Professor Robert J Pierce was the founder of the Institute for Breathing and Sleep. He was the CEO of the Institute until his untimely death in the Black Saturday bushfires of February 2009.
Rob, as he was known to all, was also the Director of the Department of Respiratory and Sleep Medicine at Austin Health and the inaugural Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Melbourne.
Rob was involved in most IBAS projects as well as being a source of inspiration and facilitation. He had particular strengths in fostering passion for research and in ensuring that the links between research and clinical work were never lost. At the time of his death he was dedicating significant time and effort to projects addressing respiratory health needs in Australia’s indigenous community.
Rob’s work over the first nine years of the Institute’s existence resulted in IBAS being in a strong position to continue his work and his vision. Rob’s role and contribution to current projects will continue to be recognised through publication and presentation.
Rob’s work is commemorated in a number of ways: the annual RJ Pierce Symposium and the presentation of the Rob Pierce Memorial Award, both as part of Austin Health ResearchFest through the Robert Pierce Grant-in-Aid for Indigenous Lung Health, awarded annually by the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand (TSANZ) and the Rob Pierce Grant in Aid awarded annually by the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA).
For more information about Rob’s work and life, please see the obituary that was published in The Age newspaper.
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Congratulations Anne Holland for winning the ERS Mid-Career Gold Medal for Allied Health Professionals in recognition of her potential for further outstanding research within a field of the allied health professions. Well Done Anne!
Congratulations to the following IBAS staff members who have been successful in obtaining research funding from the Austin Medical Research Foundation (AMRF) for 2022.
Honouring a legacy: The prestigious 2021 Rob Pierce Grant in Aid is awarded to Dr Marnie Graco, a physiotherapist and implementation scientist from IBAS.