Momentum Fellows 2021

Alexandra Devine

Dr Alexandra Devine

Alex Devine is a leading disability researcher in the Disability and Health Unit at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. For over 16 years, Alex has led innovative disability-inclusive research and development projects across a range of Australian and International contexts. Much of her work has been conducted in partnership with researchers with disability and their representative organisations. Her research to date has focused on improving people's experience of engaging with complex disability systems and services such as Disability Employment Services (DES) and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). The Momentum Fellowship will support Alex to progress her policy-relevant research with a specific focus on cohorts more likely to experience challenges with these systems, including people with psychosocial conditions, First Nations and culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

Dr Emily Karanges

Emily Karanges is a Research Fellow in Youth Substance Use and Mental Health in the Centre for Youth Mental Health. With a background in behavioural neuroscience and pharmacoepidemiology, Emily's research interests include early intervention and youth-focused treatment development, particularly for problematic cannabis use and withdrawal. The Momentum Fellowship will enable her to further develop a program of research on cannabis use disorder and its treatment in young people. The fellowship will support Emily in growing her expertise in clinical trial and cannabis use research, generating critical pilot data to support competitive research funding applications, establishing and strengthening cross-disciplinary collaborations, and building leadership capacity.

Dr Sheila Patel

Sheila Patel is a Senior Research Fellow based in the Department of Medicine, Austin Health in the Melbourne Medical School. Her research identifies novel biomarkers of cardiovascular disease. The goal of her research is to use personalised medicine to prevent or delay cardiovascular disease and its complications, by developing new treatment strategies in cardiovascular disease. The Momentum Fellowship will provide support towards Sheila's research goals, enhance her competitiveness for funding applications and research independence and build her leadership capacity.

Dr Jess Heerde

Jess Heerde is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Paediatrics (Melbourne Medical School), Research Fellow (Westpac Scholars Trust) and Honorary Research Fellow (Centre for Adolescent Health, Population Health Studies of Adolescents, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute). She is a research leader in youth homelessness. Homelessness remains, in many respects, a hidden issue. Rates of homelessness are rising among the young, with devastating effects on their health and wellbeing. Homelessness remains a wicked problem that straddles both the health and social sciences, meaning it has been a challenging area in which to build a research program. The Momentum Fellowship will help Jess to progress and build research momentum for subsequent funding applications and enhance her capacity for her ongoing research and advocacy in this field.

Dr Kate Filia

Kate Filia is an emerging leader in the field of social inclusion and mental health. Based in the Centre for Youth Mental Health, Kate has developed a novel measure of social inclusion, and a research program dedicated to understanding differences between, and improving, social inclusion across psychiatric diagnoses, developmental stages, in caregivers and at-risk population groups. Kate has experienced significant career interruptions and this fellowship will enhance her capacity to pursue opportunities as an independent researcher, as well as leverage opportunities for future funding support.