Cancer vaccine innovator honored with prestigious Florey Medal

Australian of the Year 2006, Professor Ian Frazer, will this evening follow in the footsteps of some of Australias greatest medical researchers, including Nobel Laureates Professor Barry Marshall and Professor Robin Warren, by being awarded the Merck Sharp & Dohme Florey Medal.

The prestigious honour is part of the Australian Institute of Policy and Sciences Tall Poppy Campaign and named after Australias first Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Sir Howard Florey, who made an indelible print on world health by developing penicillin.

The award comes as a clinical trial is about to get underway in Vanuatu to establish how effectively cervical cancer can be controlled in the developing world, where disease rates are higher than in the Western world, through use of appropriate screening technologies and deployment of the vaccine Professor Frazer created with his colleague, the late Dr Jian Zhou.

The study will also guide cervical cancer prevention strategies in resource poor settings and test the utility of delivering the vaccine to young children as part of a routine childhood immunisation schedule.

In addition, Professor Frazers research is now being developed by two Australian biotechnology companies to develop break-through approaches to treatment and prevention of Herpes and Hepatitis C.

Professor Rick McLean, Chair of the Tall Poppy Campaign and member of the Selection Committee for the Merck Sharp & Dohme Florey Medal, said the bi-annual accolade was created in 1998, the centenary of Sir Howard Floreys birth, to celebrate world standing achievements in biomedical science and human health advancement by Australian researchers.

"Around 20 top ranking scientists were in the running for this years medal. Professor Frazer was the clear winner reflecting the public health significance of the cervical cancer vaccine here and around the world," he said.

Professor McLean said the first winners of the Fl

Contact: Jackie Crossman
Research Australia

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