October newsletter

Announcing our annual meeting program, featuring Dr Anthony FauciAssociate Professor Kamalini LokugeDr Nick WattsProfessor Sir John Savill and Associate Professor Lisa Whop.

Welcome to our October newsletter. In this edition:

AAHMS annual meeting – 27-28 October
Our full annual meeting program is now online. Registration is free and open to all: secure your attendance now.  In addition to COVID-19, themes include the impact of climate change on health, the interaction between scientists and the media, and integrating research into healthcare. Academy Fellows Professors Sharon Lewin, Brendan Crabb, Jim McCluskey, Fran Baum, Emily Banks and Christina Mitchell will lead keynote and panel discussions, including with Dr Anthony Fauci, director of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to the President. The keynote addresses will be delivered by Associate Professor Kamalini LokugeDr Nick WattsProfessor Sir John Savill and Associate Professor Lisa Whop. The annual meeting will be held entirely online this year, due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The event will be held over two half days, 11am-3pm AEDT on 27-28 October 2021.
Jian Zhou Medal
Congratulations to this year’s Jian Zhou Medal awardees, AAHMS Fellow Professor Sherene Loi, and Associate Member Professor Di Yu. This is the second year of the Academy award, which recognises researchers who are making an impact in translational medical science. Professors Loi and Yu have made impressive discoveries in their respective fields of oncology and immunology. Read more about their achievements in our news story.
Outstanding Female Researcher Medal
We have recently awarded our inaugural Outstanding Female Researcher Medal to Fellow and Melanoma Institute Director Professor Georgina Long. Professor Long’s work in immunotherapy has made an impressive impact on the survival rates of advanced melanoma. She is an excellent role model for women in science and we are proud to have her as our inaugural winner – learn more about her in our news story.

Supporting Therapeutic Goods Administration

The Academy recently released a statement supporting the TGA, following reports of harassment towards the regulatory body’s staff. The Academy condemns the threats and online harassment of TGA staff, which seeks to undermine their essential role in navigating Australia through this difficult time. The Public Health Association Australia have also issued a supportive statement, co-signed by a number of health and medical expert organisations and individuals.

Medical Research Future Fund – AAHMS gives evidence

AAHMS has provided evidence to a Senate Inquiry into a bill that proposes changes to how the Medical Research Future Fund is administered by amending the Medical Research Future Fund Act. Academy Fellow and Vice President Professor Steve Wesselingh represented the Academy at the Senate hearing held on 28 September – read the transcript of the hearing and the AAHMS submission. The final report will be handed down by the Senate Committee next week (14 October).


  • The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board’s new membership includes Fellows Professors Ian Frazer (Chair), Caroline Homer (Deputy Chair), Anne Kelso and Doug Hilton.
  • Congratulations to the many Fellows who received funding in the September NHMRC funding round. Associate Members Professor Di Yu, Associate Professor Daniel Steinfort, Professor Gregory Fox and Dr Gina Ravenscroft also received funding.
  • Fellow Professor Claire Rickard became a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.
  • Associate Member Associate Professor Edward Litton won the WA 2021 Premier’s Science Awards – Woodside Early Career Scientist of the Year (Joint Winner).
  • Fellow Professor Sherene Loi and Associate Member Professor Di Yu are the 2021 winners of the Jian Zhou Medal.
  • Fellow Professor Georgina Long won the inaugural Academy Outstanding Female Researcher Medal.
  • Fellow Professor Ian Olver won the NHMRC 2021 Ethics Award.

Fellows in the news


  • NewSouth Press has released a book co-authored by Fellow Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, titled Hippocrasy: How doctors are betraying their oath and how we can fix it.
  • Fellow Professor Tony Cunningham was interviewed by ABC News about the medical conditions that affect vaccine uptake, and also discussed the Delta variant in a separate article.
  • Fellow Peter Doherty released a book detailing the scientific response to the COVID-19 pandemic, titled Insider’s Plague Year. He also joined a Crikey webinar to discuss the book and COVID-19.
  • Professor Doherty and Fellow Professor Terry Nolan were also quoted in an Australian article about vaccine shopping and AstraZeneca.
  • The Burnet Institute launched a podcast focusing on the role of science in the COVID-19 pandemic, featuring Fellow Professor Brendan Crabb. Professor Crabb has also frequently been quoted by the ABC in its daily coronavirus updates.
  • Associate Member Margie Danchin discussed children and COVID-19 on the RCH Kids Health Info podcast. She also wrote for The Conversation on vaccines and medical exemptions.
  • Fellow Professor Caroline Homer co-authored an article in Elsevieron the importance of advocating for midwives in low-to-middle income countries in the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Fellow Professor Sharon Lewin discussed the Doherty Institute’s modelling for a pathway out of the pandemic on The Drum. She also wrote for The Age about the Victorian lockdown and roadmap.
  • Deferred Fellow Professor Katie Allen MP wrote an opinion piece for The Age on protecting schoolchildren from COVID-19.
  • Fellow Professor Ian Frazer will feature in a documentary titled Conquering Cancer.
  • Fellow Professor Pankaj Sah was the guest onABC Conversations on 30 August, discussing his research on the amygdala and anxiety-related disorders.
  • Academy President Professor Ingrid Scheffer spoke to ABC Nightlife about the uses of CBD in treating epilepsy.

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