Ralph Slatyer Medal award ceremony and lecture

Please join us for an evening with the 2019 winner of the Ralph Slatyer medal Professor Geoff McFadden who will present on Malaria: the plant connection.

Malaria is still a major global health problem, and the spread of drug resistance is making it worse. We combine our knowledge of parasite evolution, metabolism, genetics, and life cycle to identify the best drugs to fight malaria and ultimately win the resistance battle.

About Professor Geoff McFadden

Geoff McFadden is an ARC Laureate Professor in the School of Biosciences, University of Melbourne. He is best known for his discovery of the remnant chloroplast (apicoplast) of the malaria-causing parasite Plasmodium. This discovery has had far-reaching implications on our understanding of the evolution of these parasites, and in the treatment of malaria and related diseases. Professor McFadden began his career characterising the micro-algae of Antarctica and his research has spanned chloroplast evolution, parasite cell biology, and, more recently, drug resistance.

He has published more than 240 papers, many in high profile journals such as Nature, Science and PNAS. He has been a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Sciences since 2005, and is a Fellow of the Australian Society of Parasitology, and the American Society of Microbiology. His awards include two Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scholar's awards, the Royal Society of Victoria medal, the Australian Academy7 of Science's Frederick White Prize and the Ramaciotti Medal.

His other interests include 1950s American cars, keeping bees, old motorbikes, and making and riding wooden surfboards.

About the Ralph Slatyer medal

The Research School of Biology established the Ralph Slatyer medal for outstanding research in the field of biology, including biomedical science, in honour of emeritus Professor Ralph Slatyer AO, FAA, FRS. Professor Slatyer was a distinguished scientist, a former Director of the RSB and the first Chief Scientist of Australia (1989 - 1992).

The medal is awarded annually, to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to biological science and is an Australian citizen, or Australian resident, or whose work has significant relevance to Australia. It may be awarded for either a major discovery or for a lifetime's achievement.

The medal was designed by Steven Holland, who was Artist in Residence at RSB in 2015, under the ANU Vice-Chancellor's College Artist Fellowship Scheme. The design features Snow Gum (Eucalyptus pauciflora) leaves collected from the Snowy Mountains, both tree and location having special meaning to Professor Slatyer. The centre of the design represents the sun, and the inner wavy lines represent plant-water relations and photosynthesis.

Event will commence at 5.30pm, and will include a 45 minute lecture and presentation of the medal to Professor Geoff McFadden, followed by a reception from 6.30 - 7pm