UNSW researcher Dr Christine Lu has been awarded a prestigious Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship to undertake advanced research and study in the United States.

She joins a select group of well-qualified applicants in a range of fields, including business, science, international security and network engineering to receive the lucrative prize funded by the American Australian Association (AAA).

Dr Lu, who completed her thesis in pharmacology with Professor Richard Day and Associate Professor Ken Williams in the School of Medical Science, is now a Research Fellow within the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention at Boston's Harvard Medical School.

Professor Day says: "On the basis of her PhD work, Christine has also been awarded a 4 year NH&MRC Public Health Fellowship in addition to a Pharmaceutical Policy Research Fellowship by Harvard Medical School and a Sir Keith Murdoch Fellowship to focus on the effects of various policies on access to health care. She will gain invaluable experience from these opportunities and will be well equipped to contribute to policy development in the health arena on her return to Australia."

Christine is investigating the nexus between public policy and the safe and effective use of medicines and particularly the effects of a prior authorisation medicine policy on medicines' use and outcomes among diabetes patients.

Speaking of her fellowship Dr Lu said: "Working with the Drug Policy Research Group at Harvard Medical School is a great learning opportunity opened to me. I believe my post-doctoral training will enhance my capacity as an individual researcher and contributor in the field of pharmaceutical policy research."

Announcing the fellowships, AAA chairman Malcolm Binks highlighted the importance of the study program to Australia-US ties."This year we have an extraordinary standard of Fellows in a variety of critical fields. These Fellows are not only leaders in their areas of research, but are also devoted to gaining experience in the US in order to further Australian research interests."