Neuroscientist Professor Glenda Halliday from the University of Sydney has been named as 2022 Scientist of the Year by the NSW Premier, in recognition of her work identifying and understanding dementia and degenerative motor syndromes.
Professor Halliday’s work has focused on Parkinson’s disease and she has combined the disciplines of biochemistry, genetics, and neuroimaging, to develop international diagnostic criteria and recommendations for adequate identification and management of patients.
She has also used novel research methods to reveal more extensive neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s and related syndromes than previously thought.
The novel technique for neuropathology involves 3D reconstruction that makes it possible to accurately determine volumes of brain nuclei and numbers of neurons and the glial cells that support and surround them – important indicators of brain health and disease progression.
She is a member of the Brain and Mind Centre at the University of Sydne and founded the Sydney Brain Bank, a biobanking facility that collects and manages brain and spinal cord tissue for research into CNS disorders.
Sydney University Provost and Acting Vice-Chancellor, Professor Annamarie Jagose, said: the award was “a well-deserved recognition of Professor Halliday’s vital contributions to brain health and science.”
“Professor Halliday has worked to address important scientific questions about Parkinson’s disease, alcohol toxicity, dementia and motor neurodegenerative disease. Her direct influence on clinical practice for these disorders is a remarkable achievement with major health implications for both individuals and society.”
Professor Halliday said: “I am very honoured to receive this award and pay tribute to all the researchers who have worked with me to improve the diagnosis and management of those with neurodegenerative diseases. This award would not be possible without them.”