March newsletter

Welcome to the March newsletter. In this edition:

  • A message from our President
  • Statement on Ukraine
  • Health impacts of climate change
  • The Jian Zhou Medal
  • Vale Professor Pamela Russell and Professor Chris Del Mar
  • Forthcoming events
  • Sector news and opportunities
  • Congratulations
  • Fellows in the news

A message from our President

2022 is proving to be as, if not more, challenging than the last two years. On the world stage, the Russian military operation towards Ukraine is deeply distressing. The Academy has joined with ACOLA and other Learned Academies to release a joint statement to add our voices to those in the international research community speaking out against this conflict and hoping for a resolution soon. Read the full statement online.

Closer to home, this month started on a sombre note, with wild storms and flooding on the east coast of Australia devastating communities. My thoughts are with all those affected by flooding in Queensland and New South Wales, including many of our colleagues, family, and friends who now face the mammoth task of cleaning up and rebuilding their lives.

Floods and fires are not new in Australia, but the increased frequency and severity of these natural disasters continues to affect the physical and mental health of many Australians. Over the past two years, one of the Academy’s major policy projects has been to explore the health impacts of climate change by bringing together Fellows and other experts as part of our Climate Change and Health Steering Committee.

On 7 April, to mark World Health Day the Academy will release our statement, Climate change: an urgent health priority. I hope that Fellows, Associate Members and colleagues will be able to join us for the online launch, featuring the committee chair, Professor Warwick Anderson FAHA FASSA FAHMS, in conversation with contributors including Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FAA FAHMS and Professor Fiona Stanley AC FASSA FAHMS (Hon).

There is still time to nominate for the Jian Zhou Medal, which is awarded annually to a rising star in Australian health and medical science. Nominations are welcome for individuals within 15 years of achieving their PhD or equivalent first research higher degree who have made a significant impact in translational medical science. Nominations close on 30 Aprilfind out more on our Awards page.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I reflect on the news of the passing of two of our esteemed Fellows, Professor Pamela Russell AM FAHMS and Professor Chris Del Mar AM FAHMS. Many of you would be familiar with Pamela and Chris and their exceptional contributions to health and medical research. If you would like to learn more about their remarkable legacies, please visit the tributes published on our website – vale Professor Pamela Russell and Professor Chris Del Mar. The Academy extends our condolences to their friends, colleagues, and families.

Best wishes,

Professor Ingrid Scheffer AO FRS FAA PresAHMS

Forthcoming events

The 2022 Queensland Clinical Sciences Symposium – part of our Life as a Clinician-Scientist series – will be held on 26 March. This online event features many inspiring health and medical experts share their stories of clinical work and academic research, encouraging the next generation to pursue this career path. Find more information on our event page.

To mark World Health Day, on 7 April join Our Planet, Our Health: Climate Change as an Urgent Health Priority, the online launch of the AAHMS statement Climate change: an urgent health priority.  Beginning at 12:15pm AEST, Professor Warwick Anderson FAHA FASSA FAHMS will chair a discussion on the health impacts of climate change in Australia and beyond with leading health researchers including Professor Peter Doherty AC FRS FAA FAHMS and Professor Fiona Stanley AC FASSA FAHMS (Hon). Register on our event page.


Sector news and opportunities

Applications for the Australian Science Policy Fellowship Program are open until 21 March. The program provides a pathway for early-to-mid career scientists to become skilled policy practitioners and bring scientific expertise into government functions. It is run by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Cathy Foley AO PSM FAA FTSE. Learn more online.


Professor Rebecca Guy received the Academy of Science Gustav Nossal Medal for Global Health in recognition of her public health work for vulnerable and remote communities.

Professor Donna Cross was inducted into the Western Australian Women’s Hall of Fame, celebrating her work as an educator and children’s health promotion researcher.

Professor Helen Marshall was named The SkyCity, Advertiser and Sunday Mail Woman of the Year and OCPSE Leader of the Year for her contributions to science.


Fellows in the news

Vale Professor Pamela Russell and Professor Chris Del Mar – these outstanding Fellows have been honoured with several in-memorial articles. Professor Russell’s significant work has been acknowledged by the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia  and Cure Cancer. Learn more about Professor’s Del Mar’s exceptional contributions in tributes published by RACGP and Croakey.

2021 Outstanding Female Researcher winner Professor Georgina Long was profiled on Franklin Women. Her recent work on reducing melanoma was also highlighted on 2GB and Nine News.

Professor Stephen Duckett co-authored Australia’s Response to COVID-19 for Health, Economics, Policy and Law.

Associate Member A/ Professor Margie Danchin wrote for The Conversation about mythbusting strange medical solutions. She also co-authored an article in Expert Review of Vaccines focused on how Australian can overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy.

Professor Brendan Crabb co-authored an opinion article for The Sydney Morning Herald about the need for Australian investment for global vaccination against COVID-19.

Professor Sharon Lewin was quoted in The Australian Financial Review on the viability of regular COVID-19 boosters.

Professors Peter Doherty and Jodie McVernon were quoted in The Australian Financial Review about lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many AAHMS Fellows signed an open letter calling for better investment to stop global vaccine inequity, which was covered on ABC radio AM.

Professor David Thorburn wrote for The Conversation on Maeve’s Law and mitochondrial disease.

Mentee alumnae and speech pathologist Professor Angela Morgan was profiled in NHMRC’s Tracker.

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