Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Young women attend an AAHMS event.

Tomorrow (11 February) is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science – an opportunity to recognise the trailblazing women who are making an impact in STEM.

The Academy is fortunate to benefit from the experience and expertise of some of Australia’s top researchers and clinician scientists. Women make up nearly one third of the Academy’s Ordinary Fellowship and we are committed to closing the gender gap within our Fellowship. In 2022, 15 of our 31 new Fellows were women and 50% of Council members were women.

Read on to discover the impressive achievements of some of our inspiring Fellows who were elected in 2022.

Professor Laura Mackay FAHMS

Professor Laura Mackay is an internationally recognised expert in T-cell immunity and immunological memory. Her landmark research papers have defined how memory T cell responses are generated in body tissues, and their role in viral and tumour immunity.

She is Professor at University of Melbourne and Laboratory Head at the Doherty Institute. Last year, Professor Mackay was the youngest ever Fellow inducted into the Academy.

“I hope that my election to the Academy will inspire other young women to pursue a career in science – it’s a career path that truly allows you to be curious, creative and make an impact,” she said.

Watch the short video above to learn more about Professor Mackay’s work. You can also view a session from our 2022 Annual Meeting in our video library featuring Professor Mackay presenting her research, along with short presentations from other new Fellows Professors Shantha Rajaratnam, Dominic Dwyer and Emma Kowal.

Professor Denise Doolan FAHMS

Molecular immunologist Professor Denise Doolan has built her career improving the health of people worldwide suffering from infectious and chronic diseases.

Professor Doolan is Deputy Director (Research) at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland and was previously Deputy Director at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine at James Cook University. Her multidisciplinary research focuses on developing therapeutics and diagnostics for infectious diseases that impact global public health.

Watch the short vide above to learn more about Professor Doolan’s work. You can also view a session from our 2022 Annual Meeting in our video library featuring Professor Doolan presenting her research alongside other new Fellows, Professors Sharon Friel (listed below), Ian Freckelton, and Susan Fletcher.

Professor Sharon Friel FASSA FAHMS

Professor Sharon Friel is a world-renowned, policy-focused health equity researcher whose research has examined social determinants of health; governance of the social, commercial and planetary determinants of health inequities; and climate change, food systems, trade and investment as it relates to health equity.

She is an ARC Laureate Fellow and Director of Menzies Centre for Health Governance, Australian National University. Professor Friel was Head of the Scientific Secretariat (University College London) for the World Health Organisation Commission on Social Determinants of Health.

A Fellow of the Academy of Social Science in Australia as well as AAHMS, Professor Friel presented her research at our 2022 Annual Meeting. You can also watch a short video outlining her work above.

Professor Anne Kavanagh FASSA FAHMS

Professor Anne Kavanagh, an epidemiologist and Professor of Disability and Health at The University of Melbourne, has influenced national and local government policy with her research to improve the health of people with disability.

Professor Kavanagh’s research has focused on reducing disability-related discrimination and violence, as well as improving employment outcomes for people with disability and ensuring people with disability have been safe during COVID-19.

“My research aims to identify how health and social policies can improve the health of disabled Australians,” Professor Kavanagh said.

“As someone with a disability and as a parent of a young man with a disability, I am passionate about improving the health of people with disability.”

Watch a short video below outlining some of Professor Kavanagh’s achievements, above.

Explore the achievements of all our 2022 Fellows in our 2022 New Fellows booklet or read the full list of new Fellows from October 2022.

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