ANU professor named ACT Citizen of the Year

12 March 2014

ANU Professor Chris Parish, Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, has been named the 2014 Canberra Citizen of the Year in recognition of his life’s work in cancer and immunology research.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher presented the award and said Professor Parish had helped build Canberra’s reputation as a centre of excellence for medical research, while also helping to improve the quality of life for cancer sufferers around the world.

“Professor Parish is recognised today for his inspiration and contribution over many years to the research community, and also to the broader health system in the ACT,” the Chief Minister said.

An immunologist and cancer biologist with a research career of 40 years, Professor Parish is recognised as a world leader in research into the regulation of the immune system, and the role of complex carbohydrates in immune cell and cancer cell behaviour.

His research findings underpin six Australian biotechnology companies, including three Canberra-based companies Biotron, Lipotek and Beta Therapeutics.

"I'm honoured and delighted to receive such a prestigious community award. It is definitely the highlight of the many years I have spent in Canberra,” Professor Parish said.

“Also, I am pleased to see that the award has been given, for the first time, to a Canberra research scientist."

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Ian Young, AO, congratulated Professor Parish on his award.

“Professor Parish has been a valued member of the ANU community for the past 40 years. As a member of the academic staff at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, he has been the driving force behind significant advances in cancer and immunology research,” Professor Young said.

“We congratulate him on this well-deserved honour.”

In 2005, Professor Parish was awarded the Clive and Vera Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research. In 2011 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Industry and also became an Honorary Life Member of the Australasian Society for Immunology.

The Canberra Citizen of the Year is an honour awarded by the ACT Government, to recognise those who have made a significant contribution to the community.

To hear Professor Chris Parish discuss his work in immunology and cancer research, see http://www.anu.edu.au/vision/videos/3681/