News and Views

 

Leading fertility researcher receives NHMRC Ethics Award

A leader in the field of fertility has been awarded the National Health and Medical Research Council’s 2012 Ethics Award.

NHMRC has recognised Hudson Institute Professor Jock Findlay for his significant contribution to high ethical standards health and medical research at a national level. His work with the NHMRC led the development of the ethical guidance of the use of human embryos in medical research.

“Professor Findlay has been a leader in the development of Australian ethical standards, most notably as the inaugural Chair of the NHMRC Embryo Research Licensing Committee. He established high quality protocols and procedures that resulted in public confidence in this contested area of research,” Professor Anderson said.

Professor Findlay has served NHMRC in multiple ways:

  • Chair of Embryo Research Licensing Committee 2003-2012
  • Chair of Grant Review Panel 2011
  • Member of Council 2003-2009
  • Member of Management Committee 2003-2006
  • Member of Research Council 2002-2003
  • Member of Committee of Australian Governments Steering Committee on Research on Excess ART Embryos 2002-2003
  • Member of Training Awards Committee - Triennium 1994-1996
  • Member of Regional Grants Interviewing Committee 1981, 1988-89.

Professor Findlay also chaired the Infertility Treatment Authority of Victoria from 2001-2009 and is well recognized for his visionary leadership in the wider professional community, including   20 years of work with the World Health Organisation.

Currently, Professor Findlay heads the Ovarian Biology Laboratory at Hudson Institute and is Director of Research at the Royal Women's Hospital, Melbourne. He is also an Honorary Professor at both Monash University’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and the University of Melbourne’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Professor Findlay has been previously recognised Officer of the Order of Australia for services to medicine in the field of reproductive endocrinology as a researcher, through contributions to the regulation and promotion of assisted reproductive technology and treatment, and to the development of national and international health programs. He has also received the UK Society for Reproduction and Fertility’s Distinguished Scientist Award, and the UK Society for Endocrinology’s Asia and Oceania Medal and the Dale medal.

 

Researchers develop new community resource for disorders of sex development

A team of researchers at the University of Queensland, Hudson Institute and Murdoch Childrens Research Institute hope their recently launched website on disorders of sex development (DSD) will improve awareness and understanding within the general community and help those affected better understand the condition. Complementing the valuable services and support provided by existing community organisations, the site will provide a much-needed scientific perspective by outlining genetic and biological information in a way that is accessible to a broad audience. The first of a two-stage project, the team plans to expand the site to include detailed scientific and medical information for clinicians and scientists who work with children, adolescents and adults affected by DSD, or analyse the genetic causes. The website can be visited at: www.dsdgenetics.org

 

Congratulations Tu’uhe!

Congratulations to SRB member Dr Tu’uhevaha Kaitu’u-Lino who has won a Victorian Young Tall Poppy Science Award for 2012, recognising her research aimed at developing new medical treatments for pre-eclampsia.

 

Congratulations Tu’uhe!

 

These awards are designed to recognise the achievements of young researchers in sciences, such as medical research, and their ability to communicate science to a wider audience. For further information about the awards, please see the Australian institute of Policy and Science website (www.aips.net.au).

 

NSW Science and Engineering Awards 2012

The Society for Reproductive Biology is proud to announce that SRB Fellow Laureate Professor R. John Aitken from the University of Newcastle is the 2012 NSW Scientist of the Year.  This award recognises an outstanding individual who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of science that has benefited the Australian community.

This coveted award was presented to John yesterday evening by the Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner at Government House, Sydney. These awards aim to engage and involve the NSW research community and the public in promoting the value of science and engineering and to encourage careers in both fields.

John is the Director of the Priority Research Centre in Reproductive Science at the University of Newcastle and a global authority on reproductive biology and fertility. He leads a large research team studying infertility and contraception, which has attracted nearly $50 million in funding since 1999.

John's significant research impacts include:

  • resolving the question of male infertility through the introduction of a free radical theory which highlights the unique susceptibility of spermatozoa to oxidative attack
  • improving the safety of Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) through the development of a novel electrophoretic sperm isolation device in partnership with biotech company Nusep
  • patenting a novel contraceptive strategy that simultaneously protects against fertility and sexually transmitted diseases
  • facilitating horse breeding programs in the Upper Hunter through fertility prediction
  • developing new technologies to control pest animal species

For further details visit NSW Scientist of the Year.

Please join SRB in congratulating John on his tremendous achievements. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase his Centre’s research, as well as the breadth of Reproductive Research in Australia. John’s first official engagement is a Science and Research Breakfast at the NSW Trade & Investment Centre Sydney and his talk is entitled "Sex, Science and Society; tales of opportunity and neglect"

Well done John!

 

For more details of John and his upcoming seminar visit:

NSW Science and Engineering Awards 2012 http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/networking-and-events/awards/nsw-science-engineering-awards

Science & Research Breakfast Seminar 2012
http://www.business.nsw.gov.au/networking-and-events/events/events/science-and-research-breakfast-seminar3

University of Newcastle
http://www.newcastle.edu.au/research/achievers/a-fertile-mind.html

 

For details in the media, please click on the following links:

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/thinking-about-sex-all-the-time-becomes-an-honour-20121114-29cgy.html

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-15/newcastle-scientist-honoured-for-fertility-work/4372704