April 2024 newsletter

A message from our President

Each month, we have been celebrating a highlight from the Academy’s history as we celebrate 10 years since our formation. This month we reflect on a very recent achievement for the Academy – the creation of the Outstanding First Nations Researcher Medal, which was announced in October last year. The award comes with a $10,000 travel grant, generously supported by Bellberry, which will be used to support the winner’s research. The award allows us to honour and celebrate the significant achievements of First Nations people in health and medical sciences – they were the nation’s first scientists and it is important their work is recognised.

Learn more about the creation of the award, and the design created by First Nations artist Teho Ropeyarn, on our website. I look forward to seeing it awarded to our inaugural winner at this year’s Annual Meeting.


We will host our first ever Life as a Clinician-Scientist ACT symposium on 4 May. These events are invaluable in encouraging the next generation of clinician-scientists, and I encourage those of you with ties to Canberra to spread the word among junior doctors, medical, health and sciences students, and early career researchers. Find more information on the event website. We hope to see you there.

Best wishes, 

Professor Louise Baur AM PresAHMS

Celebrating 10 years of AAHMS: Outstanding First Nations Researcher Medal

“I think it’s a major achievement for my practice to be commissioned to produce a work for such an important organisation awarding an outstanding First Nations researcher in their field of work.” – Teho Ropeyarn, an artist and curator from Injinoo, Cape York Peninsula.


Learn more about the Academy’s Outstanding First Nations Researcher Medal, developed with the support of Bellberry and the Gandevia Foundation, in our online article.

Life as a Clinician-Scientist ACT

Registrations are now open for the Life as a Clinician-Scientist Canberra symposium. Held on 4 May, this event will include talks from some of the state’s leading experts. There’ll also be an opportunity for attendees to sign-up for spot mentoring sessions.

Chaired by Professor Russell Gruen FAHMS (Dean, ANU College of Health and Medicine) and Professor Paul Fitzgerald FAHMS (Director, ANU School of Medicine and Psychology), our speaker line-up includes:

Register now for this free event: https://bit.ly/LACSACT24


Professor Georgina Long was awarded the U.S. Mission Australia Award for Leadership Excellence.

Professor Cheryl Jones was appointed the new Dean of UNSW Medicine and Health. 

AAHMS Associate Member Professor Joseph Doyle was awarded the 2024 Frank Fenner Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases. 

Fellows in the news

Several AAHMS Fellows, Associate Members and mentorship program alums were features in COSMOS’s list of 50 inspiring women scientists, including: Professor Emma Kowal, Associate Professor Ada Cheung, Professor Britta Regli-von Ungern-Sternberg, Professor Shyamali Dharmage, Associate Professor Francine Marques, Professor Georgina Long, and Associate Professor Gina Ravenscroft.

Professor Shyamali Dharmage co-authored a paper published in The Lancet, Lung-function trajectories: relevance and implementation in clinical practice.

Professor Warwick Anderson recently published an open access book, Trust in Medical Research:What Scientists Must Do to Enhance It.

Associate Member Margie Danchin was interviewed by ABC national news on the new RSV therapeutics and new long acting RSV monoclonal antibody program in WA. She also spoke to ABC radio on the recommendations for COVID vaccines in 2024.

Associate Member Associate Professor Ada Cheung wrote an article for University of Melbourne’s Pursuit news site, discussing oestrogen patch shortages.

Professor Andrew Whitehouse, Professor of Autism at the Telethon Kids Institute, joined a Spotlight forum panel discussion for ABC Radio on managing neurodivergence in children. The forum was summarised in a shorter article by the ABC with focus on how to make mainstream education more inclusive of children with diverse needs.

Professor Georgina Long was interviewed for Channel 9’s A Current Affair in regards to a joint investigation with The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald examining the questionable marketing and claims of Australian-owned companies producing sun tanning oils.

Professor Richard Scolyer’s journey of 10 months since his brain tumour diagnosis was published by ABC Listen and featured on Australian Story.

Professor Harriet Hiscock was featured on The People’s Network report on a collaborative program of ABC Education, Matterworks and Murdoch Children’s Research Institute addressing the subject of mental health in schools.

The Lancet Regional Health Western Pacific featured research by Professor Sophia Zoungas assessing findings from a statistical modelling study on trends and future projections of premature mortality in Australia.

Professor Ian Hickie hosted Sydney Ideas in March, the University of Sydney’s flagship public talks program, and contributed to Sky News reporting on awareness of the education system about different learning styles.

Professor Peter Doherty authored an article for The Saturday Paper called “The fault lines of society”.

Professor Bruce Robinson was a guest on Backstories by 6PR Afternoons talking about his journey from pulmonary medicine to the Fathering Project.

Professor Stephen Duckett reflected on pay increases for aged-care workers and its impact for the aged-care workforce in an article for The Conversation. He also spoke to ABC News for their analysis on self-funding private health insurance.

Professor Emily Banks was on the podcast series Doctorama covering topics of epidemiology, vaping and public health.

The story of Professor Jane Gunn and her academic journey was published by Medics Voices as a podcast and transcript. 

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