SVI Director, Professor Tom Kay, has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS). Tom was one of 50 new Fellows announced at a ceremony in Brisbane last night. Fellows are drawn from all states and territories of Australia, and from all aspects of health and medical science across clinical practice and allied health care, with representation from basic translational and clinical research, health economics, general practice and public health.
Tom has been recognised for his major contributions to the medical research sector, which include leadership of SVI, increased understanding of the immune mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes and important clinical contributions to pancreatic islet transplantation.
He established the Tom Mandel Islet Transplant Program in Melbourne, which performed Victoria’s first islet transplant in 2007. As well as carrying out transplants to reverse diabetes in people with severe hypoglycaemia not controlled with usual treatment, the Program is a platform on which to build new technologies for beta-cell replacement. It supplies researchers around Australia with human islets and is also an important clinical research opportunity.
In addition to his role as Director of SVI, Tom is the Executive Director of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery, which will be Australia’s first hospital-based bioengineering research and education hub. It will bring together clinicians, scientists and engineers from hospitals, academia and industry to solve clinical problems.