or halt the disease's progress. She has had 13 papers accepted or published in the 2017-18 financial year alone. Dawn also led the development of new collaborations between Menzies, the Tasmanian Health Service and the Royal Hobart Hospital, to improve management of osteoarthritis and musculoskeletal conditions in Tasmania.

Dawn's outstanding work in the field saw her being named the 2018 Tasmanian Young STEM Researcher of the Year.


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