Professor Sharon Lewin is Melburnian of the Year

Angus Morgan

15 November, 2014

Leading HIV scientist, infectious diseases physician and former Co-Head of Burnet Institute’s Centre for Biomedical Research, Professor Sharon Lewin, has been named Melburnian of the Year for 2014.

The award, for Professor Lewin’s outstanding research into HIV and commitment to scientific excellence, is the highest accolade of the City of Melbourne.

Speaking at a gala ceremony at Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday night, Professor Lewin said she was surprised and delighted by her award.

“Melbourne’s reputation as an international centre for medical research is rapidly growing due to the tireless and innovative work of many in our industry,“ she said.

“To be singled out for this accolade is a wonderful honour and something I’m extremely proud of.”

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle paid tribute to Professor Lewin’s leadership as the local co-chair of the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne in July.

He said her laboratory and clinic research towards finding a cure for HIV, which started at Burnet, and which is now continuing in her new role as Director of the Doherty Institute, also needed to be acknowledged.

“The Melburnian of the Year is bestowed on one outstanding individual who provides community leadership and inspiration in their everyday life and work,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Professor Lewin demonstrated these qualities and continues to do so.”

Professor Lewin took up her new role with the Doherty Institute in September after distinguishing herself in the field of HIV research during her 11 years with Burnet.

Professor Lewin completed her medical training at Monash University, Melbourne; her specialist infectious diseases specialist training at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne; her PhD in virology from Burnet and her Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Rockefeller University, New York.

She is a former head of the Department of Infectious Diseases, Alfred Health, and a past President of the Australasian Society for HIV Medicine, the peak professional body that represents all clinicians and researchers working in HIV in Australia.

Professor Lewin has received continuous research funding from the Australian NHMRC since 1993 as well as funding from NIH, AmFAR and the Wellcome Trust.

The judging of the Melburnian of the Year involves a panel of more than 50 business and community leaders and a thorough application and interview process.

Former winners of the award include music promoter Michael Gudinski, businessman and philanthropist Harold Mitchell AC, AFL legend Ron Barassi AM, and the founder of Breast Cancer Network Australia, Lyn Swinburne AM.


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Angus Morgan

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