Tony Ayers Award

Tony Ayers Award is awarded for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine in the ANU College of Medicine is named in honour of long-term John James Foundation Board member the late Tony Ayers AC.

The Award takes the form of an Annual Public Lecture and will include an Award Certificate and $15,000. This Public Lecture is to focus on the research that has led to the award, including the translational aspects of the work. A representative of the John James Foundation will present the award to the awardee, who may be asked to participate in publicity associated with the event.


Professor Mark Polizzotto

Professor Mark Polizzotto is the 2022 recipient of the Tony Ayers Award for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine. Polizzotto’s team works to understand cancers, particularly cancers caused by infections, with a goal of developing simple, effective therapies that can be used by those who most need them.


Professor Philip Batterham

Professor Philip Batterham is the 2021 Winner of the Tony Ayers Award for Excellence in Research and Translational Medicine. His research interests include implementing digital tools to prevent mental disorders, reducing risk of suicide, assessing mental health in the population, and reducing the stigma of mental illness.




Associate Professor Michelle Banfield

Associate Professor Michelle Banfield has been awarded the 2019 John James Foundation Tony Ayers Award for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine.

Associate Professor Banfield, who is Head of Lived Experience Research at the ANU Centre for Mental Health Research, leads a program that takes a health systems approach to evidence for effective mental health services.


Professor Di Yu

Professor Di Yu received the John James Foundation Tony Ayers Award for his work in translational medicine in 2018.

Professor Di Yu led the TIM3 (T-Cell Immune Mechanism, Monitoring and Modulation) at The John Curtin School of Medical Research. His group investigated the molecular mechanisms used by T-cells to regulate and balance the immune response, to design new strategies for immunotherapies to treat inflammation, autoimmune diseases, infections and cancer.




Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas

Emeritus Professor Robyn Lucas has been awarded the 2016 John James Foundation Tony Ayers Award for Excellence in Translational Medicine.

Emeritus Professor Lucas, was recognised for her work investigating links between sun exposure, Vitamin D and multiple sclerosis. At the time of the award she was the Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health.


Associate Professor Anselm Enders

Associate Professor Anselm Enders was presented with the 2015 John James Foundation Tony Ayers Award for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine. Associate Professor Enders’s work, is designed to translate findings from mouse models in order to better understand the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiencies.


Associate Professor Anneke Blackburn

Associate Professor Anneke Blackburn, an expert in the use of a cheap, non-toxic drug, known as DCA, as a cancer therapy. Associate Professor Blackburn’s pre-clinical studies on the effect of DCA in breast cancer have been extended to include work on colon cancer, prostate cancer, sarcomas and multiple myeloma and will result in the first clinical trial of the drug with multiple myeloma patients in Australia at The Canberra Hospital late in 2014.

Associate Professor Blackburn’s research is investigating how metabolism controls the ability of cancer cells to grow, spread and resist cell death. The results will be used to target cancer cells with DCA, with the potential to offer additional treatment options for people with recurrent cancer.