Westmead Hospital endoscopy researcher Professor Michael Bourke receives prestigious international award

Professor Michael Bourke (left) with the Basil Hirschowitz Award and Professor Douglas Rex, President of the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (right)

The Westmead Gastrointestinal (GI) Endoscopy research team in Western Sydney Local Health District (WSLHD) has received recognition for their stellar international research profile.

Professor Michael Bourke, Director of Endoscopy at Westmead Hospital, was recently presented with the esteemed Basil Hirschowitz Endowed Lecture at the American Digestive Diseases Week in San Diego. 

Michael said, “I am delighted and deeply humbled to accept this award on behalf of the many dedicated and talented past and present team members, nurses, doctors and research assistants at the Westmead Endoscopy Unit”.

This award recognises individuals who have made an outstanding research or clinical contribution to GI endoscopy practice on a global scale.

Michael is the first non-American clinician to receive this award.

The award is presented by the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) and is named after Dr Basil Hirschowitz who assembled the original prototype flexible fibreoptic endoscope. 

Professor Douglas Rex, ASGE president, presented Michael with the award saying “Michael and his team have literally rewritten the textbooks on endoscopic resection in the colorectum. Michael’s team has authored a remarkable series of pivotal papers on the performance of endoscopic mucosal resection that have changed how gastroenterologists around the world assess and classify large lesions in the colorectum and elsewhere in the GI tract, how these lesions are resected, how complications are prevented, classified, and treated, and how recurrences are prevented”. 

“Many of the challenges and problems with endoscopic resection in the colorectum have been sorted by Michael’s work, and there is no one who has been more impactful in this area.  In addition, Michael is a master teacher whose work in live endoscopy courses and video recordings has successfully disseminated his techniques around the world,” he added.

The endoscopy research unit at Westmead continues to produce high quality research with recent randomised controlled trials and large prospective studies on the removal of large polyps, endoscopic resection of early cancers in the oesophagus and stomach, per-oral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) and duodenal polyp removal.

The unit has been awarded National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Cancer Institute NSW (CINSW) grants for research. 

We are focused on advancing the safety and efficacy of endoscopic practice through systematic, incremental evidence-based research,”

Michael Bourke

“Endoscopic treatments are less invasive and less costly than surgical resection, and our unit is at the very cutting edge of development of these minimally invasive and organ sparing techniques.”