Fellowships honour Perkins Professors

Leading health and medical science minds from across the country have come together to establish the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, which will provide independent advice to government, industry and the community on issues relating to evidence-based medical practice and medical research in Australia. Professor Peter Leedman and Professor Nigel Laing

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences was launched in Canberra on Wednesday night by the Minister for Health, the Hon Sussan Ley MP.

“The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences will draw on a significant breadth of knowledge to provide Government with advice on health priorities where medical research can and should make a difference,” Ms Ley said.

The Academy includes many eminent scientists and is led by President Professor Ian Frazer. It aims to mentor the next generation of health and medical science researchers and provide a forum for discussion on progress on medical research with an emphasis on translation of research into practice.

The Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research is proud to announce that two of the newly elected Fellows of the Academy are prominent researchers at the Institute in Western Australia.

They are Perkins Director and Head of the Laboratory for Cancer Medicine, Professor Peter Leedman and the Perkins Head of Neurogenetic Diseases, Professor Nigel Laing, who discovered the disease Laing distal myopathy.

“The Academy’s aims are in line with the Perkins values of respect, innovation, passion and collaboration,” said Professor Leedman. “The Academy will help us to mentor the researchers who will be able to translate discoveries at the bench top into better treatments in the future.”

Professor Laing said that he was excited to be part of a group determined to help people. “It’s not just research for research’s sake,” he said. “It’s about translating research into health outcomes and improving quality of life.”

Other newly elected Fellows include Professor Peter Doherty, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1996; Professor Samuel Berkovic, recent recipient of the 2014 Prime Minister's Prize for Science with Professor Ingrid Scheffer, for their work in epilepsy genetics; and Professor Ranjeny Thomas, an international leader in the field of antigen-specific tolerance in rheumatoid arthritis.

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