IHMRI Executive Director Professor David Adams

IHMRI CEO gains national recognition

IHMRI CEO gains national recognition

First Wollongong researcher elected to prestigious Academy

The Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) CEO and Executive Director Distinguished Professor David J. Adams has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).

Professor Adams, from the University of Wollongong's School of Medicine, is the first Illawarra researcher to be elected to the AAHMS, a collective of almost 400 health and medical researchers across Australia.

He said he hopes to help put health and medical research in the Illawarra region on the national radar.

“I hope that my election to the Academy will raise the profile of not only IHMRI, but all health and medical research in our area,” he said.

Professor Adams is one of only 28 to be elected this year. His selection also gives him the opportunity to mentor younger early and mid-career researchers to support career development.

This comes as the coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainty around job security for early and mid-career researchers.

“As a Fellow, I’m expected to nominate potential candidates for election to AAHMS. I’m excited to be mentoring other outstanding health and medical researchers at IHMRI, UOW and the Illawarra-Shoalhaven Local Health District,” said Professor Adams.

He also explained the significance of putting a spotlight on regional research.

“It is great to see representation from outside of the capital cities and my role in nominating new fellows will help further the Illawarra’s reputation in health and medical research.”

Professor Adams is internationally recognised as a leader in membrane physiology and neuroscience research.

In 2018, he established the Electrophysiology Facility for Cell Phenotyping and Drug Discovery, which houses state-of-the-art technology allowing researchers to examine nearly 400 living cells at one time.

In 2019 he became only the fourth Australian-based physiologist to be inducted into the American Physiological Society, a community of more than 10,000 scientists across multiple disciplines relating to physiology.

New Fellows of AAHMS are typically announced at the Academy’s Annual General and Scientific Meeting and Gala Dinner in Canberra, however COVID-19 restrictions have interrupted the usual celebrations.

“I’m hopeful that that will occur in 2021, but until then I am comfortable with the New Fellows Celebration Ceremony held via webinar.”