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Weston, Kathryn M. A/Prof

Associate Professor Public Health

  • Theme Leader: - Research and Critical Analysis
  • Member: - Medical Humanities
  • Block coordinator: - Haematopoietic Immune system
  • UOW ISLHD Human Research Ethics Committee

Top Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>The concept of a clinician-scientist conjures up an image of a doctor seeing patients in the morning, then spending the afternoon in the laboratory, or something similar. Yet, the idea of translational research does not have to remain behind the laboratory door. Seeking to identify and understand issues of relevance in a community setting is a critical form of research. Researching in the community setting represents a practical way to engage medical students can help to develop their potential to become ‘clinician researchers’, investigating and making change relevant to their communities. Edward Jenner, the father of vaccination, is a great example of a clinician scientist working on an issue of relevance to his community! His discovery led to the development of vaccination and global eradication of smallpox.</p><p>At UOW, all students on a 12-month LIC placement are supported by academic staff to undertake a community-relevant research project. This is part of the Research and Critical Analysis (RCA) theme of the UOW medical course. Analysis of the projects undertaken to date (n=519) showed that all student projects incorporated one or more research methods, <strong>such as sampling, epidemiology, statistical analysis, research ethics, and other methods of enquiry such as qualitative research</strong> and health care evaluation. Appreciating the importance of ethical conduct of research can also help develop good practice.</p><p>Just over half (52%) of the medical student project topics specifically related to Australian national health priority areas. A further 30% of topics also related to specific population health issues, including 34 projects that specifically looked at the issue of access and equity of health care for Australian rural communities.</p><p>The contemporary public health challenges of global disparities in health, medication safety, climate change, obesity and diabetes epidemics, an ageing population, and returning and emerging infections are on our doorstep. Health professionals need to be able to recognise and investigate these issues and respond to individual and community needs.</p><p>The RCA Team is A/Prof Kath Weston, Prof Peter McLennan, Dr Pippa Burns, Dr Warren Rich, Dr Shahid Akhtar and A/Prof Judy Mullan (currently on secondment).</p>
  • <p>My publication of the oldest known specimen of smallpox vaccine in the world (1841) provides a glimpse into the role played by colonial Sydney in the global eradication efforts against smallpox. It adds new evidence to the current scientific debate that 19th century smallpox vaccine was not attenuated smallpox, as has been suggested. Various news stories resulted from the publication, as well as unsolicited positive feedback from the wider health community.<em>… just read your article in the MJA on small pox scabs. Disgusting, fascinating, wonderful! Well done! </em>17.03.14 Dr Andrew Knight GP Educator.<br /><br />The National Library of Australia is a marvellous resource. Newspapers predominated as the social media of the day, even with letters about how to maintain viable supplies of smallpox vaccine! The 1938 letter below describes a method said to result in viable vaccine even after 12 months. The writer claimed that he:</p><p><em>“… was never without a supply of that valuable remedy against one of the most loathsome diseases that flesh is heir to... I general pitched upon some stout healthy child, whose parents were also of sound constitution - watched narrowly the progress of the pustules through all the stages; if well formed and shewing all the characteristic marks of genuine cowpox, I have ordered a soft bandage to be applied round the arm and over the pustules, … the same to remain till they had subsided, and hard dry cachars had formed and dropped off, which I immediately put into a phial well corked and sealed. Cowpox matter preserved in his way, will, I am convinced, (from 24 years experience) keep well for at least six months even in this Colony…”</em></p><p><em>                                                                                                 VERAX, Windsor, 27 April, 1839 (1)</em></p><ol><li>Vaccination. <em>The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser </em>1839; 27 Apr. <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page693432" target="_blank" rel="noopener">http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page693432</a> (accessed Jul 2013).</li></ol><p><em> </em></p>

Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Historical aspects of infectious disease outbreaks in Australia. The 1918-19 pandemic of Spanish influenza caused widespread morbidity and mortality in Australia. This project investigates community and medical responses.


  • Investigation of infectious disease history in NSW prisons. Part of the Global Challenges Caring for the Incarcerated Project. The study looks at the prison medical response to early disease outbreaks such as typhoid fever, and compares it to the impact of the discovery of HIV.


  • Promoting science and medicine to women. This study looks at how women's magazines have been used to promote science and medicine, using childhood vaccination as the case study. It addresses how science has been portrayed to women since the 1930s in Australia, particularly to mothers.

Teaching Activities


  • Graduate Medicine Senior Lecturer in Public Health; immunology, research and critical analysis

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) The Capacity of Public Health Lecturers in Indonesia's Medical Faculties to Contribute in the Preparation of Socially Responsive Physicians Abdul Kadir, Nurhira
    Doctor of Philosophy A longitudinal study of the influence of learning environments on educating medical students for patient-centred collaborative practice Vella, Susan

Outreach Overview


  • I am a highly experienced and recognised professional expert consultant, reflected in successful tendering to support national medical organisations. My public health expertise impacts on community engagement about vaccination, through radio and newspaper interviews. 

    I contribute leadership and direction to medicine, curriculum and examination board committees. I am a longstanding member of the UOW Illawarra Shoalhaven Human Research Ethics Committee, providing expert assessment of research applications according to the NHMRC National Statement, and ensuring compliance of student research with National research ethics policy.  

    External to UOW, I share my expertise to benefit others, e.g. advisor for course content at Western Sydney University; and supporting projects to engage youth with the Arts (Mountains Youth Band; Western Sydney Youth Orchestra), including funding applications.

Education And Training


  • Harvard University, Department of Pathology, Research training
  • B Science (Hon) in Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Honours in biochemistry/parasitology, Thesis title: The respiratory metabolism of the developing eggs of Haemonchus contortus
  • Ph.D. in Immunology and cell biology, University of Technology Sydney, Cell and Molecular Biology, Thesis title: Interaction of mouse immunoglobulin and melittin with malignant B cells

Awards And Honors


Teaching Overview


  • I am an innovative teacher with a record of outstanding scores from students, excellent peer reviews and prestigious teaching awards at institutional and national level. I provide academic leadership in public health and immunology, and the research and critical analysis domain; and deliver a diversity of teaching across the medical course.

    At UOW, I have published internationally in medical education research and advanced critical and reflective ideas on medical education curricula. My research portfolio also includes publications relating to building research capacity and graduate competencies of medical students, other tertiary education professional students, and practitioners. I lead the school's graduate tracking research program, and have been invited to present my work on the international stage. My public health expertise is acknowledged as a member of the Australian Medical Council's Assessment Panel (professional accreditation) for Population Health and Ethics, and an invitation to assess a PhD in global health/medical education. I have obtained education funding, including a UOW education grants to create innovative educational materials.

    In the School of Medicine (SOM) MD program, I co-ordinate the Haematopoietic/Immune teaching block, and have developed a network of clinical experts engaged in teaching this topic.

    I am a Science, Medicine and Health Learning & Teaching Scholar which recognises my leadership in teaching, scholarly activity and advancing exemplary teaching and learning.

Keywords


  • Public health

  • Research and critical analysis
    Immunology
    Medical education

Full Name


  • Dr Kathryn Weston

Mailing Address


  • Building 28

    Northfields Ave

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Fax


  • +61 2 4221 4341

Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • R-4842-2017

Top Publications


Selected Publications


Impact Story


  • <p>The concept of a clinician-scientist conjures up an image of a doctor seeing patients in the morning, then spending the afternoon in the laboratory, or something similar. Yet, the idea of translational research does not have to remain behind the laboratory door. Seeking to identify and understand issues of relevance in a community setting is a critical form of research. Researching in the community setting represents a practical way to engage medical students can help to develop their potential to become ‘clinician researchers’, investigating and making change relevant to their communities. Edward Jenner, the father of vaccination, is a great example of a clinician scientist working on an issue of relevance to his community! His discovery led to the development of vaccination and global eradication of smallpox.</p><p>At UOW, all students on a 12-month LIC placement are supported by academic staff to undertake a community-relevant research project. This is part of the Research and Critical Analysis (RCA) theme of the UOW medical course. Analysis of the projects undertaken to date (n=519) showed that all student projects incorporated one or more research methods, <strong>such as sampling, epidemiology, statistical analysis, research ethics, and other methods of enquiry such as qualitative research</strong> and health care evaluation. Appreciating the importance of ethical conduct of research can also help develop good practice.</p><p>Just over half (52%) of the medical student project topics specifically related to Australian national health priority areas. A further 30% of topics also related to specific population health issues, including 34 projects that specifically looked at the issue of access and equity of health care for Australian rural communities.</p><p>The contemporary public health challenges of global disparities in health, medication safety, climate change, obesity and diabetes epidemics, an ageing population, and returning and emerging infections are on our doorstep. Health professionals need to be able to recognise and investigate these issues and respond to individual and community needs.</p><p>The RCA Team is A/Prof Kath Weston, Prof Peter McLennan, Dr Pippa Burns, Dr Warren Rich, Dr Shahid Akhtar and A/Prof Judy Mullan (currently on secondment).</p>
  • <p>My publication of the oldest known specimen of smallpox vaccine in the world (1841) provides a glimpse into the role played by colonial Sydney in the global eradication efforts against smallpox. It adds new evidence to the current scientific debate that 19th century smallpox vaccine was not attenuated smallpox, as has been suggested. Various news stories resulted from the publication, as well as unsolicited positive feedback from the wider health community.<em>… just read your article in the MJA on small pox scabs. Disgusting, fascinating, wonderful! Well done! </em>17.03.14 Dr Andrew Knight GP Educator.<br /><br />The National Library of Australia is a marvellous resource. Newspapers predominated as the social media of the day, even with letters about how to maintain viable supplies of smallpox vaccine! The 1938 letter below describes a method said to result in viable vaccine even after 12 months. The writer claimed that he:</p><p><em>“… was never without a supply of that valuable remedy against one of the most loathsome diseases that flesh is heir to... I general pitched upon some stout healthy child, whose parents were also of sound constitution - watched narrowly the progress of the pustules through all the stages; if well formed and shewing all the characteristic marks of genuine cowpox, I have ordered a soft bandage to be applied round the arm and over the pustules, … the same to remain till they had subsided, and hard dry cachars had formed and dropped off, which I immediately put into a phial well corked and sealed. Cowpox matter preserved in his way, will, I am convinced, (from 24 years experience) keep well for at least six months even in this Colony…”</em></p><p><em>                                                                                                 VERAX, Windsor, 27 April, 1839 (1)</em></p><ol><li>Vaccination. <em>The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser </em>1839; 27 Apr. <a href="http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page693432" target="_blank" rel="noopener">http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-page693432</a> (accessed Jul 2013).</li></ol><p><em> </em></p>

Potential Supervision Topics


  • Historical aspects of infectious disease outbreaks in Australia. The 1918-19 pandemic of Spanish influenza caused widespread morbidity and mortality in Australia. This project investigates community and medical responses.


  • Investigation of infectious disease history in NSW prisons. Part of the Global Challenges Caring for the Incarcerated Project. The study looks at the prison medical response to early disease outbreaks such as typhoid fever, and compares it to the impact of the discovery of HIV.


  • Promoting science and medicine to women. This study looks at how women's magazines have been used to promote science and medicine, using childhood vaccination as the case study. It addresses how science has been portrayed to women since the 1930s in Australia, particularly to mothers.

Teaching Activities


  • Graduate Medicine Senior Lecturer in Public Health; immunology, research and critical analysis

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) The Capacity of Public Health Lecturers in Indonesia's Medical Faculties to Contribute in the Preparation of Socially Responsive Physicians Abdul Kadir, Nurhira
    Doctor of Philosophy A longitudinal study of the influence of learning environments on educating medical students for patient-centred collaborative practice Vella, Susan

Outreach Overview


  • I am a highly experienced and recognised professional expert consultant, reflected in successful tendering to support national medical organisations. My public health expertise impacts on community engagement about vaccination, through radio and newspaper interviews. 

    I contribute leadership and direction to medicine, curriculum and examination board committees. I am a longstanding member of the UOW Illawarra Shoalhaven Human Research Ethics Committee, providing expert assessment of research applications according to the NHMRC National Statement, and ensuring compliance of student research with National research ethics policy.  

    External to UOW, I share my expertise to benefit others, e.g. advisor for course content at Western Sydney University; and supporting projects to engage youth with the Arts (Mountains Youth Band; Western Sydney Youth Orchestra), including funding applications.

Education And Training


  • Harvard University, Department of Pathology, Research training
  • B Science (Hon) in Biochemistry, University of Sydney, Honours in biochemistry/parasitology, Thesis title: The respiratory metabolism of the developing eggs of Haemonchus contortus
  • Ph.D. in Immunology and cell biology, University of Technology Sydney, Cell and Molecular Biology, Thesis title: Interaction of mouse immunoglobulin and melittin with malignant B cells

Awards And Honors


Teaching Overview


  • I am an innovative teacher with a record of outstanding scores from students, excellent peer reviews and prestigious teaching awards at institutional and national level. I provide academic leadership in public health and immunology, and the research and critical analysis domain; and deliver a diversity of teaching across the medical course.

    At UOW, I have published internationally in medical education research and advanced critical and reflective ideas on medical education curricula. My research portfolio also includes publications relating to building research capacity and graduate competencies of medical students, other tertiary education professional students, and practitioners. I lead the school's graduate tracking research program, and have been invited to present my work on the international stage. My public health expertise is acknowledged as a member of the Australian Medical Council's Assessment Panel (professional accreditation) for Population Health and Ethics, and an invitation to assess a PhD in global health/medical education. I have obtained education funding, including a UOW education grants to create innovative educational materials.

    In the School of Medicine (SOM) MD program, I co-ordinate the Haematopoietic/Immune teaching block, and have developed a network of clinical experts engaged in teaching this topic.

    I am a Science, Medicine and Health Learning & Teaching Scholar which recognises my leadership in teaching, scholarly activity and advancing exemplary teaching and learning.

Keywords


  • Public health

  • Research and critical analysis
    Immunology
    Medical education

Full Name


  • Dr Kathryn Weston

Mailing Address


  • Building 28

    Northfields Ave

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Fax


  • +61 2 4221 4341

Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • R-4842-2017

Geographic Focus