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Anderson’s fresh attack at boundaries of knowledge

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Eminent medical researcher Professor Warwick Anderson will head a global, interdisciplinary collaboration pushing at the boundaries of life sciences knowledge from next year.

Professor Anderson, who has led the National Health and Medical Research Council for the past nine years, has accepted an offer to become the next Secretary General of the International Human Frontier Science Program Organisation.

In the position, which he assumes next July, Professor Anderson will pilot the collaboration through the next phase of its work supporting fundamental research into the complex mechanisms of living organisms.

Since its inception in 1987, the Program has used collaborative research grants and postdoctoral fellowship programs to help fund more than 6000 research projects involving scientists from more than 70 countries.

Program President, Professor Nobutaka Hirokawa, said Professor Anderson was “exceptionally qualified” for his new position.

“His experience guarantees the continuity of HFSPO’s standing in the global scientific community and, at the same time, it is a recognition of the increasing scientific strength of the Asia Pacific region,” Professor Hirokawa said.

Australia is among 14 countries and regions that contribute to te program, including Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland the United Kingdom, the United States of America and the European Union.

Health Minister Peter Dutton paid tribute to Professor Anderson’s work, particularly his time as head of the NHMRC – a position he was appointed to in mid-2006 by the-then Health Minister, Tony Abbott.

“Since that time, Australia has become a world leader in the field of health and medical research, and Professor Anderson has played a key role guiding some of our most gifted researchers in a diverse range of fields and pursuits,” Mr Dutton said. “Professor Anderson leaves Australian research in much better shape than he found it, and does so with the respect and admiration of his peers.”

Professor Anderson will continue with the NHMRC until he takes his position with HFSPO.

Adrian Rollins