Academy honour for UON leaders

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Two University of Newcastle research leaders are among the distinguished health and medical scientists elected this week as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).

Health and Medical Sciences Academy

UON Vice-Chancellor, Professor Caroline McMillen, and Pro Vice-Chancellor Health and Medicine, Laureate Professor John Aitken, were made Fellows of the nation's newest learned Academy at a ceremony in Canberra.

Their election brings to three the number of UON academics that are Fellows of the Academy, following the election of Laureate Professor Nick Talley, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Research), who was a founding Fellow of AAHMS and is a member of the Academy's executive.

A further 116 Fellows, drawn from Australia's highest-performing researchers across health and medical disciplines, were inducted into AAHMS this week by the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP, at a glittering ceremony at the National Gallery.

"Australia's research sector continues to produce the knowledge, techniques and products that save lives and improve quality of life both today and for years to come," Minister Ley said.

Reproductive biologist Laureate Professor John Aitken, is globally recognised for his research on more effective methods of contraception and the development of potential cures for infertility. At UON, he leads a 50-strong research team studying fertility and contraception, which has attracted almost $50 million in funding.

The election of Professor Caroline McMillen as a Fellow of the Academy is recognition of Professor McMillen's international reputation for her work on the impact of the prenatal nutritional environment on the development of obesity and cardiovascular disease in later adult life.

The primary objectives of the new Academy focus on enabling healthier communities across Australia through translation of health and medical research, and advancing the nation's world-leading medical research sector including mentoring of the next generation of health and medical researchers.

Academy President, Professor Ian Frazer, said the Academy provides a forum to discuss progress on medical research with an emphasis on translating research into practice.

"The Academy looks forward to working with the other Australian learned academies, government and industry to guide the optimal development of our health care system for future generations.

"The Academy will also assist in mentoring the next generation of researchers to ensure we remain at the forefront of evidence-based medical practice," Professor Frazer said.

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