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Premier's Prizes

2022 NSW Scientist of the Year

Professor Glenda Halliday FAA FAHMS

Research Fellow, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Professor of Neuroscience, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney

Professor Glenda Halliday is a neuroscientist, internationally acclaimed for her research on neurodegeneration, which has had major implications on understanding disease progression.

Glenda’s scientific contribution has been to determine how the human brain is affected both structurally and biochemically by neurodegenerative diseases. Her current research work is focused on the underlying causes of the non-Alzheimer’s neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Parkinson’s disease and frontotemporal dementia.

After early training in comparative neuroanatomy, Glenda devised novel methods for immunohistochemistry and quantitative morphometry of post-mortem brains, involving 3D reconstruction to accurately determine volumes of brain nuclei and numbers of neurons and glial cells (the supporting cells that surround them).

Her approach then embraced biochemical and molecular techniques. To access tissue from patients, Glenda established widespread collaborations with neurologists to obtain full clinical histories for donated material, subsequently establishing the Sydney Brain Bank for her group and others to use.

She expanded her techniques to include genetic studies and determine the changes in both genetic and sporadic forms of neurodegenerative diseases.

Glenda’s work has changed international diagnostic criteria and recommendations for adequate patient identification and management for a number of neurodegenerative diseases, providing differentiating characteristics and assessments that now include disease staging schemes. She has defined unique roles of certain genes and proteins, now being used to develop diagnostic protocols and potential therapies.

Glenda has assembled a highly effective team and retains a close personal involvement in the laboratory. She is passionate about promoting neuroscience and mentorship in the field and has made significant contributions to research evaluation.

Glenda was made a member of the Australian Academy of Science in 2021 and a member of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2014. She has been recognised professionally by appointments as an NHMRC Senior Leadership Fellow in 2019, Professor of Neuroscience at The University of Sydney in 2016, NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in 2010 and Professor of Medicine at UNSW Sydney in 2003. She has been a Research Fellow since 1988.

Glenda has received significant recognition and awards during her career, including:

  • 2021 Robert A. Pritzker Prize for Leadership in Parkinson’s Research, Michael J Fox Foundation
  • 2020 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Investigator Award for Leadership in Clinical Medicine and Science
  • 2018 Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate Analytics
  • 2017 C. David Marsden Lecture Award, International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society
  • 2016 Cozzarelli Prize for outstanding 2015 paper, National Academy of Sciences, USA
  • 2014 NHMRC Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship – Clinical Award
  • 2013 NHMRC High Achiever
  • 2011 Nina Kondelos Prize, Australian Neuroscience Society for outstanding female contribution to basic or clinical neuroscience.

Glenda has over 700 journal publications, four book chapters and one book, with over 75,000 citations and an h-index of 123 (Google Scholar).