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MEDIA RELEASE  

27 January 2017

ARC congratulates 2017 Australian of the Year

The Australian Research Council (ARC) congratulates Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim, on being named the 2017 Australian of the Year.

Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim, a biomedical scientist at Griffith University and Director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research, received the honour for his pioneering stem cell research to understand the biological bases of brain disorders and diseases such as schizophrenia, Parkinson's disease and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia.

Acting Chief Executive Officer of the ARC, Ms Leanne Harvey, said the ARC was proud to have supported the research undertaken by Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim.

“Through the Australian Government’s National Competitive Grants Program (NCGP), the ARC supports outstanding research of international repute and provides Australian researchers with access to essential research infrastructure and facilities,” Ms Harvey said.

“Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim’s research to better understand and find treatments for brain disorders and diseases has been supported during his career through the NCGP, including Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (LIEF) funding to establish a state-of-the-art facility at Griffith University that utilises robotic technology to produce cells for stem cell biology, drug discovery, and cancer research.

“Emeritus Professor Mackay-Sim has strengthened Australia’s reputation as an international leader in stem cell research, but importantly, in collaboration with health professionals, he is translating his world-leading research into real-world benefits.

“The ARC also congratulates all other recipients of Australia Day awards, including those from across the research sector who are making remarkable contributions to the advancement of science and research in Australia.”

Through the NCGP, the ARC supports the highest-quality fundamental and applied research and research training through national competition across all disciplines. The schemes of the NCGP provide funding for basic and applied research, research training, research collaboration and infrastructure.

The LIEF scheme enables higher education researchers to participate in cooperative initiatives so that expensive infrastructure, equipment and facilities can be shared between higher education organisations and also with industry.

For more information about all 2017 Australia Day recipients, please visit the Australia Day website. For more information about ARC funding schemes, visit the ARC website.