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NHMRC members appointed.

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MEDIA RELEASE Minister for Health and Ageing

Tony Abbott MHR

14 June 2006 ABB084/06

NHMRC members appointed

The Commonwealth Government today announced the appointment of the 19 members of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) for the next three years, from 1 July 2006 to 30 June 2009.

The NHMRC will be chaired by Professor Michael Good, director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research. Professor Good has extensive experience and expertise in health and medical research practice and administration and a strong understanding of the issues facing medical research institutes in Australia.

The newly appointed council will provide support to Professor Warwick Anderson AM, who commenced his position as the chief executive officer of the NHMRC on 7 June 2006.

The membership of the NHMRC reflects the high calibre of expertise and experience we have from diverse fields in Australia, including professional and scientific colleges and associations, universities, business and consumer groups. Appointment to the NHMRC recognises effort, dedication and expertise.

Australia is a world leader in health and medical research. On a per capita basis, our research output is twice the OECD average. In the 2006-2007 Budget, the Commonwealth Government allocated an additional $500 million over four years to increase funding for health and medical research grants provided through the NHMRC.

Professor Anderson and the new members of the NHMRC, led by Professor Good, will help the NHMRC to maximise investment in, and drive the social and commercial applications of, health and medical research. I look forward to the NHMRC continuing to make a significant

contribution to the nation’s health.

I would also like to thank the outgoing council members for their contribution and commitment to the NHMRC.

Details of appointees are attached.

Media contact: Kate Miranda, Office of Tony Abbott, 0417 425 227


Chairman of Council: Professor Michael Good is a past president of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes. He was director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology and a panel member of the 2004 Grant Review into investment in health and medical research. At present, he is the director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research.

Chairman of the Research Committee: Professor James Best has nearly 30 years’ experience in biomedical research. His main area of interest has been glucose metabolism and diabetes, and he has also been studying ways of promoting translation of research findings into clinical practice to improve management of type 2 diabetes. As Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne, he has vast experience in management.

Chairman of the Australian Health Ethics Committee (AHEC): Professor Colin Thomson is a solicitor and barrister in the Supreme Courts of NSW and the ACT, and is currently a consultant to the NHMRC on health ethics. He has been a member of AHEC in two previous NHMRC terms, including as deputy chair from 2000-03. Professor Thomson’s major interests include the intersections of law, ethics, medical and life sciences and health care. His current appointments are Professorial Fellow, Faculty of Law, University of Wollongong; and Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Law, Macquarie University.

Chairman of the National Health Committee (NHC): Professor Colin Masters has held many senior scientific research positions, mainly in the area of Alzheimer’s disease. His current appointments include Laureate Professor at the University of Melbourne; Chief of Neuropathology and chair of the Senior Scientists’ Council at the Mental Health Research Institute of Victoria; consultant in pathology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital; and Chief Scientific Advisor for Neuroscience Australia.

Chairman of the Human Genetics Advisory Committee: Professor Ronald Trent has been a member of the NHMRC’s Research Committee since 1997 and is currently chair of the Gene and Related Therapies Research Advisory Panel. Professor Trent has made a very strong contribution to the NHMRC. His research interests include medical genetics and diagnostic applications. His other current appointments include Professor of Molecular Genetics at the University of Sydney; and Director of the Department of Molecular and Clinical Genetics, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Chairman of the Embryo Research Licensing Committee (Licensing Committee): Professor Jock Findlay AM, is reappointed to Council, and will be reappointed by the Minister for Ageing as the chair of the Licensing Committee. Professor Findlay is the Deputy Director of Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research. He is chair of the Infertility Treatment Authority of Victoria, and a member of the scientific committee and board member of the Victorian Breast Cancer Consortium Inc. Professor Findlay also served as chair of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Group, Department of Reproductive Health and Research at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1998-2003. He is a world-renowned reproductive biologist, with more than 30 years’ experience in reproductive health research.

Other members:

Associate Professor Cindy Shannon has extensive expertise in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health research. She is the director of Shannon Consulting Services, a company specialising in providing management, policy and workforce services and support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health. Her primary interest is in health services research.

Associate Professor Christopher Newell AM is Associate Professor in Medical Ethics within the School of Medicine, University of Tasmania. He has a particular interest in consumers and health care, is a leader in research into the bioethics of disability and death, and is a consultant in the areas of bioethics, health, disability and technology policy.

Professor Tim Davis is an academic general physician with specialty interest in diabetes and tropical diseases. He is principal investigator of a long-term, large-scale natural history study of diabetes in an urban Australian community setting. He is currently vice-president of the Australian Diabetes Society. Professor Davis has a special research interest in the treatment of malaria in children and adults.

Dr Colin Sutton has extensive experience in business. He is the chief executive officer and managing director of Ventracor Limited, an international medical device company focused on commercialising a leading implantable ‘artificial heart’ device. Dr Sutton was responsible for commercialising a new treatment for liver cancer.

Ex-officio council members: Chief Medical Officers of the Commonwealth Government and State and Territory governments:

Professor John Horvath AO: Commonwealth Government Chief Medical Officer

Dr Denise Robinson: Chief Health Officer, NSW Health Department

Dr Robert Hall: Chief Health Officer, Department of Human Services, Victoria

Dr Jeannette Young: Chief Health Officer, Queensland Health Department

Professor Christopher Baggoley: Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, Adelaide

Dr Simon Towler: Acting Chief Medical Officer, WA Health Department

Dr David Boadle: Chief Health Officer, Department of Health and Human Services, Hobart

Dr Paul Dugdale: Chief Health Officer, ACT Health

Dr Tarun Weeramanthri: Chief Health Officer, Territory Health Services, NT