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06 Sep 2016

Professor Emeritus Graham Brown receives prestigious international honour

University of Melbourne Professor Emeritus Graham Brown has been appointed a 2016 Honorary International Fellow of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, one of just five around the world, and the only Australian.

Professor Brown has had a long and distinguished career as a clinician scientist, bridging clinical work through population and public health, and basic science in the field of malaria.

He taught in the medical school in Tanzania, then completed his PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute with fieldwork in Papua New Guinea (PNG) focusing on human immunity to malaria, targets for vaccine development, the first field trials of E.coli derived vaccines in PNG, antigenic variation, and malaria in pregnancy.

In his roles as James Stewart Professor of Medicine, and Head of the Infectious Diseases Service at The Royal Melbourne Hospital he supervised and mentored a number of postgraduate students now researchers at the Doherty Institute, including Associate Professor Ben Cowie, recently appointed as Head of the WHO collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis and Associate Professor Justin Denholm, Medical Director of the Victorian Tuberculosis Programme.

Doherty Institute Group Heads, Professor Stephen Rogerson and Professor Beverley-Ann Biggs, and Professor James Beeson who heads a malaria lab at the Burnet Institute were also doctoral students of Professor Brown.

“Training our next generation of students is an important role for the Doherty, and Professor Rogerson continues this tradition by mentoring many international students and completing collaborative field studies in Malawi and Papua New Guinea,” Professor Brown said.

Professor Brown was nominated because of his work in malaria, education and training, and his support for developing countries in advisory roles on international committees, including WHO, and foundations. The award coincides with the completion of his tenure as Chair of the Executive Committee of the Board of Roll Back Malaria.

He said it was a great honour and only made possible through wonderful colleagues and the great collaborative environments he has worked in over the years.

“It’s not me, it’s a fantastic environment and fantastic colleagues that enable you to make this kind of contribution. I see it as our responsibility and obligation as global citizens to contribute internationally, and we can’t be great unless we do.  It is wonderful that the Doherty Institute is already being recognised in this way."

Doherty Institute Director Professor Sharon Lewin said the appointment was an outstanding achievement.

“This is clearly a recognition of Graham’s major contributions internationally in the field of malaria research," she said.

Photo courtesy of the Burnet Institute.