Finding cures for children's genetic diseases


​CMRI Research Leader Recognised by New Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

CMRI Research Leader Recognised by New Academy of Health and Medical Sciences
The newly established Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science ( added researchers and clinicians from around Australia to its fellowship during a launch ceremony held in Canberra on 25 March 2015. Among the first 115 Australian scientists to be recognised was Professor Ian Alexander, Head of the Gene Therapy Research Unit, a joint initiative of Children’s Medical Research Institute and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.
One of the Academy’s objectives is to recognise high achievement in research in medical sciences, and in development of evidence-based, sustainable health and medical practice. Professor Ian Frazer, President of the academy, said Australian health and medical science was among the best in the world.
“The Academy will assist in mentoring the next generation of researchers to ensure we remain at the forefront of evidence-based medical practice.
“Academy fellows have mapped the genetic basis of epilepsy, provided a treatment that has the potential to stop rheumatoid arthritis in its tracks, developed a vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, made significant advances in the management of obesity in children, and ensured better outcomes for patients in intensive care units.  
“The Academy looks forward to working with the other Australian learned academies, government and industry to guide the optimal development of our health care system for future generations.”
CMRI’s inductee, Professor Alexander, who conducted the first ever gene therapy trial in Australia, was pleasantly surprised to be made a fellow of the Academy.
“The gene therapy field is still in its infancy, but has immense therapeutic potential. Recent success in the treatment of haemophilia B provides an encouraging glimpse of future possibilities. My team, along with our international collaborators, are currently working on gene therapy approaches to treat genetic disorders affecting the bone marrow and liver. There is still much to do, but it was an honour to be recognised for our work so far,” said Professor Alexander.
Visit the Gene Therapy Research Unit page to learn more about their research.