Medical Researcher becomes Australian of the Year

Congratulations to the 2017 Australian of the Year recipient Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. Research Australia is thrilled that a medical researcher has been chosen for this honour.

Professor Mackay-Sim has spent over 20 years making discoveries on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells. He and his team proved it was safe to transplant nasal cells to the spinal cord.[1]

In Prof Mackay-Sim’s acceptance speech, he highlighted the importance of investing in research for the future. 

“We must, as Australians, prioritise our spending so that we can afford not only to look after the disabled and the diseased in our community, but to look at future radical treatments that will reduce future health costs,” he said.

“As a nation, we must be part of this and we must invest in young scientists and give them great careers. Researchers need a long view, much longer than the political horizon.”[2]

Medical research funding remains high on the agenda and as such it is clear health and medical research must be at the centre of the Australian health system of the future. The Medical Research Future Fund is fundamental to embedding research in our health system and Minister Hunt takes over responsibility at a defining moment in the Fund’s history.

The Government has made excellent progress on the Medical Research Future Fund. Researchers and health consumers alike are keen to see the new Health Minister announce the first round of projects to be funded by the Medical Research Future Fund this year.

We look forward to working with Prof Mackay-Sim and his team at Griffith University to continue the health and medical research journey.

[1] ABC News (2017, January 25) Australian of the Year winner: Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim
[2] ABC News (2017, January 25) Australian of the Year winner: Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim

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