Two leading researchers in the Hunter have been recognised for their efforts.
Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) researcher’s Dr Myles Young and Dr Joel Petit have each been named as one of 40 AMP Tomorrow Makers from across Australia for 2021.
Both recipients were awarded grants to further their research, with Dr Young receiving $55,000 and Dr Petit banking $57,000.
Dr Young will use the funds to help him make a suite of men’s health programs available to more men, particularly those in regional and remote areas.
He said the programs would give participants the tools they need to feel mentally well, lose weight, become more active and improve their diet or completely overhaul their lifestyle.
“To date, we have had more than 1,000 local men participate in these programs and the results have been very positive,” Dr Young said.
“We are gaining a much better understanding of how men’s physical and mental health influence each other,” he said.
“Our research shows that when men lose weight and improve their lifestyle, they also experience meaningful improvements in their mood and mental health.”
He added the funding would allow him to help more men in the region.
The University of Newcastle (UoN) researcher is creating online versions of several interlinking men’s health programs he has developed with colleagues at the university and HMRI.
These programs include the Self-Help Exercise and Diet using Information Technology (SHED-IT) program, Workplace POWER, and SHED-IT Recharge, which specifically targets men with low mood.
UoN PhD student Dr Petit will use his funding for research on a test to pick up early indications of bowel cancer and minimise recurrence.
Having lost two friends to the disease he has a strong personal motivation to develop a blood test for the cancer.
Dr Young believes his blood test could also reduce the number of time-consuming and often expensive colonoscopies.