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QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO appointed to national research committee

QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO Professor Fabienne Mackay has been appointed to the Research Committee of the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

The internationally-renowned immunologist was one of 16 scientists, researchers and experts appointed to the NHMRC Research Committee on Thursday.

The committee provides advice on funding distribution and policies for the NHMRC grant program, and on the scope and quality of health and medical research in Australia.

Professor Mackay, who brings substantial experience as a NHMRC-funded medical researcher and a leader of large medical research operations in Australia, said she was honored by the appointment within Australia’s peak health and medical research body.

“I’m delighted to have the opportunity to represent Queensland and make a positive contribution to the health and medical research sector through this appointment,” Professor Mackay said.

“I look forward to contributing my ideas for a system that is consistent, fair and equitable for Australia’s best and brightest researchers, and in the best interest of our nation, and I thank the Federal Government and the NHMRC for the opportunity.”

Professor Mackay became the first woman to lead QIMR Berghofer in the Institute’s 75-year history when appointed Director and CEO in 2020.

She is a widely-cited scientist whose work has delivered genuine health improvements for patients, and led to clinical trials for new treatments and the development of a monoclonal antibody therapy for the autoimmune condition lupus.

As a recognised leader in Australia’s medical research sector, Professor Mackay has held executive roles at the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne and the Department of Immunology at Monash University.

The NHMRC position follows her recent appointment to the Board of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes as its Queensland representative. She also serves on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and is an elected Fellow on the Council of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.