Fellows update—March 2020

April 03, 2020

Honours and awards to Fellows

Professor Chennupati Jagadish AC FAA FTSE—elected as an International Member of the United States National Academy of Engineering for contributions to nanotechnology for optoelectronic devices

Professor Terry Hughes FAA—awarded an honorary Doctor in Science degree by Trinity College Dublin for his research on coral reefs and public stance on climate change

Professor Frances Separovic AO FAA—awarded the 2019 Margaret Sheil Leadership Award by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute for inspiring and mentoring junior female chemists and helping to provide a more equitable workplace 


Professor Ian Mackay

Professor Ian Reay Mackay AM FAA FRACP FRCP FRCPA

22 March 1922 to 24 March 2020

Professor Ian Mackay was elected to the Academy in 1991 for his outstanding contributions to clinical immunology, particularly autoimmune disease.

Professor Mackay led the field of research into autoimmune diseases and coined the term ‘autoimmunity’. In 1963, he wrote the first text with Academy Fellow Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet on the nature of autoimmune disease. Professor Mackay identified autoimmunity as one cause of chronic hepatitis and established diagnostic serological assays and showed that corticosteroid and immunosuppressive drugs reversed autoimmune inflammation in the liver. Professor Mackay described primary biliary cirrhosis as an autoimmune disease and his laboratory identified the autoantigenic mitochondrial polypeptides and the nuclear gene coding for the major polypeptide, now recognised as part of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex. His discoveries provided important insights into liver disease and autoimmunity in general.

Professor Mackay undertook medical research in the UK and US before moving in 1955 to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where he was appointed Head of the Clinical Research Unit in 1963. Following his retirement in 1987, Professor Mackay held a research position at Monash University and in 2014, his book, ‘Intolerant Bodies: A Short History of Autoimmunity’, co-written with Academy Fellow Professor Warwick Anderson, was published. The following year, the book received the General History Prize of the NSW Premier's History Awards.

Professor Mackay was a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (London), The Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. In 1981 he was appointed a Member in the Order of Australia. In 1991 he was the Burnet Orator of the Australasian Society for Immunology and in 1992 he received the Gastroenterological Society of Australia’s Distinguished Research Prize.

Professor Mackay generously gave his time to the Academy until the age of 90, serving on several committees. See the tribute from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

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