New advice to guide research funding


Date published:

September 17, 2021

Type of support:

Press release


General public

The Morrison government has announced the new composition of the expert advisory board that will define the country’s research strategy for the next five years to support our best and brightest medical researchers and innovators.

The Australian Medical Research Advisory Board (AMRAB) advises the government on research and innovation priorities under the historic $ 20 billion fund for future medical research (MRFF).

The priorities guide MRFF’s research investments to reduce the disease burden, deliver practical benefits, or deliver the greatest value to all Australians.

Australia has a strong track record in medical research and discovery. In welcoming the new members, I know they will bring a wealth of new ideas and perspectives from across the industry.

The new AMRAB is made up of renewed former members and new members, which ensures the continuity of knowledge and expertise in the field of medical research and innovation. All AMRAB members have contributed to research and will continue to advance Australia’s research potential.

Collectively, they have expertise and experience in the areas of health and medical research (including within the workforce), health systems policy, management or delivery of health. health services (including clinical expertise), medical innovation, financing and investment, marketing, philanthropy and health related consumer issues.

Professor Ian Frazer AC will continue to chair the new AMRAB. He was its first president when it was founded in 2016. He is recognized as the co-inventor of the technology for HPV vaccines, currently used worldwide to help prevent cervical cancer. Professor Frazer will be supported in his role by Professor Caroline Homer AO who is a new member and has been appointed Vice-President.

Half of new AMRAB members are women and the Morrison government has pledged that women hold 50 percent of government board positions overall with at least 40 percent male representation and women in individual boards.

A key task for the new AMRAB will be to consult on the Australian government’s next five-year strategy for medical research and innovation (Strategy) and Australia’s priorities for medical research and innovation. The strategy, established in 2016, sets out the vision, goals and objectives of the MRFF.

These have provided a broad platform that has enabled the MRFF to be responsive to current health challenges, while continuing to fund projects that drive health and medical research across the research pipeline and reach the strategic objectives of the MRFF.

The next strategy and related priorities will build on this success. A live public webinar and written submissions will be part of the consultation process and more information on the consultation process will be provided shortly in the MRFF newsletter (available at , as well as on the Department of Health website.

The Morrison government’s $ 20 billion MRFF is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, grow the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the healthcare system. This is the largest increase in funding for health and medical research in Australian history.

AMRAB members


Background and experience

New / old member

Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chairman)

Professor Ian Frazer is a scientist and professor of medicine at the University of Queensland. He is the former President and CEO (CEO) and Research Director of the Institute for Translational Research. He is now Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Translation Research Institute Foundation.

Previous president

Professor Caroline Homer AO (Vice-president)

Professor Homer is Co-Director of the Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health Program at the Burnet Institute and Emeritus Professor of Midwifery at the University of Technology Sydney. She was President and National President of the Australian College of Midwives from 2014 to 2018.

New member and new vice-president

Professor Anne Kelso AO (Ex-Officio Member)

Professor Kelso is the CEO of the National Board of Health and Medical Research.

Previous member

Professor Denise Doolan

Professor Doolan is Deputy Director of the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Director of the James Cook University Center for Molecular Therapeutics.

New member

Professor Douglas Hilton AO

Professor Hilton is Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Head of the Department of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne and Past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institute.

Previous member

Ms. Imelda Lynch

Ms. Lynch is the Executive Director of the National Heart Foundation of South Australia and the Northern Territory in Australia. She was the founding CEO of Bellberry Ltd from 2004 to 2014.

New member

Professor Tom Calma AO

Professor Calma is Chancellor of the University of Canberra and Professor of Practice (Indigenous Engagement) at the University of Sydney.

New member

Mr. Yasser El Ansary

Mr. El-Ansary is the Managing Director of the Australian Investment Council, where he is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organization’s work representing the private equity and venture capital industry in Australia.

Previous member


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