International acclaim for public health pioneer

Wednesday, 29 November 2017


An outstanding alumnus from the University of Newcastle has been recognised for his achievements in public health research, which has helped inform policy decisions and treatment of disease in China.

Alumni of the University of Newcastle at the 2017 Australia China Alumni Awards
Professor Xiaofei Zhang (middle) with University of Newcastle Alumni at the 2017 Australia China Alumni Awards.

Professor Xiaofei Zhang was announced as the 2017 Australia China Alumni of the Year at an awards ceremony held in Shanghai earlier this week.

Established in 2009, the Australia China Alumni Awards (ACAA) recognise the wide-ranging achievements of local and expatriate graduates of Australian universities that are currently based in China.

Since graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2006 with a PhD in Clinical Epidemiology, Professor Zhang has gone on to establish himself as a world leader in the field of non-communicable diseases and is now Director of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at Tsinghua Beijing Changgung Hospital, Medical Center of Tsinghua University.

“I was deeply honoured to receive this award and would like to express my gratitude to the University of Newcastle for always supporting my work and study. It has had a profound and lasting impact on my subsequent work and life,” Professor Zhang said.

“Our collaboration in the field of cardiovascular epidemiology continues and our research results are having a positive and far reaching effect in China,” he added.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement), Mrs Winnie Eley, said it was a proud moment for the University to have an alumnus recognised on a global stage.

“Accolades such as the ACAA’s have a lasting impact beyond just the ceremony, as they demonstrate the capacity and international reach of our inspiring alumni.

“I would like to congratulate Professor Zhang for the ground-breaking work he is doing and am glad the University was able to play a role in his incredible journey so far,” Mrs Eley said.

Professor Zhang is the first alumnus from the University of Newcastle to receive the prestigious title of Australia China Alumni of the Year in the award’s nine-year history.