Professor Maria Kavallaris elected AAHMS Fellow
October 7, 2016
Professor Maria Kavallaris of Children’s Cancer Institute has been inducted as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).
Professor Kavallaris is one of 50 new Fellows announced last night at the Academy’s second Annual Scientific Meeting at Translational Research Institute in Brisbane.
She is Head of the Tumour Biology and Targeting Program at Children’s Cancer Institute and Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW. Professor Kavallaris said she is honoured to be chosen by her peers and looks forward to contributing to the Academy.
The Academy announced the induction of new Fellows through ordinary election, bringing the total Fellowship to 272. New Fellows are drawn from all states and territories of Australia, and from all aspects of health and medical science across clinical practice and allied health care, with representation from basic translational and clinical research, health economics, general practice and public health.
The Fellowship acknowledges Professor Kavallaris as an outstanding research leader who has made seminal discoveries on mechanisms of clinical drug resistance and tumour aggressiveness in childhood and adult cancers. Her world leadership in cancer and microtubules, and her discoveries have led to patents and industry linkages for the development of cancer therapeutics.
The honour also recognises Professor Kavallaris’s achievements as a founding Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia, an innovative cross-disciplinary initiative developing nanotechnology for medical applications. More broadly, her election as a new Fellow pays tribute to her outstanding leadership in medical research advocacy, peer review, mentoring and advanced research policy.
Professor Kavallaris joins Children’s Cancer Institute Executive Director, Professor Michelle Haber AM, as a Fellow of the Academy. Professor Haber was announced as an inaugural Fellow last year.
Professor Ian Frazer, President of the Academy, welcomed the new Fellows to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences on behalf of the Academy council.
“Their election as Fellows of the Academy will help to ensure that the Academy can promote use of the best in research-informed health care for all Australians,” he said.
Professor John McGrath, Chair of AAHMS Queensland State Branch and Director, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, University of Queensland, joined Professor Frazer in congratulating the new Fellows.
“The new Fellows bring great skills and experience to our Academy – the depth of talent in the Australian health and medical research community is truly inspirational.”
The announcement of new Fellows was part of the second AAHMS Annual Scientific Meeting. The meeting’s theme, ‘Bench to Bed and Back Again’ reflects the need to ‘join up’ the wide range of disciplines involved in health and medical research in Australia and deliver better health care through closer integration between research, education and clinical care.
The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is a learned academy comprised of 272 Fellows who have each demonstrated significant and sustained contribution to the science of health in Australia. The Academy aims to promote health and medical research and its translation to enable a healthier community in Australia and the World. More information on the AAHMS website.
About Children’s Cancer Institute
Originally founded by two fathers of children with cancer in 1976, Children’s Cancer Institute is the only independent medical research institute in Australia wholly dedicated to research into the causes, prevention and cure of childhood cancer. Forty years on, our vision remains unchanged – to save the lives of all children with cancer and to eliminate their suffering. The Institute has grown to now employ more than 220 researchers, operational staff and students, and has established a national and international reputation for scientific excellence.
Our focus is on translational research, and we have an integrated team of laboratory researchers and clinician scientists who work together in partnership to discover new treatments which can be progressed from the lab bench to the beds of children on wards in our hospitals as quickly as possible. These new treatments are specifically targeting childhood cancers, so we can develop safer and more effective drugs and drug combinations that will minimise side-effects and ultimately give children with cancer the best chance of a cure with the highest possible quality of life.
We are currently leading the establishment of the Zero Childhood Cancer national child cancer personalised medicine program for children with the most aggressive cancers, in partnership with the Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network. This program will revolutionise the way treatment decisions are made, with the aim of improving survivorship for those children at highest risk of treatment failure from their disease.