18 October 2016

As a donor to the QUT Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), Neville Patterson is passionate about health research that works smarter to achieve results faster.

He also has a personal connection with IHBI – Neville’s late wife Carla was a respected biochemist with a keen interest in public health. In the final years of her successful career, she was part of the team at QUT’s School of Public Health helping to shape what would become IHBI.

In the years that followed Carla’s passing, Neville has seen IHBI implement a unique, collaborative structure and culture that maximises the impact of its work.

“IHBI is relevant. It has a broad coverage of health issues, but it is also able to focus and prosecute issues successfully – and work collaboratively with other institutes in Queensland, Australia and internationally,” says Neville.

“I don’t think anybody can doubt the usefulness of this field of research. To be able to contribute in a small way to that ongoing activity is a privilege, and one which I’m very glad I’m able to do at this stage in my life.”

The Patterson family remains in close contact with IHBI, particularly in relation to the Carla Patterson Award, initially established by Professor Ross Young - IHBI’s Executive Director when the headquarters at Kelvin Grove opened in 2006 and current Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health.

“Carla was a much-loved academic leader in the School of Public Health. Early in my period of tenure as Executive Director – IHBI, we established the Carla Patterson Award which uniquely examines high quality publications for an assessment of their impact,” says Professor Young.

“This is a true and fitting tribute to Carla, who was a strong advocate for the translation of research into policy and action – and an enthusiastic champion for social justice.”

The award includes categories for early career and higher degree researchers, which Neville says is reflective of both Carla’s reputation as a dedicated mentor, and IHBI’s commitment to providing encouragement and support to those researchers beginning their careers.

“Through observing Carla’s work, I’ve seen the results of a good working environment for young researchers. An environment where you’ve got good supervisors, colleagues and peers and an atmosphere that encourages you and the work that you’re doing. These are people who not only are good supervisors but are mentors – and can see a broader picture for people who are moving forward at that stage of their lives – helping them not to lose their path but instead to succeed and increase their contribution.”

By continuing his involvement with IHBI, Neville hopes that his contribution will make a difference in a field that can positively change the lives of others for years to come.

“It gives me an enormous amount of satisfaction to be able to do that, and I hope that for the rest of my life I’ll continue to be able to do so.”

To learn about giving to IHBI, please visit the giving website.