EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN OF MMS MULTIPLIER - University of Melbourne
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ALUMNI JOURNAL • MELBOURNE MEDICAL SCHOOL • 2019 ESTABLISHED 1862 EXTRAORDINARY MULTIPLIER A WALK DOWN WOMEN OF MMS EFFECT MEMORY LANE Meet four of our How one woman’s philanthropy Highlights from outstanding female alumni is enabling medical research Reunion Weekend 2018
CONTENTS • CHIRON • 3 MELBOURNE IS OUR NAME 22 30 SHEPPARTON IS OUR HOME CELEBRATING GREAT YEARS INSIDE 04 WELCOME From the Dean 05 WELCOME From the Head of School 06 GENERAL NEWS From around the Faculty 10 EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN OF MMS Meet four of our outstanding female alumni 16 A WALK DOWN MEMORY LANE Highlights from Reunion Weekend 2018 CHIRON [kahy-ron] In Greek mythology, Chiron was one of the Centaurs, 20 GAME-CHANGER Developing a cure for hepatitis C 22 the son of the Titan Cronus and Philyra, an Oceanid or sea RURAL HEALTH nymph, teacher of Achilles, Asclepius. Chiron lived at the Our 20-year legacy foot of Mount Pelion in Thessaly. Unlike other Centaurs, who 26 were violent and savage, Chiron was a wise and beneficent MULTIPLIER EFFECT Centaur famous for his knowledge of medicine. How one woman’s philanthropy is enabling medical research 28 Chiron is published by the Melbourne Medical School. Contributions and correspondence from alumni, staff THEN AND NOW and students are most welcome and should be sent to: Medical education over five decades 30 CHIRON MDHS Advancement, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences EXHIBITION Level 2, Alan Gilbert Building The Women’s: Carers, advocates The University of Melbourne, 3010, Australia and reformers T: +61 3 9035 7869 E: firstname.lastname@example.org EDITOR: Meegan Waugh CONTRIBUTORS: Many thanks to Professor Glenn Bowes AO, Liz Brentnall, 33 WESTERN CLINICAL SCHOOL A decade of clinical training in the West 34 Susanna Cornelius, Cheryl Critchley, Cecilia Dowling, Ally Gallagher-Fox, Dr Jacqueline Healy, Kirsty Hooper, Associate Professor Stephen Lew RESILIENCE and Grace Sanna. The importance of resilience DESIGN: Bill Farr, MEDIAXPRESS in young doctors 36 For 20 years, Shepparton’s Department of Rural Health has been working to NOTE: For space and readability, only degrees conferred by the University of Melbourne are listed beside the names of alumni in this publication. HONOURS & AWARDS teach, train and retain members of the rural health workforce. We’ve graduated COVER IMAGE: (L-R) Dr Kat Franklin, Dr Ada Cheung, Professor Anne Buist, Recent alumni achievements 38 Professor Christine Kilpatrick. Picture: Darren James hundreds of doctors, treated thousands of local people and pursued world-class OBITUARIES ISSN 0418-3978 ©The University of Melbourne 2019 Remembering those we lost in 2018 health research, right here in Shepparton. This is our home. The University of Melbourne acknowledges the First Peoples of Australia, 42 the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. We acknowledge BOOKS the traditional custodians of the lands on which each campus of the Recently published works by We’re here for life. | mdhs.unimelb.edu.au/visit/shepparton University is located and pay our respects to the Indigenous Elders, past, present and emerging. medical alumni
4 • CHIRON CHIRON • 5 Welcome from the Dean Welcome from the Head of School T I here is much to update you on since the last am pleased to share the 2019 edition of Chiron with you professionals of tomorrow by supporting scholarships. edition of Chiron, not least the appointment – my first as the Head of Melbourne Medical School. The Melbourne Medical School Scholarships Fund assists of Professor Duncan Maskell as the 20th My first months in this role have been quite students who are facing financial difficulty and helps Vice‑Chancellor of the University of Melbourne in an adventure. I was, of course, already familiar with to maintain equitable access to a world-class medical October last year. Melbourne Medical School’s reputation for excellence, education. Enclosed with this magazine you will find an Professor Maskell joined us from the University and it has been exciting to see that excellence in action. appeal form, which you can use to make a tax-deductible of Cambridge where he held the position of Senior It is clear to me that the School really is a place where donation to the Fund. Pro‑Vice-Chancellor (Planning and Resources), the many different strengths come together, and I am enjoying Another one of my priorities in this role is to support the closest equivalent to a Provost in Australian universities. getting to know the extended campus, including the advancement of women in medicine. I strongly believe that A biologist specialising in bacterial infectious diseases, various Clinical Schools and our world-class partner taking a proactive approach in this area will benefit both the Professor Maskell is a Cambridge graduate, holding a Institutes and Hospitals. Melbourne Medical School and the medical field in general. Master of Arts and a PhD, which looked at resistance and The School’s alumni community is one of its greatest To this end, earlier this year we launched Strategic Grants immunity to Salmonella. In addition to academic and strengths. I was lucky enough to attend the inaugural for Outstanding Women, a new initiative designed to help university leadership roles, Professor Maskell has enjoyed Reunion Weekend (page 16) in November, just a few female academics navigate the challenges they face as they an active entrepreneurial career, co-founding four biotech weeks after I joined the University, and was struck by the progress their careers. As expected, the calibre of applicants companies among his accomplishments. enthusiasm of the many alumni who attended. I have also was brilliant, and my only regret is that we cannot support One of his goals as Vice-Chancellor of the University had the opportunity to meet alumni outside of Melbourne everybody who applied. The successful applicants will be of Melbourne is to further advance the commercialisation at the Department of Rural Health’s 20-year celebrations announced soon. and application of our vast research program to benefit in Shepparton earlier this year (page 22), and a recent The topic of outstanding women leads me to this society and industry. Professor Maskell succeeded alumni event in Singapore. I will be attending alumni edition of Chiron. This year, the magazine celebrates the Professor Glyn Davis who, after nearly 14 years in the role, events in Europe and North America later this year, and work and achievements of exceptional women who are has returned to scholarship and teaching endeavours. hope to meet more of you there. As a community, your having impacts both in the field of medicine and in wider One of the first orders of business for Professor Maskell is involvement and interest in the future of the Melbourne communities. Our cover story (page 10) introduces you the development of a new 10-year strategy to help guide Medical School is heartening. to four of these women – Professor Christine Kilpatrick, the University from 2020–2030. I hope to harness this involvement and interest Professor Anne Buist, Dr Ada Cheung and Dr Kat Franklin Also in October last year, we welcomed clinician- from a very competitive cohort of 200 students from a as I review the medical curriculum with an eye to the – all of whom are alumni of Melbourne Medical School. scientist Professor John Prins as the new Head of the rural background. These students have enrolled in an future. The medical students of today will graduate into On page 27 you’ll meet Pamela Galli, a philanthropist Melbourne Medical School. Professor Prins was Director of undergraduate Bachelor of Biomedical Science (Medical) a world and a profession that is changing day by day. whose partnership with the University of Melbourne is Mater Research Institute and Professor of Endocrinology at La Trobe University’s Bendigo or Albury-Wodonga I believe that we all have a responsibility to help shape transforming collaborative research in the Melbourne at the University of Queensland as well as senior staff campus and will join our Doctor of Medicine (Rural Stream) the next generation of medical professionals and my goal Biomedical Precinct. On page 30 you’ll read about the endocrinologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital. At the in 2022. This initiative allows the University to deliver a is to ensure that medical courses at the University current exhibition at the Medical History Museum, University of Queensland, he was also actively involved first-class medical education to those who wish to remain of Melbourne prepare students for successful which tells the story of women’s health in Victoria in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and training in rural communities for the duration of their training and careers. with a focus on the Royal Women’s Hospital. and has ongoing research interests in obesity, diabetes go on to pursue their careers there too – helping to address The curriculum review is one of my key These are just a few of the wonderful and intellectual disability. the shortage of health practitioners in rural and remote priorities as Head of Melbourne Medical School stories featured in this year’s Chiron Australia. and your experience – both of medical education magazine, and I hope you enjoy reading We are delighted to have Professor Another recent highlight was the inaugural Reunion at the School and of the transition from student it as much as I have. I hope to connect Prins join us and are anticipating ABOVE Weekend held in November for alumni of the Melbourne to practitioner – is an invaluable resource. I with many more of you during the year Professor Medical School and School of Biomedical Sciences am running a series of small alumni insights ahead and I look forward to connecting great things from him as Head of the Duncan Maskell (page 16). The event celebrated our alumni community dinners to gather your feedback, and I also with you once again at Reunion Weekend Melbourne Medical School. became the 20th and the 50th anniversary of the Medical Building. More encourage you to email me directly at john. on 29–30 November. Vice-Chancellor than 1000 alumni and guests joined us over the course email@example.com if you would like to At the beginning of this year, Professor Maskell, of the University of the weekend, enjoying a series of activities and share your thoughts on the direction of the Sincerely, Professor Prins, myself and others based at our Parkville of Melbourne on delighting in catching up with former classmates and medical curriculum. PROFESSOR JOHN PRINS campus were pleased to join staff from the Melbourne 1 October 2018. educators. You can also support the medical Head, Melbourne Medical School Medical School, alumni, students, local politicians and We do hope to see you at our next Reunion Weekend community leaders to celebrate the 20th anniversary of TOP on 29 and 30 November this year, but until then, please the Department of Rural Health in Shepparton (page 22). Professor stay in touch by contacting the MDHS Alumni Team at MELBOURNE MEDICAL SCHOOL A SNAPSHOT Official proceedings began with a Welcome to Country, Shitij Kapur. firstname.lastname@example.org. a smoking ceremony and a performance from a local As always, we welcome and encourage your feedback. % MALAYSIA 344 Aboriginal dance group, and speeches that covered the INDONESIA 256 history, achievements and future of the Department of Rural Health. With warm regards, PROFESSOR SHITIJ KAPUR FEMALE 42.57 ALUMNI TOP 5 SINGAPORE 209 MMS GRADUATES And the future is looking bright indeed – this year we Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences LIVING ALUMNI 57.17 IN AUSTRALIA 108 IN 2018 16,203 418 COUNTRIES 11,155 MALE UNITED STATES 103 partnered with La Trobe University to identify 15 students OUTSIDE UNSPECIFIED 0.27 Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) AUSTRALIA UNITED KINGDOM
6 • CHIRON • GENERAL NEWS GENERAL NEWS • CHIRON • 7 Federal funding for translational research The Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) is a major new source of federal government funding for medical research, with a particular emphasis on funding research translation that will lead to direct health and economic outcomes. Professor Ingrid The fund is set to reach $20 billion Scheffer the next by 2020-21 when it will be providing president of the approximately $1 billion per year Australian Academy in medical research funding. This of Health and Medical is in addition to the existing annual investment in health and medical Sciences research through the National The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Research Council Health and Medical Sciences (NHMRC). has announced Professor Ingrid New life sciences The University of Melbourne has Scheffer AO FRS FAA FAHMS (PhD had some early successes across 1998) as its President Elect. a broad spectrum of MRFF-funded Professor Scheffer is Chair of complex in Parkville schemes, including in clinical trials, clinical researcher fellowships Paediatric Neurology Research at the University of Melbourne and and technology innovation. The Senior Principal Research Fellow at On 25 March 2019 the University classrooms for small group and ABOVE University is also well placed to the Florey Institute of Neuroscience of Melbourne officially opened problem-based learning as well as The new $100m pursue the eight health challenges and Mental Health. She will formally Western Edge Biosciences Building 125, a $100 million life sciences informal learning and study spaces, all of which are dedicated to preparing life sciences complex in MRFF will focus on: Genomics; Dementia, Ageing and Aged Care Melbourne Medical School take up the role of President at the AGM in October 2019, when complex offering Australia’s most sophisticated Science, Technology, the bioscientists, doctors and veterinarians of the future. Parkville. Research; Cardiovascular Health; Traumatic Brain Injury; Indigenous alumnus appointed Victoria’s Professor Ian Frazer AC FRS FAA FTSE FAHMS steps down. Professor Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine (STEMM) teaching “The new complex allows the University of Melbourne to offer BELOW The complex’s Health; the Million Minds Mental Health Mission and the Australian Chief Health Officer Scheffer will be the Academy’s second President and first female laboratories and facilities. a premier teaching and learning state-of-the-art Brain Cancer Mission. Dr Brett Sutton (MBBS 1993) was recently He is also Chief Human Biosecurity Officer President and previously served as The new four-level complex, experience and the best facilities interior. To find out more, visit: beta.health.gov. appointed as Victoria’s Chief Health Officer. for Victoria. the Academy’s Vice President. which has achieved a 6 Green Star in biosciences in our region. au/initiatives-and-programs/medical- Dr Sutton has extensive experience The CHO has unique statutory functions To read the full announcement, visit: rating, will bring together staff and The building design, architecture research-future-fund and clinical expertise in public health and under health, food and emergency-related aahms.org/news/announcing-our- students from the Faculty of Science, and the resources available to communicable diseases, gained through legislation and is responsible for developing president-elect/ Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and students and lecturers is first-class,” Outstanding women emergency medicine and field-based and implementing strategies to promote and Health Sciences and the Faculty of said Vice-Chancellor Professor grants program international work, including in Afghanistan, protect public health. Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences Duncan Maskell. “The building Applications recently closed for the Ethiopia, Kenya and Timor-Leste. He Austin under one roof. is a tremendous addition to the inaugural round of Strategic Grants for represents Victoria on a number of key To read the full announcement, visit: alumni: The building includes three large Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.” Outstanding Women, a new initiative national bodies including the Australian www2.health.vic.gov.au/about/media-centre/ mediareleases/dr-brett-sutton-appointed-chief- stay in touch practical teaching laboratories, an To find out more, visit: ourcampus. from the Melbourne Medical School Health Protection Principal Committee. health-officer All former staff (including medical object-based learning facility, three unimelb.edu.au/webs-parkville supporting career progression for students) from Austin Health are female academics. The successful invited to update their details with applicants (to be announced soon) will receive between $25,000 and Partnering to battle infectious diseases the Austin Health Medical Alumni Association. The purpose of the $45,000 per year, for up to two years, Austin Health’s Infectious Diseases control interventions. There will be Association is to keep in contact, to support research, teaching and/ Department is joining the Peter new opportunities for clinical trials in primarily with an electronic or leadership activities. More than Doherty Institute for Infection and infectious diseases and an enhanced newsletter (two or three times a 70 exceptional applications were Immunity. Based at the University of capacity for research into infection year) and occasional social events. We are currently compiling a received, demonstrating the depth of Melbourne’s Department of Medicine and immunity. The Doherty Institute confidential email address book talent within the Melbourne Medical at Austin Health, Austin Health ID remains a joint venture between for the Austin Health Medical School. Thank you to all participants. will be the first unit of the Doherty the University of Melbourne and the Alumni Association. Institute to be located externally. Royal Melbourne Hospital. Strategic Grants for Outstanding Women will be an annual program. Stay tuned The partnership will strengthen To update your details existing collaborations in areas such To read the announcement from and join the address book, for the next round of applications, Professor Sharon Lewin AO, Director of please email or find out more about the program as the translation of genomics into email@example.com at: medicine.unimelb.edu.au/visit/ the Doherty Institute, visit: medicine. grantsforoutstandingwomen clinical practice and clinical infection unimelb.edu.au/visit/austinhealthid
8 • CHIRON • GENERAL NEWS GENERAL NEWS • CHIRON • 9 Seminars from Metro Tunnel works: the cutting edge Parkville Station construction continues of cancer research Metro Tunnel works are underway in Parkville with From genomics, personalised medicine and cancer one of five new underground train stations being care, research being undertaken at the University of built at the heart of the University of Melbourne’s Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) is Parkville campus. The construction of the new driving the development of innovative solutions in Parkville Station is part of the $11 billion Metro cancer treatment and prevention. Tunnel Project, one of Australia’s largest ever public Led by Professor Sean Grimmond, the UMCCR brings transport infrastructure projects. Once completed, together leading cancer researchers from across the Parkville Station will connect the University and the University to drive collaboration and achieve improved Biomedical Precinct to Melbourne’s metropolitan outcomes for cancer patients. train network for the first time. The centre’s research targets key points along the The project’s excavation phase commenced in patient journey, including diagnostics, defining the December 2018 on Grattan Street and is expected to causes of genetic predisposition, combatting recurrence, continue for the remainder of 2019. Construction is a and palliative care. bottom-up process and involves excavating the station The UMCCR is seeking to redefine the standard of ‘box’ down to a depth of 30 metres. Up to 200,000 care for cancer patients, with a focus on rare, recalcitrant cubic metres of soil and rock will be removed. Once and advanced cancers that are resistant to standard complete, construction and fit-out of the station begins. therapies. Parkville Station construction is expected to finish The UMCCR Seminar Series launched in 2019. This by November 2022, with the new Metro Tunnel line in weekly event provides an opportunity for the wider operation by the end of 2025. community to engage with the exciting research being For more information, visit: undertaken at the centre, hearing from research group Ask Alumni ourcampus.unimelb.edu.au/parkville-station leaders, PhD students, and invited external guests. For more details, visit: research.unimelb.edu.au/umccr UMCCR SEMINAR SERIES 10.30am – 11.30am Wednesday mornings March – October 2019 CONNECT• CHAT• INSPIRE Lecture Theatre C, Level 7 Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Ask Alumni is an informal, flexible 305 Grattan Street, Melbourne 3000 mentoring program that helps current University of Melbourne students Online courses connect with alumni for a one-off Pretty Little Things surround by the Ultrasound 30-minute session. the Metro Tunnel site Education Group The Metro Tunnel Creative Program seeks to You decide how many students you ‘soften the edges’ of construction through creative collaborations. The current Parkville installation, The Melbourne Medical School Mobile Learning Unit offers online courses in continuing medical education would like to mentor and the best Pretty Little Things, uses images produced by for GPs, nurses, physicians and medical students. time and way to connect – be it by researchers in the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct to highlight the beauty that can be found beneath Our online courses are designed by leading academics and are based on a proven, interactive learning model. email, video call or even face-to-face. the scientist’s microscope. These colourful decals, The courses are accessible on desktop or mobile That means that no matter where you delivered by design firm The Cutaway, can be devices with iOS, Android or Windows. We offer found on the gantries surrounding the Alan Gilbert lifetime access and many courses include Continuing are in the world or how much time Building, the Doherty Institute and the Med Professional Development points. you can commit, you can take part Building. Short courses include Immunisation (Nurse The installations will be refreshed annually and Immuniser), Mastering Migraine Management, and make a difference. will expand to yet-to-be-installed gantries around the Management of Obesity, Medical Perfusion, Lung Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Royal Ultrasound and Clinical Supervision, for example. Visit http://go.unimelb.edu.au/c8w6 Melbourne Hospital. For full details of the courses available, please visit: mdhs-study.unimelb.edu.au/short-courses/mms-short-courses or scan the QR code with your To find out more about the program, visit: metrotunnel.vic.gov.au/about-the-project/creative-program smartphone for more details Alumni can register online or contact the Mobile Learning Unit at: firstname.lastname@example.org and to register.
10 • CHIRON • COVER STORY COVER STORY • CHIRON • 11 Extraordinary women of Melbourne Medical School M elbourne Medical School opened its doors in 1862 – to men. Another 25 years would pass before women were admitted to study medicine. Since then, nearly 7000 women have graduated from the Melbourne Medical School. Many have made incredible contributions to health in Melbourne, in Australia and around the world. Here, we meet four of these brilliant women. Their stories and successes – professional and personal – span industries, countries and cultures. All four are a testament to the calibre and breadth of the Melbourne Medical School alumni community. BY CHERYL CRITCHLEY AND CECILIA DOWLING
12 • CHIRON • COVER STORY COVER STORY • CHIRON • 13 Visionary leader Doctor without borders Professor Christine Kilpatrick Dr Kat Franklin Professor Christine Kilpatrick (MBBS 1976, MD cohorts of patients and on the system itself,” she says. Treating patients isn’t the only thing Dr Kat “It helps me to read my diaries back, to remember what’s 1986, MBA 2007, DMedSc (Hon) 2016) has used “I find the system and the bigger picture rewarding and Franklin (MBBS (Hons) 2011) has to worry about happened and think about the different stories,” she says. her clinical experience to carve a brilliant very interesting.” when she works in some of the world’s most After her first Iraq trip, Dr Franklin was awarded career in health leadership and management. As CEO of the Royal Children’s Hospital from dangerous places. a Sir John Monash Scholarship to study a Master of 2008–2017, Professor Kilpatrick oversaw the momentous International Health and Tropical Medicine (Hons) at These days she is known as a transformative business 2011 move into the new building. She relished the Drawn to helping others from a young age, Dr Kat Franklin the University of Oxford. Oxford, with its secret passages leader, but when Professor Christine Kilpatrick first challenge and felt the responsibility of leading one of works with children in very different worlds. As a medical behind library bookcases and herds of deer roaming the moved from treating epilepsy patients into a health Australia’s most revered institutions. student, the Royal Children’s Hospital paediatric trainee grounds, couldn’t have contrasted more sharply with the executive management role, some of her colleagues “I think there’s an added pressure from the volunteered to observe treatment facilities in Ethiopia, surroundings in Iraq. thought it was an ‘unwise’ decision. community and from families, quite rightly,” she explains. Fiji and Peru. “It was amazing. I completely love Harry Potter more “They saw management as going to the dark side,” “Good societies, of course, always look after their She has since completed assignments in dangerous than anything in the world ... it’s the closest I think I’ll get recalls Professor Kilpatrick. children.” political hotspots – including Afghanistan (2016), South to Hogwarts.” “They couldn’t quite grasp why anyone would choose Professor Kilpatrick’s team at the Royal Children’s Sudan (2016) and Iraq (2017 and 2018) – with Médecins Dr Franklin was inspired to pursue medicine as a child to do that. But I did and it’s been the best decision I’ve Hospital developed an improved care model for patients Sans Frontières (MSF), or ‘Doctors without Borders’, and by the doctors who treated her younger brother Michael, made.” with complex needs, and implemented an electronic as part of an Aspen Medical/WHO trauma project. now a veterinarian. Their sister Amanda, a Fulbright Professor Kilpatrick has not taken a backward step medical record. She is now working on a similar In Afghanistan, Dr Franklin joined an MSF project at Scholar who completed a Bachelor of Science (2008) and since. In 2017, she was appointed Chief Executive of electronic medical record project at Melbourne Health. a maternity hospital in one of Kabul’s poorest suburbs. a Master of Science (2011) at the University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health, which provides healthcare through “The same system will run at The Royal Melbourne The security situation was precarious, and resources is a marine biologist. the Royal Melbourne Hospital and NorthWestern Mental Hospital, Royal Women’s Hospital, Peter MacCallum limited. Staff coped with basic tools such as portable Dr Franklin wanted to be a paediatrician but Health. She has excelled in some of Victoria’s most Cancer Centre, and Royal Children’s,” she says. oxygen, antibiotics and feeding tubes. struggled with maths and chemistry and didn’t have the important health management roles and helped to The University of Melbourne remains close to Dr Franklin led a team of eight male paediatricians prerequisites for medicine. shape a range of healthcare systems. Professor Kilpatrick’s heart. She is an Honorary and had to decide which patients they had the resources While completing an undergraduate degree in In some ways, she pioneered a trend that now sees Professorial Fellow in the Department of Medicine and to treat and which they had to transfer elsewhere. behavioural science, she discovered the Graduate Medical young people experience a range of careers. “In my day in 2016 she was awarded a Doctor of Medical Science “In Afghanistan, the needs were so high that we could School Admissions Test (GAMSAT). GAMSAT is part of the you left school, did well enough at school and went into (honoris causa). only provide critically ill children with initial treatment and graduate medical admissions process and incorporates medicine,” she says. “That’s changed.” She was one of several family members to study at stabilisation before referring them on to other facilities,” university grade averages and an interview. Anyone can sit Professor Kilpatrick has fond memories of her time the University. Her late father, Stanley George Hogg QC she says. “It was hard.” the test, but a good knowledge of biological and physical studying at the University of Melbourne, particularly (BCom 1945, LLB 1950, LLM 1954), completed his legal Medical staff lived in lock-down near the hospital due to sciences is required. Previous experience, knowledge and the medical rounds, but recalls feeling acutely aware studies at Melbourne, as did her older sister Kathryn Kings the threat of car bombs and kidnapping. They supported skills such as problem solving, critical thinking and writing of her gender. Up to 25 per cent of medical students (LLB 1972, LLM 1983) – now a County Court Judge. each other, drank tea on the roof and tried to have fun. are also considered. were female, but they were treated differently to the Professor Kilpatrick’s late husband Graeme “Our house was like a little family,” Dr Franklin says. After spending a summer poring over her sister’s male students. (BDSc 1975) and their daughters Victoria (BCA “These are some of my most amazing memories.” chemistry and science books, Dr Franklin did well 2010, PGDipTeach(Sec) 2012, MTeach 2012) and The stark contrast in environments was clear enough to gain admission into a Bachelor of “Female medical students were Julia (BCom 2010, LLB 2010) also attended the to Dr Franklin after she returned to the Royal Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery at the University still considered a novelty … it was University. Children’s Hospital. The first child she saw of Melbourne and hasn’t looked back. thought that you must have had Balancing family and her career – as well as was successfully treated for a condition that After her latest overseas mission, some extra drive to want to do it, several board positions and directorships – was another child had died from in Afghanistan. Dr Franklin has returned to the Royal which of course is incorrect.” tricky early on when it was still unusual for women In Wau, South Sudan, the team worked in a Children’s Hospital to continue her to pursue medicine. tent hospital with little more than antibiotics paediatric training. Still in her early None of this impeded Professor Kilpatrick’s These days, Professor Kilpatrick says, the situation and oxygen concentrators available. thirties, she appreciates the experience progress and she trained and specialised in for women in senior positions is “different” rather than On one particularly devastating day, five she’s already gained in “two entirely neurology and epilepsy through the Royal Melbourne easier. They may have more workplace flexibility, but of the 12 children being treated didn’t make different worlds”. Hospital. She spent 11 years leading the Royal challenges remain. it. In such difficult circumstances, Dr Franklin Dr Franklin is keen for more overseas Melbourne Hospital’s epilepsy program, and was “Partners are now much more involved in the care, says it was important to focus on the positive assignments and recommends them to others – if the inaugural Chair of Victorian Epilepsy Centres, but it’s always going to be hard to do everything,” outcomes. the timing is right and the volunteer is suited to it. The established to increase collaboration between the she says. “You just have to do what works for you.” work can be really difficult, and resources can be scarce, centres to enhance research and education. After creating a wonderful legacy at several iconic “You have to have wins and but she thrives on the challenge and creativity required. Around 2000, she became Chair of the Senior Melbourne institutions, Professor Kilpatrick loves you have to remind yourself “Being able to provide health care for people who Medical Staff at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, the idea of others bringing a clinical perspective to of those wins,” she says. otherwise can’t access it, and to see some really sick and Chair of the MLC Board, a move that opened administration. She is a strong advocate for exploring “You have to focus on the children get better … I think that’s the reason why I her eyes to management. In 2005, when she the different career trajectories a medical degree kids that did well.” keep on going back,” she says. became Melbourne Health’s Executive Director can offer. Medical Services, she realised she could make “There are lots of different ways you can use your Debriefing is an important part of each Dr Franklin recently featured on the University’s 3010 podcast. a difference on a broader scale. training. I’d encourage anyone to make a change if overseas assignment, and Dr Franklin also To listen to the episode and hear more about her international “In these roles, you really focus more on that’s what they want to do.” keeps a diary to help her process her work. experiences, visit: go.unimelb.edu.au/9rdx
14 • CHIRON • COVER STORY COVER STORY • CHIRON • 15 Overcoming injustice Making sense of the grey areas Dr Ada Cheung Professor Anne Buist Dr Ada Cheung (MBBS (Hons) 2003, PhD 2017) and wanted more training. “We took our research to Professor Anne Buist (MMED 1992, MD 1999) baby units. She has written a book on psychiatric disorders has fought for her medical achievements and the Department of Human Services and the Minister for has balanced her career as a respected associated with childbirth, nine book chapters and more her award-winning career every step of the Equality, the Hon Martin Foley MP (MCom 2001), and the perinatal psychiatrist with writing thrilling than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles. way. Now, her research is changing national government responded,” she says. – and sometimes raunchy – novels. When her own two children were small Professor medical policy. In late 2018, the Victorian Government announced Buist produced several manuscripts, which were put on an investment of $3.4 million to better meet the health Working with women who have struggled after giving ice when she secured a $3.6 million beyondblue grant to Dr Ada Cheung was drawn to medicine for the complex needs of trans and gender diverse Victorians. Over 2019, birth, Professor Anne Buist has seen a lot. research perinatal depression nationally. problems it presented and for the opportunity to make multidisciplinary health clinics will be established in She even spent time visiting Keli Lane, the Sydney “The outcomes of untreated depression ripple through a difference. Since 2017, she has focused her physician Ballarat and Preston, and a state-wide training program water polo player who denies killing her baby Tegan in that child’s life for the rest of their life and other children in expertise and her research skills on improving medical will be implemented for health professionals. 1996, in jail and appeared on Caro Meldrum Hanna’s 2018 the family, to say nothing of the risk to mum,” Anne says. services for transgender Australians. ABC series Exposed: The case of Keli Lane. The results highlighted the importance of early Dr Cheung established the Trans Medical Research “It’s been an awful lot of work, but it’s While it is easy to condemn the actions – or alleged detection and treatment and became federal government group in 2017, as part of her NHMRC early career been really satisfying to see our research actions – of such women, Professor Buist understands policy. fellowship, with the aim to conduct research that would translated into policy and now delivered that the situation for most is extremely complex. After completing that project, Professor Buist honed guide clinical care improvements for the Australian on the ground.” “Usually it’s a mixture of things like low intellect, her creative craft with three erotic novels and seven transgender community. mental illness, no supports, cultural issues, and they all novellas before publishing Medea’s Curse in 2015. That “I love my job. Coming to work every day is not coming Dr Cheung was surprised when she was accepted to mix in together and you think ‘there but for the grace of novel was followed by Dangerous to Know (2016) and This I to work, it’s a life. I’ve got a vision and I’m getting little wins study at Melbourne Medical School. god go I’,” she says. would Kill For (2018 – read more on page 43). along the way. That motivates me to keep going,” she says. “Everybody looked down on us growing up. My parents All three feature forensic psychiatrist Natalie King, who Dr Cheung began seeing transgender patients in 2016 emigrated in the 1970s with nothing. Home life was chaos. “The women I’ve seen who have been lives with bipolar disorder. They involve themes Professor after a lunch with Professor Jeffrey Zajac (MBBS 1977, PhD My father suffered from severe mental illness and spent charged and convicted ... I haven’t seen an Buist has encountered in real life, but never real people. 1985), Director of Endocrinology and Head of the University most of my childhood incarcerated. People thought I evil one yet. I’m not saying that evil doesn’t It’s important to her that her characters are relatable. of Melbourne Department of Medicine at Austin Health. would end up as nothing. Getting into medicine broke exist, but that’s not the group I’m seeing.” “I want all my characters, even the ones that are “Jeffrey was seeing more and more transgender the stereotype,” she says. doing bad stuff, generally, to be sympathetic,” she says. people, but he couldn’t find anybody else willing to see Dr Cheung met her husband, Will Lee (MBBS 2003), while Understanding why some women don’t cope with Professor Buist’s writing has always been supported them. I was astounded that doctors could refuse to see studying at Melbourne Medical School. They have two motherhood has been central to Professor Buist’s career, by her husband Dr Graeme Simsion (PhD 2007), an IT patients,” she says. young children, five and six. which has taken the unusual path of combining academia, specialist turned bestselling author of The Rosie At the time, Dr Cheung was near to completing her “Time with the kids is very much entwined with our research and clinical work with writing successful Project. They learn from each other and a book PhD, in which she explored the long-term muscle work. They do a weekend ward round with my husband, novels, including the thriller Medea’s Curse. they co-wrote, Two Steps Forward, has been and bone effects of hormone therapy for prostate or they see one of us doing talks, which they come along Now Professor of Women’s Mental Health optioned by Ellen Degeneres. cancer. Her award-winning research provided many to. I do a lot of my research at home once the kids have (Psychiatry) at Austin Health and the University Both always have a project or 10 on opportunities for career progression, but it had not gone to bed. I want them to grow up in a world which of Melbourne, Professor Buist’s life and CV are the go. been an easy road. respects diversity, which accepts people for being incredible by any measure. “I’m usually a little too far ahead of “As an Asian woman with two young children, themselves. They drive me.” She was exposed to the field of medicine early myself,” Professor Buist says. “I’m halfway I was used to fighting gender discrimination. I had Dr Cheung plans for the Trans Medical Research as the oldest of four daughters of prominent through the next Natalie King book and I’m endured racial abuse just before speaking with group to launch a longitudinal Australian gender health pathologist Dr Greg Buist (MBBS 1964), one of the already starting to think about the one after Jeffrey,” she says. study, a little like the Census, to guide their research few pathologists who would conduct autopsies on that. She’s a singer in a rock and roll band too, “When I heard about discrimination in the and to shape their goals. those who had died of HIV AIDS in the 1980s. Her which is one of my fantasies.” transgender community, it really struck a “We want the study to empower the transgender mother, Jean Buist OAM, worked as a nurse. She describes her medical career as chord with me.” community to guide policy makers into investing in As a child, Professor Buist wrote long-hand stories challenging but rewarding. She started with a project that documented health and wellbeing programs for the community,” and if she hadn’t followed her father into medicine “I love the unknowns, the grey, trying to the 10-fold rise in transgender patients seeking she says. would have tried journalism. By the age of 15, she make sense of the why and understand people.” medical services over five years. They also did a “At the moment, 40 per cent of trans people had several 40,000-word novels that she now As for Keli Lane, who is currently serving study with 1000 Australian transgender adults. have attempted suicide. We don’t understand describes as “truly awful”. 18 years in jail after being found guilty of the “I listened to hundreds of stories of the long-term effects of hormone therapies, But they soon took a back seat to her studies. murder of newborn Tegan, Professor Buist difficulty accessing medical care and societal we don’t know what happens with ageing, Professor Buist completed her MBBS at found that she did not fit the usual profile of a discrimination. These patients couldn’t find heart disease or cancer. Our team want to Monash University in 1981, then her Master woman who kills her child and felt there was doctors willing to treat them,” she says. provide an evidence base for treatments and to of Medicine and MD at the University of room for doubt. “Our survey asked what members of the trans see mental health outcomes improve. Societal Melbourne. She remembers her university “She would have to be the most unusual community thought the top priority for funding should be culture needs to change, and we hope to contribute days fondly, and the connections she [case],” Professor Buist says. “If you wrote that or what their biggest health issue was. It wasn’t hormone a little,” she says. made have kept her associated with the in fiction, most people would find it hard to therapy. It was better training for doctors in trans health.” If you would like to donate to trans medical research, University of Melbourne as a student, believe.” Next, they surveyed doctors and found that 96 per you can nominate this cause via the Melbourne Medical teacher, professor and mentor. cent of them had never been taught about transgender School donations page: After qualifying as a psychiatrist in 1989 (FRANZCP), Find out more about Anne’s latest thriller, health in medical school. Many of them lacked confidence alumni.online.unimelb.edu.au/TransMedicalResearch Professor Buist spent 25 years directing hospital mother This I Would Kill For, on page 43.
16 • CHIRON • REUNION WEEKEND REUNION WEEKEND • CHIRON • 17 A walk down memory lane BY CECILIA DOWLING T he doors of the Med Building are tall and transparent. In 1982, Dr Maria Dudycz (MBBS 1987, LLB (Hons) 1993) ran straight into them, overwhelmed with excitement to tell her friends waiting outside that she had been accepted to study medicine. Thirty-six years later, Dr Dudycz walked through those same doors for the Med Building Block Party, marking the opening of the inaugural Reunion Weekend. Held on a rainy November weekend in 2018, Reunion Weekend was a chance for Melbourne Medical School alumni to come back to campus for a range of events across the Parkville precinct. The inclement weather wasn’t enough to dampen the spirits of returning alumni. At the Block Party, Dr Dudycz was particularly curious to explore changes to the building as part of the Open House program and to see the premiere of the film celebrating 50 years of the triradiate Med Building, It Started in the Sunderland. For her, the highlight of Open House was the Virtual Reality Learning Studios. ABOVE developments in medicine there,” she says. Alumni explored Deputy Dean Professor Jane Gunn (MBBS 1987, We’ve got so many good scientific organisations working “It was wonderful to see these new the vast network PhD 1998) attended many events at Reunion Weekend. cheek by jowl … in Melbourne we’re good at collaborating tools for learning. I did CPR through of tunnels “I was there for both days. I had a look around at and that is how all this tradition and great science has beneath the Open House on the Friday evening and I thought the grown across disciplines.” the VR headset and I thought that Royal Melbourne VR Studio, the Harry Brookes Allen Museum of Anatomy Professor Doherty has a theory as to why Melbourne, was great.” Hospital as part and Pathology and the Bush Medicine exhibition were all as a city, is so collaborative: “Here everyone talks AFL. of Saturday’s wonderful. There was a great buzz … I was there to the It’s the great unifier. You can be a supporter of a team from “The 3D aspect shows the depth and the layers of the Discovery Tours. end and saw the last guest leave.” any corner of society.” He believes this helps to create a structure of the body, which is better than a 2D book for Professor Gunn was back the next day for the panel community of researchers that thrive. learning anatomy,” she says. OPPOSITE discussion, ‘Medical Research – Evolution and Progress’. Saturday’s Chiron Lunch was a chance for those who Next up, Dr Dudycz collected a choc top and took a seat Professor graduated more than 50 years ago to come together in the Sunderland Theatre for the premiere of the film, John Prins Professor Shitij Kapur, Dean of and share memories. Professor John Prins, Head of It Started in the Sunderland. She features in a scene that addresses guests the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry the Melbourne Medical School, counted it among his describes her determination to study medicine. Dr Dudycz, who was recently elected to the University’s at the Chiron and Health Sciences (MDHS), highlights of the weekend. Reunion Weekend returns in 2019 Luncheon. Alumni Council, grew up in Melbourne’s Western suburbs described the six panellists as “To be surrounded by esteemed The Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences will host the second and worked in a milk bar through her school years to help “truly representing research alumni who were so passionate annual Reunion Weekend on 29 and 30 November 2019. This year, alumni support her family. In the face of many obstacles, she excellence, the spirit of innovation from all schools within the Faculty will be invited to attend, drawing together achieved both a medical degree and a law degree from about the University was great fun alumni from a community of over 46,000. the University of Melbourne. Her career at the intersection and the commitment to healing that … there were lots of stories being Modelled on the success of Reunion Weekend 2018, festivities will include of these fields earned her induction onto the Victorian is the DNA of the Faculty.” told and many lively conversations a range of events held across the campus and the wider Parkville precinct. Honour Roll of Women in 2018. going on around the room.” Milestone class reunions will once again be an important focus of the weekend She was a key figure in the development of the Among the panel were Laureate Professor Peter for alumni across the Faculty. Disability Act 2006 (Vic) at VCAT and is devoted to Doherty AC (LLD 2012) and Professor Suzanne Cory AC Mark the dates 29–30 November 2019 in your diary for this year’s improving medical services for vulnerable Australians; (BSc 1964, MSc 1966, LLD 2015), who both noted that To set the Saturday evening reunion program in Reunion Weekend and keep an eye on your email inbox for updates. If you’re a pursuit that keeps her connected to her neighbourhoods collegiality and collaboration have made Melbourne motion, the Faculty hosted a Happy Hour, which preceded celebrating a milestone reunion this year, you’ll also receive an invitation to of origin. Australia’s primary research centre. cohort reunions held in venues across campus. Associate your class’s reunion event. “I spoke to some GPs from the western suburbs at the “The Parkville Precinct has always been known for Professor Hamish Ewing (MBBS 1973) is reunion champion Block Party and we had a good chat about changes and great science”, says Professor Cory. “It is a special place. for the MBBS Class of 1973. To update your email address, visit: medicine.unimelb.edu.au/visit/reunion
18 • CHIRON • REUNION WEEKEND REUNION WEEKEND • CHIRON • 19 It Started in the Sunderland: Celebrating 50 years of the Med Building The triradiate Med Building opened in 1968. Fifty years on, the new film It Started in the Sunderland showcases the stories of a handful of alumni whose careers and life journeys began within its walls. Alumni contributed memories and stories about their experiences in the building to form the foundations of the film, which is presented by comedy icon and medical alumnus Rob Sitch (MBBS 1987). Deputy Dean Professor Jane Gunn was involved in the Six members of Dr Elizabeth Chong’s (BBiomedSc 2006, production of the film and came up with the title. MBBS 2011) family were featured in It Started in the “A challenge was put to come up with a title. The stories Sunderland: “We are all very proud to have so many and the footage brought back a whole lot of memories about family members in the same vocation, and to have the being a medical student here and I realised that it all started shared history of being educated at Melbourne Medical in the Sunderland! School over a 70-year period! It was fascinating to hear “I know a good proportion of our class came to CLOCKWISE pain. Thinking back to when I started medical school, “In one scene, which is now at the beginning of the film, about other graduates of the medical school, and to see Happy Hour before walking to our reunion dinner. We FROM TOP LEFT I never imagined that I would be an early career research Rob Sitch was sitting in the lecture theatre. I think that the rich and varied careers MMS alumni have had.” appreciated the opportunity to catch-up with colleagues A floor talk by fellow, endocrinologist, trans ally and a parent of two triggered my memories of the importance of the theatre as a from other year groups at this reception, which was a curator Jacky young kids. Our 15-year reunion allowed for these student, because you spend so many hours there. ‘It Started lovely ‘stepping-off’ point for the various reunions.” Healy at the catch‑ups.” in the Sunderland’ had a good rhythm, so we went with that.” For Associate Professor Ewing, the MBBS 1973 reunion Indigenous dinner at University House at the Woodward was the Bush Medicine “The experiences we share result in Dr Christine Rodda (MBBS 1978, PhD 1989) highlight of Reunion Weekend. exhibition; lifelong friendships and comradery, contributed to the film as a member of a The Virtual small choir, comprised of MBBS 1978 alumni. which I cherish so much.” “Most of us had not met for five Reality Learning They performed the ‘Neuroanatomical Studios; The Aria’, which was originally a Med Medleys years. Wonderfully, there were Discovery Tours Over 1100 alumni and guests attended Reunion act performed in the ’70s for a favourite several in attendance who had not included a Weekend 2018. For Professor Prins, who had joined the lecturer, Professor Bradley. joined our reunions in the past.” glimpse at the University as Head of the Melbourne Medical School just “It was a parody on well-known Metro Tunnel weeks earlier, it was a memorable way to start his new role. operatic tunes to which neuroanatomical Across the hall at the Woodward, Dr Ada Cheung Parkville Station “Reunion Weekend was my initiation. It was a great way nomenclature was set, as an ‘aide memoire’ (MBBS 2003, PhD 2017), reunion champion for the MBBS site; Alumni to meet the alumni community and the large turnout was for examinations, full of the customary Class of 2003, attended her cohort reunion. explore the a sign of the connection they feel to this place. My job now comedy, script writing, music and great wit,” “We had a wonderful turn out! I spoke with our guest of Harry Brookes is to make sure we continue to provide value to our alumni says Dr Rodda. honour, former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry Allen Museum and keep them involved in the School going forward.” Performed once more for It Started and Health Sciences Professor Emeritus James Angus AO of Anatomy and Deputy Dean Professor Jane Gunn summed up the in the Sunderland, the filming was “a and was reminded that medical education is a lifelong Pathology. event: “It was just great to see all the different cohorts wonderful foretaste of our 40-year reunion, process. Through sharing experiences and knowledge, we together, from some of our more senior alumni all the way which I think was the highlight of Reunion never stop learning.” to our recent graduates. I think Reunion Weekend is going Weekend 2018.” Dr Cheung is now undertaking trans medical research to be a very strong institutional event that we do every It Started in the Sunderland will be at the University of Melbourne, a field that aims to improve year. It was fun! It could grow and grow and grow.” available to view later this year and will the level of healthcare available to transgender individuals be screened again at Reunion Weekend in (read more about her work on page 14). To see more photos and videos from Reunion Weekend 2019. Keep an eye on your inbox for updates! “My field is challenging but the reward outweighs the 2018, visit: medicine.unimelb.edu.au/visit/reunion
20 • CHIRON • PROFILE PROFILE • CHIRON • 21 Game-changer Not many people can say that their work has improved the lives of millions of people. But Dr John McHutchison AO can. BY MEEGAN WAUGH opportunity to achieve something D bigger, more important, on a larger rawn to medicine by a desire to change lives and scale. leave a lasting impact, Dr John McHutchison AO “I moved from Melbourne (MBBS 1981) has perhaps exceeded even his own to America to understand liver expectations. As the Chief Scientific Officer at leading diseases. I moved to Scripps Clinic US biotech company Gilead, he has been instrumental in to research hepatitis immunology developing a cure for hepatitis C, a disease killing nearly and create a program. I went to 400,000 people each year. Duke University to have a larger When we sit down to chat in December 2018 at impact, and then I went to industry University House, Dr McHutchison and his wife Kerstin – and Gilead to make an even larger a research project manager in the biotech industry – have impact. It’s a sequential series of recently arrived in Melbourne from their home base on events that have had more and the San Francisco Peninsula. more impact on a disease that I’m Despite the long flight, they’re in good spirits. They passionate about, that I’ve spent have come to Melbourne because Dr McHutchison is 30 years focusing on. receiving an Honorary Doctor of Medicine from the “About eight years ago Gilead University in recognition of his extraordinary career. ABOVE asked me to come and help make them the world’s “You think about these people and their stories, not a stumbling block somewhere along the road, It’s not something he ever expected, but he’s pleasantly Dr John largest liver disease company and to develop the curative the number,” he says. something that happens that needs to be understood surprised by how significant it feels. McHutchison regimens for hepatitis C – which we did.” He’s quick to emphasise that developing the curative and sorted out. “It’s an honour to be recognised by your alma mater. and wife Kerstin. The impact of hepatitis C is felt across the world. regiments wasn’t a one-man mission. “We bought a drug for hepatitis C for $11 billion … It means a lot. And it’s great to be back on campus. Just The virus can cause both acute and chronic liver “These hep C medicines … they require thousands very shortly after that a small experiment showed that walking around outside, some of it looks the same, some disease, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting of people, spending millions of hours. I might have led a we only cured 10 per cent of people. Stock fell 10 per of it’s very different. But it has the same spirit and feeling a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. An estimated part of it, but it wasn’t done in isolation. cent and everyone thought we’d made a big mistake, but about it … it brings back wonderful memories,” he says. 71 million people are chronically infected worldwide. “Collaboration is the cornerstone of good science. we understood what the problems with that experiment “There are parts of the medical campus that look the A significant number of those who are chronically Gone are the days where you have some genius sitting were, we readjusted and ended up sorting it out. same, and then you see great progress, as there should infected will develop cirrhosis, liver cancer or require in a lab with a rack of test tubes who’s going to make all “In academia there are always rejections, grant be in any field of science. The Doherty, the cancer centre, a liver transplant. the discoveries. You need a whole community of people rejections, experiments not working, that’s just part of it. the walkway between the hospitals, the new buildings The work Dr McHutchison working on a disease or a problem and you need to In science you do experiments on the other side of this campus on Swanston Street … has done at Gilead to cure collaborate … it’s critical to success.” and they fail … they’ll give you it’s great to see, new and old combined together, lots of “We’ve cured more than hepatitis C is – unsurprisingly – “If you think you’re smart enough to be able to do it “Think big, don’t narrow the answer you expect, or they energy and activity.” 1.7 million people so far. a major career highlight. all yourself, you’re very wrong.” your focus early on, won’t. That’s just the way it is. While he’s here, he will also make an address to the There are 71 million people “Coming to Gilead and He’s passionate about surrounding himself with be attracted by what And that’s ok, that’s not failure, new medical graduates. As he prepares for the address, creating a simple treatment good people. Supporting and mentoring the next it’s just part of the process. If infected with hepatitis C, fascinates and excites Dr McHutchison reflects on his own path since graduating – one pill a day for eight to 12 generation of doctors and researchers is also something you let it get you down, if you’re from Melbourne Medical School: a series of strategic so we’ve got 69 million to weeks that cures 95–99 per Dr McHutchison feels strongly about. During his time you and head in those a glass half empty rather than a choices – both professional and personal – that have led go. That’s what Gilead is cent of people with hepatitis C, as an academic in the United States he trained many directions. That would glass half full person, you won’t to his position at the forefront of curing hepatitis C. working on now.” anywhere in the world, with any Australian students and paid them a salary – a rarity in be my advice to anybody.” reach your full potential.” “Hepatology was my chosen speciality after I finished strain of the virus, in any way, American universities. It’s a passion he has carried across Thinking big is a philosophy medical school, and that was because I was in part shape or form – doing all of that into his work at Gilead. Dr McHutchison lives every day. trained here as a student by a famous immunologist, in six years was amazing.” “Even in my current job, it’s important that I train the Even after everything he’s achieved, he hasn’t stopped Professor Ian MacKay. He was one of the great It’s clear that Dr McHutchison is personally invested next generation of leaders, the people who are going to thinking about the next big challenge. translational scientists and immunologists, one of the in his work. He recounts the time one of his colleagues take over from me and the next few layers down – scientists “We’re working on curing hepatitis B. There are first in the field,” he says. at Gilead showed him a video message from a friend of a and physicians, researchers, drug developers. I spend a 250 million people in the world with hepatitis B – it kills After completing his medical training in the late ’80s, friend. He pulls out his phone and plays the video for us; lot of time hiring good people, interacting with them and more people than any other infectious disease in the Dr McHutchison left Australia and spent almost 25 years it’s a woman who had been living with hepatitis C and helping them. We often have them over for Thanksgiving!” world. You have to think, ‘what’s the problem?’” building his hepatology research expertise in the United is now cured. Her gratitude is palpable as she thanks Dr So, what would he say to those students studying at States. “I’ve always been quite interested in being able McHutchison for his part in changing her life. He’s seen this Melbourne Medical School today? To read more profiles of exceptional Melbourne Medical School to change things … my moves have always been for an video countless times, but he still finds it deeply moving. “Science is always full of challenges. There’s alumni, visit: medicine.unimelb.edu.au/engage/alumni
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