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QIMR’s Director wins prestigious Australia Fellowship

World-leading medical researcher Professor Michael Good has been awarded a prestigious Australia Fellowship, worth $800,000 per year for five years, to continue his lifesaving work in combating malaria and streptococcus A – two of the world’s biggest killers.

The Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) said he would undertake the Fellowship at Griffith University which is closely affiliated with the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) to continue studies into the development of vaccines for malaria and streptococcus A – the cause of rheumatic fever.

“It is a great honour to receive an Australia Fellowship from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) which will enable me to follow my passion. Both trial vaccines have shown promising results in pre-clinical studies and I hope our research will make a real difference to the lives of many,” said Professor Good.

Malaria is a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide – responsible for more than 1 million deaths per year. Rheumatic heart disease causes over 500,000 deaths with the Australian indigenous population suffering the highest rate in the world.

Professor Good has been Director of QIMR since 2000 and has led the Institute to become one of Australia’s largest and most successful medical research and education centres.
He will step down as Director of QIMR and take up the Fellowship midyear. His research at Griffith University will strengthen the long-standing partnership between QIMR and the University.

Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Ned Pankhurst said Professor Good’s leadership would further strengthen the University’s health and drug discovery research.

“We warmly welcome Professor Good, one of Australia’s most prized scientific leaders. I believe Professor Good’s leadership will greatly inspire Griffith’s large talent pool and help to nurture the next generation of researchers.”

During his time as QIMR Director, Professor Good has been instrumental in securing funding for the construction of the new $180 million Smart State Medical Research Centre; established QIMR’s Indigenous Health Research Program, the Australian Centre for Vaccine Development and a new Division of Mental Health Research; and the Institute’s successful education program is testament to his commitment to inspiring the scientists of tomorrow.

“It has been an honour to have been Director of QIMR for the past 10 years. I would like to thank the dedicated staff and researchers who I have had the privilege of working with – I look forward to continuing to work with many of them in the laboratory. I would also like to thank QIMR’s Council and Trust for their support.”

The Chair of QIMR’s Council Professor John Hay said Professor Good’s leadership and vision had positioned QIMR as a research leader.

“On behalf of QIMR I would like to congratulate Professor Good for this well deserved honour.”

“Thanks to Michael’s leadership we are in a very strong position – QIMR’s research program and competitive funding continues to grow; we continue to attract world-class researchers and students from around the globe; and construction of our new 15 floor research facility will commence early in the New Year.”

“It is a very exciting time for the Institute as we move into the new decade and beyond.”

Professor Michael Good

Professor Michael Good is the Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Director of the Griffith Medical Research College, Professor in the School of Population Health, University of Queensland, and Head of the Molecular Immunology Laboratory at QIMR.

Professor Good has nurtured many of the next generation of scientific leaders and researchers and represented the science community at a number of influential forums such as the National 2020 Summit as well as being President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes from 2002-2004, and chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Professor Good’s contribution was previously acknowledged in 2008 when he was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to medical research, particularly in the fields of infectious disease immunology and vaccine technology, through leadership roles at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research and contributions to education. In 2009, Professor Good won the CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science.

Professor Good graduated MD PhD DSc from The University of Queensland and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He undertook postdoctoral training as a Visiting Scientist at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. His interests are in the field of immunity and immunopathogenesis to malaria and group A streptococcus/ rheumatic fever, with particular relevance to the development of vaccines. He is an editor on several scientific journals and is an author on over 260 peer-reviewed publications.

The Australia Fellowship

The Australia Fellowship is the most prestigious award from the NHMRC fund. The Australia Fellowship is an award to support the salary and research of outstanding researchers with a vision to expand the scale and scope of Australian health and medical research. The Award is worth $800,000 per year for five years.