We are delighted to announce the Academy’s first recipients of the Jian Zhou Medal: Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson FAHMS and Professor Andrew Steer FAHMS. The winners were announced at an online ceremony on Thursday 15 October. 

Professor Sarah-Jane Dawson FAHMS is a Consultant Medical Oncologist and Group Leader at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and Professor, Centre for Cancer Research at the University of Melbourne.

Professor Dawson is a clinician scientist who has consistently demonstrated excellence, leadership and dedicated service to health and medical research in Australia. Professor Dawson’s research has pioneered fundamental advances in the clinical application of cancer genomics and the development of personalised biomarker approaches using circulating tumour DNA. This body of work has led to the rapid expansion of research in this field and established a new paradigm for molecular disease monitoring in cancer.

Professor Andrew Steer FAHMS is Director of the Infection and Immunity Theme and Group Leader of the Tropical Diseases Research Group at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute. 

Professor Steer is a recognised international leader in paediatric and tropical infectious diseases research. He has led a series of world-first landmark studies in his fields of research, including the first comparative trial of community-based interventions for scabies control, the largest trial of scabies treatment with over 26 000 participants. He has also led the seminal study of the global distribution of group A streptococcal strains and the first genome-wide association study of rheumatic heart disease. Professor Steer’s research has changed international clinical and public health understanding and practice of these diseases and has measurably improved the lives of people suffering from these conditions.

The Academy warmly congratulates both recipients on this tremendous achievement.

The Jian Zhou Medal was launched in October 2019 and is the Academy’s first honorific award. The Medal is awarded annually to a rising star of Australian health and medical science, primarily working in Australia, in recognition of their significant impact in translational health and medical science.

The award is named in honour of late Dr. Jian Zhou, a talented molecular biologist and virologist, whose work helped to develop the vaccines that protect women against the viruses causing cervical cancer. 

Applications for 2021 are open until 30 April 2021.  More information about the nomination process and eligibility criteria are available on The Jian Zhou Medal program page.