ANU Researcher elected as a Fellow to Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

Professor Carola Vinuesa
15 October 2020

The Australian National University (ANU) congratulates Professor Carola Vinuesa, who has been elected as one of the newest Fellows to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS).

Professor Vinuesa is an internationally recognised scientist and role model who demonstrates outstanding leadership and contributions to her field in Australia.

ANU Vice Chancellor Brian Schmidt said: “Professor Vinuesa’s scientific career is not just defined by a single significant discovery, but rather a narrative of exceptional research.”

As the joint Director of the Centre for Personalised Immunology, Professor Vinuesa has helped understand the genetic contribution to autoimmune disease in order to understand pathogenesis, refine diagnosis and develop improved approaches to therapy.

Professor Vinuesa’s team carries out fundamental research into the cells and molecules that regulate antibody responses.

Her discoveries are helping monitor vaccination efficiency and improving our understanding of HIV reservoirs, susceptibility to viral infections, allergies, transplant rejection and immune diseases in general.

Professor Vinuesa has remained at the cutting edge of the genomic revolution throughout her career, most recently applying whole genome sequencing to forensic investigation, and her recent effort could unlock the case of Kathleen Folbigg - who is over halfway through a 30-year prison sentence for the murder and manslaughter of her four children.

ANU Professor Graham Mann, Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, hailed this success.

“It’s wonderful for us all to be reminded of the quality and impact of our researchers, especially in such a hard year. Carola has been recognised by her peers in the Academy as a national authority in her field and inspiring research leader.”

Professor Vinuesa’s research career is underpinned by her passion for improving the lives of those both near and far, and she is inspired by the belief that genomic medicine is for everyone.

She is a joint director of the China-Australia Centre for Personalised Immunology, based at Renji Hospital in Shanghai, and a group leader at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, providing invaluable mentorship to the next generation of researchers.

Amongst a multitude of achievements, including the Science Minister’s Prize for Life Scientist of the year (2008), the Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Sciences (2009), Professor Vinuesa has been awarded the Elizabeth Blackburn Fellowship for the NHMRC’s top female researcher in biomedical science in Australia – twice.