June 2024 newsletter

A message from our President

I recently joined Professor Russell Gruen FAHMS, Academy Interim CEO Khaled Chakli and Policy Manager Dr Ruby Guyatt in Canberra to meet with ACT Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith. We discussed the Academy’s important role in shaping policy, including our report Research and innovation as core functions in transforming the health system: A vision for the future of health in Australia. This strategic report includes several key priorities, and we particularly focused on our recommendation for an alliance for transforming healthcare through embedding research. Learn more about the report on our website.

The NHMRC is seeking feedback on a draft Good Institutional Practice Guide.  As the learned Academy for health and medical sciences, we will be drawing on our Fellows’ collective expertise to form a submission, which we will share on our website next month.

Videos from our most recent Life as a Clinician-Scientist events are now available on our YouTube channel. We are fortunate to have many incredibly talented speakers among our Fellowship, and are grateful to them for generously sharing their time and stories with us at these symposia. Our next events are in Brisbane and Sydney, and we will close the series this year with our inaugural rural and regional health symposium. Visit the program page for more information.

Finally, I want to draw your attention to a free online event that the Learned Academies are collectively supporting. Exploring Indigenous Research: Conducting ethical research and improving access of research outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples will be held on 13 June from 12-1pm. The webinar is being led by AIATSIS and the Academy of Social Sciences Australia, and is an excellent opportunity to develop your understanding of ethical and responsible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research. Learn more in our events section below, or on the event website.

Best wishes, 

Professor Louise Baur AM PresAHMS

Online event: exploring Indigenous research

Exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research: Conducting ethical research and improving access of research outcomes to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

This interactive online session aims to deepen your understanding of ethical and responsible research practices within Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Engage with leading researchers, stakeholders, and institutions as they share insights and practical guidance on conducting ethical research and enhancing the accessibility of research outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This event is co-hosted by AIATSIS and the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, with support from the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and other Learned Academies.

Event details:

  • Date: 13 June 2024
  • Time: 12pm-1pm
  • Platform: Zoom 
  • Registration: Free


  • Welcome and introduction: Overview of the webinar objectives and agenda with Academy President Prof Richard Holden
  • Carolyn Jeffress: Yumi Sabe: Increasing access to data and information at a regional level to provide an evidence base for improved programs and policies.
  • Speaker TBA: The AIATSIS Code of Ethics Framework explained.
  • Dr Sara Tomkins: Insights into CORE: Ethics in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Research. Strengthen your understanding of how to apply the AIATSIS Code of Ethics to conduct best practice, ethical Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander research.


The Committee for Melbourne awarded its prestigious Melbourne Achiever Award to Fellow Professor James McCluskey AO.

Four AAHMS Fellows have been recognised for their outstanding contributions to  health and medical research with election to the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Jamie Rossjohn has been selected to receive the Ceppellini Award 2024 for his significant contribution to understanding defined events central to cellular immunity. 

Fellows in the news

Professor Fran Baum contributed to an article published in Health Promotion International, discussing the need to accelerate advocacy for health equity.
Professor Sharon Lewin was profiled by NHMRC in a piece on Research Excellence: Novel interventions to treat and cure acute and chronic viral infections.
Professor Dominic Dwyer was interviewed about Zika virus by Yahoo News.
Professor Louise Baur talked to The University of Sydney about her donation of rare books.
Professors Richard Scolyer and Georgina Long’s efforts to treat Professor Scolyer’s glioblastoma made news nationally and internationally. Professor Scolyer recently marked one year since his diagnosis. Read more on: MSNABC news.  They are also in the running for the Sydney awards in the top category Sydneysider of the Year, outlined in The Daily Telegraph.
Professor Lauren Ball wrote for The Conversation on olive oil alternatives.
Professor Melissa Little was quoted by mirage news in an article about reNEW’s annual scientific meeting which showcased MCRI’s world leading stem cell medicine research.
Professor Dr Sharon Lewin spoke to CodeBlue in an interview about proposed amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005 regarding the need for therapeutics and a global pandemic treaty, also discussed in an article by ASEAN NOW.
Professor Maria Makrides has co-authored a recently published study about The role of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the prevention of preterm birth summarized in an article by The Medical Journal of Australia.
Professor Ben Solomon was mentioned in articles by The Guardian and Interesting Engineering discussing the results of his recent clinical trial of a drug slowing down lung cancer progression.
The story of a patient who took part in one of Professor Georgina Long’s clinical trials was shared by The Project showing the significance of immunotherapy in melanoma treatment and including an interview with Georgina Long. The topic was also published by The Sydney Morning Herald


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