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MSD Hubert Stuerzl Memorial Educational Award

The Hubert Stuerzl Memorial Educational Award was created to honour the memory of the late Hubert Stuerzl.

Hubert Stuerzl was born in Austria, studied science and emigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. He was to play a pivotal role in the emergence of “neuro-oncology” in Australia as a multi-disciplinary specialty. Presciently, he addressed three key elements: clinical care, education and patient advocacy.

He became the initial Schering-Plough product manager for a new chemotherapy agent: temozolomide.  The drug was not readily available to Australians with brain cancer but through Hubert, Schering Plough provided it free of charge to hundreds of glioma patients. As a consequence, Australian patients had early access to what remains the best chemotherapy drug for gliomas.

In addition, Hubert imported and distributed over 500 copies of a brain cancer consumer book specifically written to provide information to brain cancer and their carers. And, through Schering-Plough, Hubert underwrote the first ever Australian multi-disciplinary brain cancer meeting: “Glioma2005”.

Sadly, Hubert died from a Glioblastoma leaving his wife, Wendy, and two young children: India and Luis.

In 2006, Schering-Plough, in conjunction with a number of neuro-oncology clinicians, decided to honour his memory by establishing the Hubert Stuerzl Memorial Educational Award. The award was initially managed by the Medical Oncology Group of Australia and then transferred to the governance of COGNO in 2016.

The Award is a $15,000 prize to an early career investigator showing interest in the field of Neuro-oncology. The purpose is to provide support for travel to a major international conference and to undertake a brief preceptorship at an International centre of excellence. Remarkably, employees at Schering-Plough elected to have money deducted from their own pay packets to support the award.

The award has continued following MSD merging with Schering-Plough and is now one of the most prestigious in any field of Australian cancer medicine.

Previous award winners are listed below and many of them are now significant contributors in the field of neuro-oncology.
 
2006   
Christine Wong  Medical oncology 
2007  Matthew Foote  Radiation oncology 
2008  Mustafa Khasraw  Medical oncology 
2009  Siddhartha Baxi
Radiation oncology 
2010  Melanie Wai Yin Jackson  
Radiation oncology 
2011  Rumal Jayath  Neuro-surgery 
2012  Eric Hau  Radiation oncology 
2013  Peter Khong  Neuro-surgery 
2014  Sagun Parakh  Medical oncology 
2015  Andrew Gogos  Neuro-surgery 
2016  James Dimou  Neuro-surgery 
2017  James Whittle  Medical oncology 
2018  Arian Lasocki 
Radiology