Future of Health and Medical Research: Challenges and Opportunities
Thursday, 1 December, 8:30am – 12:30pm
National Gallery Canberra, James O Fairfax Theatre
The media is invited to hear Heads of International Research Organisations speak on the last day of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 75th Anniversary Scientific Symposium.
These international leaders have gathered in Canberra for the first time to discuss the global health challenges facing this generation and the next.
There may be opportunities to interview some of these speakers. For more information about the availability of speakers, please contact Melody Trouse on 0418 536 528 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Session 9 Speaker Biographies
Dr Alain Beaudet
President - Canadian Institutes of Health Research
As President, Dr. Beaudet acts both as Chair of the Governing Council and Chief Executive Officer of CIHR. Before joining CIHR in July 2008, he was the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ), a position held since 2004.
Among his many accomplishments, he built a distinguished career at the world-renowned Montreal Neurological Institute (MNI). He headed the MNI's functional neuroanatomy laboratory, pursuing basic research into the action mechanisms and role of neuropeptides in the central nervous system, the control of intracellular receptor trafficking and its involvement in neuron signalling and new pain therapies.
From 1985 to 1992, was associate director (research) at the MNI. He has also taught in McGill University's Neurology-Neurosurgery and Anatomy-Cell Biology departments. Written more than 175 original articles and some 40 monographs and book chapters.
Has received numerous grants and distinctions, including the Killam postdoctoral fellowship, grants from the Medical Research Council (MRC), CIHR and FRSQ, and the Murray L. Barr Junior Scientist Award. In September 2004, he was awarded the Prix Adrien-Pouliot by the Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas).
He served as president of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience from 1995 to 1997 and has sat on many peer review committees, both in Canada (FRSQ, MRC) and elsewhere (National Institutes of Health, Human Frontier Science Program). In 2007, France bestowed the Order of Academic Palms distinguished Officer's award to him and he was made Doctor honoris causa of Université Pierre et Marie Curie. In 2011, he became a Knight of the National Order of Quebec, the highest honour awarded by the government of Quebec.
Dr. Beaudet earned a medical degree and a PhD in neuroscience from the Université de Montréal. He did postdoctoral training at the Centre d'études nucléaires in Saclay, France and the University of Zurich's Brain Research Institute in Switzerland.
Dr Bela Shah
Senior Deputy Director-General - Indian Council of Medical Research
No biography available
Dr Xuetao Cao
Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences
Professor and Director, Institute of Immunology, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, Hangzhou, China. Received his Ph.D. from Second Military Medical University (Shanghai, China) in 1990. He became Professor in Immunology in 1992 at the Second Military Medical University and became Professor and Director of Institute of Immunology at Zhejiang University Scholl of Medicine in 2000.
He was elected as member of Chinese Academy of Engineering in 2005. He is the President of Chinese Society for Immunology (2006.11-), Chief Scientist of 973 National Program of Immunology in China (2001.9-2011.9), and Director of National Key Laboratory of Medical Immunology in China (2006.5-).
Dr Francis Collins
Director - US National Institutes of Health
Oversees the work of the largest supporter of biomedical research in the world, spanning the spectrum from basic to clinical research.
Dr. Collins is a physician-geneticist noted for his landmark discoveries of disease genes and his leadership of the international Human Genome Project, which culminated in April 2003 with the completion of a finished sequence of the human DNA instruction book. He served as director of the National Human Genome Research Institute at the NIH from 1993-2008.
Before coming to the NIH, Dr. Collins was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at the University of Michigan. He is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine and the National Academy of Sciences, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in November 2007, and received the National Medal of Science in 2009.
Dr Jiarui Wu
Chinese Academy of Science
Dr. Jiarui Wu graduated in Dept.of Biology of Zhongshan University in Guangzhou in 1982, received a master degree from Institute of Genetics of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing in 1985 and a doctor degree from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich in 1994.
He was a postdoctoral fellow in Dept. of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, S.U.N.Y. Health Science Center in Syracuse, USA from 1994-1997. Since then, he become a professor in Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry in Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.
Dr Robin Olds
Chief Executive - New Zealand Health Research Council
Dr Robin Olds joined the HRC as Chief Executive in May 2007. Prior to this, Dr Olds was Professor of Pathology and Head of Department at the University of Otago, Dunedin. He has a significant track record as a productive researcher in New Zealand and the United Kingdom with an overarching research interest in the molecular genetics of human disease.
After a year as a house surgeon in Otago, he began his postgraduate specialist training in pathology, completing this in 1988 and becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. During this period Dr Olds also completed a PhD at the University of Otago. In 1989 Dr Olds took up a Nuffield Dominions Medical Fellowship in the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University in the UK, where he worked on the molecular basis of disorders affecting blood clotting.
In 1994, Dr Olds returned to New Zealand to take up a senior lecturer post in the Department of Pathology, at the Dunedin School of Medicine of the University of Otago. Within the University of Otago, Dr Olds has had roles as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, for Research and for Academic and Curricula Affairs, as Director of the Medical Education Group in the Dunedin School of Medicine, and as Deputy Dean of that School. In addition to being an enthusiastic teacher, Dr Olds maintained an active research group that in recent years has focused on the genetic basis for major mood disorders, particularly manic depression.
Dr Ruxandra Draghia-Akli
Director of the Health Directorate at the Research DG of the European Commission.
Previously, served as Vice President of Research at VGX Pharmaceuticals (now Inovio) and VGX Animal Health. Research activities have focused on molecular biology, gene therapy and vaccination. She is recognised as a global leader in the field of nucleic acid delivery for therapeutic and vaccination applications. She is an inventor on more than a hundred patents and patent applications.
Has published numerous scientific papers and reviews in the areas of electroporation, plasmid components, growth and development, immune stimulation, vaccination, health, and well-being. She served as ad-hoc reviewer for granting agencies, annual meetings for gene therapy and endocrinology societies, and scientific journals in Europe and the USA.
Received an M.D. from Carol Davilla Medical School and a Ph.D. in human genetics from the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences. Completed a doctoral fellowship at the University of Rene Descartes in Paris and a post-doctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), Houston, Texas, USA, and served as faculty at BCM.
Professor Mats Ulfendahl
Swedish Research Council
Professor in experimental audiology and otology. Appointed professor in 2004. He is active at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.
Professor Tasuku Honjo
Japanese Council for Science and Technology
Professor, Department of Immunology and Genomic Medicine, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto, Japan; Director, Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Research Center for Science Systems.
Sir Mark Walport
Director - The Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in health by supporting the brightest minds. Before joining the Trust, Sir Mark was Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Medicine at Imperial College London.
He has been a member of the Prime Minister’s Council for Science and Technology since 2004.He is also a member of the India UK CEO Forum, the UK India Round Table and the advisory board of Infrastructure UK and a non-executive member of the Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research. He is a member of a number of international advisory bodies.
He has undertaken independent reviews for the UK Government on the use and sharing of personal information in the public and private sectors: ‘Data Sharing Review’ (2009) and secondary education, ‘Science and Mathematics: Secondary Education for the 21st Century’ (2010). He received a knighthood in the 2009 New Year Honours List for services to medical research and was elected as Fellow of The Royal Society in 2011.
Professor Warwick Anderson AM
National Health and Medical Research Council
Professor Warwick Anderson is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of NHMRC, Australia’s major governmental funding body for health and medical research. Previously, he was Head of School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University and Deputy Director of the Baker Medical Research Institute, following research fellowships at the University of Sydney and Harvard Medical School. Professor Anderson obtained his PhD from the University of Adelaide, South Australia. His research has focussed on renal mechanisms in the pathogenesis of hypertension, including the roles of renal vascular remodelling and the renin-angiotensin system. He has published over 170 peer review articles. For his contributions to medical research, Professor Anderson was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005.