UQ experts join health taskforce

27 Sep 2011

Two University of Queensland researchers have been chosen as part of an expert panel to conduct an independent review on health and medical research in Australia. 

Professor Melissa Little, from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Professor Ian Frazer, CEO and Director of Research at the Translational Research Institute, will join the six-member panel, announced late yesterday by Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Mark Butler.

Professor Frazer is a Research Leader at The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and was named Australian of the Year in 2006. He developed the technology to enable production of vaccines for the human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes 70 percent of human cancers.

“The National Health and Medical Research Council is the peak funding body for health and medical research in Australia and this review will give an opportunity to ensure that Australia is placed to maintain its capacity to deliver world-class research benefiting global health over the next decade.” Professor Frazer said.

“I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the review process, through consultation with all who are interested in health outcomes.”

Professor Little is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow and leads the Renal Development and Disease research laboratory. She was a member of the 1998 Wills Health and Medical Research Strategic Review, which led to a doubling of the Federal Government budget for health and medical research. 

“I am honoured to be able to once again contribute to the future of health and medical research in Australia through this review,” Professor Little said. 

“Health and medical research enjoys strong community support and it is important that we consider how to enable research that provides the best outcomes for the health of all Australians.” 

The panel will be chaired by 2011 Australian of the Year, Simon McKeon, Chairman of the Board of CSIRO, Executive Chairman of Macquarie Group's Melbourne office and Chairman of Business for Millennium Development. 

The panel also includes: 

  • Mr Bill Ferris AC, Executive Chairman of CHAMP Private Equity, Chairman of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Director of the Garvan Research Foundation and Chairman of the Health and Hospitals Fund Advisory Board 
  • Ms Elizabeth Alexander, Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Chair of CSL, non-Executive Director of Dexus Property Group and Medibank and Advisor to Blake Dawson Waldron 
  • Professor Henry Brodaty, Scientia Professor of Ageing and Mental Health, Direct of the Primary Dementia Collaborative Research Centre at UNSW, Director of Aged Care Pyschiatry and Head of the Memory Disorders Clinical at Prince of Wales Hospital, and President-Elect of the International Psychogeriatic Association. 

Media: Bronwyn Adams at the IMB (07 3346 2134, b.adams@imb.uq.edu.au)