Len HarrisonJDRF has announced that the recipient of the 2013 JDRF Lifetime Research Achievement Award is Professor Leonard Harrison of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

The JDRF Lifetime Research Achievement Award recognises the long-standing nature and high quality of contributions of the very best Australian researchers who have steered global directions of type 1 diabetes research.

Head of JDRF’s Research Development Dr Dorota Pawlak PhD said, “Professor Harrison’s career has spanned exceptional achievements in understanding the mechanisms of immune tolerance, advancing antigen specific therapies and defining paradigms for factors that contribute towards the development of type 1 diabetes.”

“His lifelong work to understand autoimmunity in type 1 diabetes and pioneering work in the prevention of the disease has significantly accelerated research progress towards JDRF’s mission to cure type 1 diabetes and its complications.”

“In doing so, Prof. Harrison’s leadership and guidance has played a vital role in recognising Australia as a major global hub for type 1 diabetes research. It has provided great hope for better therapies and treatments for people living with type 1 diabetes every day.”

Prof Harrison’s major research interests are immune regulation and immune therapies, applied to type 1 diabetes. His achievements are documented in 500 clinical and basic research publications and several patents. His awards for research include C.J. Martin Fellowship, Wellcome Australia (Glaxo) Medal, Susman Prize (Royal Australian College of Physicians), Kellion Medal (Australian Diabetes Society) and Rumbough Award for Scientific Excellence (JDRF).

Len has been a Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research, President of the Australian Diabetes Society, President of the Immunology of Diabetes Society and Professor/Director of the Burnet Clinical Research Unit and Department of Immunology and Allergy at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

The Award was presented to Professor Harrison at the conference dinner of the International Congress of the Immunology of Diabetes Society.

Dr Pawlak said “JDRF sincerely thanks Prof Harrison for his contribution to influencing research directions on the path to a cure for type 1 diabetes.”


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