2016 The Peter Wills Medal Winner: Professor Ian Gust AO

Research Australia
Health & Medical Research Awards

2016 The Peter Wills Medal

Created in honour of the great leader whose work led to the inception of Research Australia. The Peter Wills Medal recognises an Australian who has made an outstanding contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in the area of health and medical research, and fostering collaboration for better health.

Congratulations to Award Winner: Professor Ian Gust AO

Professor Gust is a distinguished medical virologist, who has spent his career attempting to reduce the burden of viral diseases in the world.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne, Ian trained as a pathologist and virologist at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and at Ruchill Hospital, Glasgow, before being appointed head of the Virus Laboratory at Fairfield Hospital for Communicable Diseases, Melbourne.

During the 20 years that he spent at Fairfield, his laboratory developed an International reputation for its work on enteric, blood borne and respiratory diseases, established several WHO collaborating centres, an NHMRC special unit for AIDS virology and the National Reference Centre for AIDS virology and gave birth to the Burnet Institute, of which he was the Founding Director.

This phase of his career led to an active role in developing public policy, some 250 publications, several patents, 4 books, a role in development of the worlds first hepatitis A vaccine, the Wellcome Australian Award and a Fogarty Fellowship from NIH.

He was a founding member of the International Task Force for HB Immunization, the WHO groups that established guidelines for the use of HA and HB vaccines and  responding to pandemic influenza and was the Australian Governments Chief Advisor on the medical and scientific aspects of AIDS.

In 1990 Ian joined CSL as its inaugural R & D Director and was part of the team that helped to transform a locally focused government business enterprise into a successful international pharmaceutical company.  During this period he invested in technology which forms the basis of the worlds first papilloma virus vaccine, Gardisil.

Since 2000 as a Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, he has continued to be involved in vaccine development and to contribute to policy development through his membership of the WHO Influenza Program and the Boards of the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (New York), International Vaccine Institute (Seoul), Paediatric  Dengue Vaccine Initiative (Seoul), International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases Research (Dhaka) and the Human Vaccines project(New York). In addition Ian has also chaired the Board of Biomedical Research Victoria and the Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council and sits on the Board or Scientific Advisory Committee of several biotechnology companies.

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