The University of Newcastle, Australia

Leader honoured with renewal of Laureate title

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Professor John Aitken, Pro-Vice Chancellor Health and Medicine has been reappointed as a UON Laureate Professor, with the unanimous endorsement of the University Award Committee. The appointment, for a further five years, recognises his outstanding research and innovation achievements, his contributions to reproductive research and his leadership, particularly as Pro Vice-Chancellor for UON’s Faculty of Health and Medicine.

The title of Laureate Professor is reserved for individuals recognised for the exceptional distinction of their academic achievements, and is among the highest academic honours conferred at the University of Newcastle. The renewal of this title serves as a congratulations to Professor Aitken for his distinguished academic career and global reputation as an outstanding researcher in his field.

“I congratulate John on his remarkable career achievements to date and the well-deserved renewal of his Laureate Professorship. I thank him personally and on behalf of the University for his unwavering commitment to advancing UON’s international impact and success in health and medical education, research and innovation,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Caroline McMillen.

The Award Committee, comprising international, external and UON scholars, reviewed references which highlighted Professor Aitken’s many outstanding achievements. Among them, he has:

  • published over 500 research articles and has the highest citation index in his field with his publications cited more than 27,000 times
  • generated over $40 million in research income and has been continuously funded by both the ARC and the NHMRC
  • given more than 350 invited lectures nationally and internationally including prestigious award lectures in the field of reproductive biology
  • been elected to 4 learned academies and as honorary fellow of 2 professional societies, FRSE, FAA, FAHMS, FRSN, and FSRF and FSRB
  • served on the Editorial Boards of 8 journals and serves as Chairman of Scientific Advisory Committees for Bayer Healthcare and NuSep
  • filed 12 patents, including one for patented a device designed to make Assisted Reproductive Technology a safer, more efficient procedure for young couples having to resort to such treatment as a result of sustained infertility. This device has received full patent protection in major constituencies such as the US, Europe, Japan and Australia and aims to reduce the incidence of birth defects in ART children.

Among many other accolades throughout his remarkable career, earlier this year, Laureate Professor Aitken was announced as the 2016 recipient of the prestigious Carl G. Hartman award from the leading US Society for the Study of Reproduction (SSR). This prize is the SSR’s highest honour and was awarded in recognition of John’s outstanding scholarly activities in the field of reproductive biology.


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