'Extraordinary contribution' to nicotine and tobacco research earns international acclaim

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Congratulations to Associate Professor Gillian Gould of the School of Medicine and Public Health who has been honoured for her research into the health implications of smoking.

Associate Professor Gould
Associate Professor Gould

The Society for Research on Nicotine & Tobacco (SRNT) has named Associate Professor Gould as this year’s recipient of the Jarvik-Russell Early Career Award, which honours SRNT members who have made extraordinary contributions to the field of nicotine and tobacco research within seven years of receiving their terminal degree.

Bruce Wheeler, Executive Director, SRNT, said the awards selection committee, and the SRNT Board, were impressed with all Associate Professor Gould had accomplished in such a short time, and they look forward to many more years of life-saving research from her.

She has long been interested in the health implications of smoking and honed her research to improve the risks from tobacco smoking for Indigenous women of child-bearing age.

“The incidence of smoking among pregnant women in Australia is about 12% but among Indigenous women that figure jumps to 44%, so we really do have a significant health issue to tackle,” said Associate Professor Gould.

Associate Professor Gould’s work focuses on education and support for Indigenous women and her initiatives such as the SISTAQUIT program are designed to provide women with culturally appropriate assistance. SISTAQUIT aims to improve health providers’ skills when offering smoking cessation care to pregnant Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women.

As the winner of the Jarvik-Russell Early Career Award Associate Professor Gould will receive a $1,000 prize, a plaque, and an expense-paid trip to the February 2021 SRNT Annual Meeting in Baltimore, USA, where she will present a plenary lecture on her research.

Associate Professor Gould has set up a Research Centre in Coffs Harbour and plans to officially open the Centre later this year. She is also guest editor on the special issue of The International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ‘Tackling tobacco use during pregnancy and early childhood – social, economical and health implications.’

Earlier this year Associate Professor Gould won the Cure Cancer Australia Researcher of the Year Runner Up. It was the third consecutive year she has won this honour.


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The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.