New Fellows elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

October 27, 2021

APPRISE congratulates two of our network’s researchers – investigator Professor Jodie McVernon and collaborator Professor Kanta Subbarao – who have been elected as new Fellows to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).

The Academy welcomed 19 women and 10 men to its Fellowship on 26 October 2021, recognising the brightest minds in health and medical sciences across a range of fields, including research, industry and more.

Academy President Professor Ingrid Scheffer said she was delighted to see the largest ever number of women elected at 66 per cent.

“Academy Fellows are elected by their peers for their outstanding and ongoing contributions to health and medical sciences,” Professor Scheffer said.

“The Academy is committed to supporting gender equity and championing diversity. It’s wonderful to see so many outstanding individuals join us as new Fellows.

“Our Fellowship encompasses the nation’s research and science leaders, many of whom have been at the forefront of Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The pandemic has demonstrated the critical role that our expertise in health and medical sciences has played. I look forward to seeing how our new Fellows contribute to the Academy’s goal of addressing the most pressing health challenges facing society.”

Professor Jodie McVernon

Professor Jodie McVernon, Doherty Institute Director of Epidemiology, has made significant contributions during the COVID-19 pandemic. She has been recognised for her work in improving Australia’s public health, informing national policy on pandemic preparedness and response and immunisation.

Professor McVernon said COVID-19 had had a wide variety of impacts across the health and medical sciences sector.

“In lockdown states significant setbacks that have been disproportionately borne by women with families,” she said.

“Within my own team there’s been a sustained increase in high urgency/high importance workload which they’ve managed magnificently but in many instances at personal cost.

“The benefits for us have been the privilege of contributing to policy at such a critical time. And obviously an influx of funding to support the many people and institutions that have delivered on a large number of preparedness, strategic and situational assessment activities over the period.

“To me, being elected as a Fellow recognises diversity of contributions that are made by health and medical researchers. I very much enjoy being an interdisciplinary researcher, we need such teams to address complex challenges for real world impacts. So, it’s an indication that the Academy values and embraces this approach.”

Professor Kanta Subbarao

Leading virologist and influenza researcher, Professor Kanta Subbarao, who has been the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Reference and Research on Influenza at the Doherty Institute since 2016 was also elected an AAHMS Fellow.

Professor Subbarao is an expert on the biology, pathogenesis and vaccines of emerging viral diseases of global importance: influenza, SARS, MERS and COVID-19. She is also a member of WHO advisory panels on seasonal and pandemic influenza and COVID-19 vaccines.

Her role is to advise the World Health Organization on viruses to be included in annual seasonal influenza vaccines. Professor Subbarao said flu vaccines are updated every year and we can learn from this process as we respond to COVID variants

Professor Subbarao is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology and the Infectious Diseases Society of America. And, the professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Melbourne, also serves on the Editorial Board of PLoS Pathogens, Journal of Virology, Cell Host and Microbe, Med and mBio.

“It is a great honour to be elected to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and I thank my colleagues for their support,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of science for society. I look forward to participating in the Academy’s activities in promoting and communicating high quality science.”

Full list of new Fellows:

  • Professor Jerry Adams FAA FRS
  • Professor Kaarin Anstey FASSA
  • Professor Julie Bines
  • Professor Suzanne Cory AC FAA FRS
  • Professor Jodie Dodd
  • Professor Pat Dudgeon
  • Professor Jonathan Golledge
  • Professor Ron Grunstein AM
  • Professor Rebecca Guy
  • Professor Rana Hinman
  • Professor Harriet Hiscock
  • Professor Kirsten Howard
  • Professor David Huang
  • Professor Christine Jenkins AM
  • Professor Karin Leder
  • Professor Louise Maple-Brown
  • Professor Helen Marshall
  • Professor Colette Mckay
  • Professor Jodie McVernon
  • Professor Alicia Oshlack
  • Professor George Patton
  • Professor Richard Price
  • Professor Danny Rischin
  • Professor Sir John Savill FRS
  • Professor Kanta Subbarao
  • Professor Penny Webb
  • Professor Andrew Whitehouse
  • Professor Ingrid Winship AO
  • Professor Tien Wong (Corresponding Fellow)

About the Academy

The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences is an independent, interdisciplinary body of 454 Fellows – elected by their peers for their outstanding achievements and exceptional contributions to health and medical science in Australia. Collectively, they are a representative and independent voice, through which we engage with the community, industry and governments.

The Academy’s Fellows are leaders in health and medical research, many of whom have been active in monitoring and guiding the nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Find out more about the AAHMS.