The Tony Ayers Prize

The Tony Ayers Prize is awarded for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine in the ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment, is named in honour of long-term John James Foundation Board member Mr Tony Ayers AC.

The Prize takes the form of an Annual Public Lecture and will include an Award Certificate and $5,000. 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 Prize to the awardee, who may be asked to participate in publicity associated with the event.

2021

Professor Philip Batterham

Professor Philip Batterham is the 2021 Winner of the Tony Ayers Prize 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.

2020

Unawarded

2019

Dr Michelle Banfield

Dr Michelle Banfield has been awarded the 2019 John James Foundation Tony Ayers Prize for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine.

Dr 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.

2018

Associate Professor Di Yu

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

Associate Professor Di Yu leads the TIM3 (T-Cell Immune Mechanism, Monitoring and Modulation) at The John Curtin School of Medical Research. His group investigates 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.

2017

Unawarded

2016

Professor Robyn Lucas

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

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

2015

Associate Professor Anselm Enders

Dr Anselm Enders was presented with the 2015 John James Foundation Tony Ayers Prize for Excellence in Research in Translational Medicine. Dr Enders presented a public lecture on his work, which is designed to translate findings from mouse models in order to better understand the pathogenesis of human immunodeficiencies.

2014

Associate Professor Anneke Blackburn

Dr Anneke Blackburn, an expert in the use of a cheap, non-toxic drug, known as DCA, as a cancer therapy. Dr 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.

Dr 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.