Awarded to Professor Leonard C Harrison
Director, Burnet Clinical Research Unit and Consultant Immunologist, The Royal Melbourne Hospital
Professor, Population Health and Immunity Division, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
BioMedVic warmly congratulates the recipient of the 2016 VCRN Career Recognition Award – Prof Leonard Harrison.
Prof Harrison was one of the pioneers of research on the immune pathogenesis, pre-clinical diagnosis, prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes in Australia.
He established immune and metabolic testing for individuals with pre-clinical type 1 diabetes, which is now practiced at major paediatric centres. He also changed the paradigm to type 1 diabetes being recognised as an immune disease which laid the groundwork for his prevention trials and for a major reduction in the risk for life-threatening clinical presentation with ketoacidosis.
Beyond his translational research, Prof Harrison has made several basic discoveries, including the mechanism of beta-cell destruction, insulin-induced immune tolerance and epigenetic mechanisms in human T cells.
He has supervised over 40 postgraduate students, many of which have become leaders in their fields of science.
His colleague and nominator, Prof Ingrid Winship, named Prof Harrison an “exemplar” clinician scientist and mentor, stressing that his discoveries and mentorship contributed significantly to Australia’s strength in type 1 diabetes research.