Barry and Joy Lambert were conferred with Honorary Fellowships at the University of Sydney’s Great Hall today in recognition of their support for medicinal cannabis research.
Mr and Mrs Lambert, whose granddaughter Katelyn has Dravet syndrome – which their family treats with medicinal cannabis – are recognised for their ongoing support and advocacy for research into the efficacy and safety of what some people hope might be the next ‘breakthrough treatment’.
The couple was conferred with Honorary Fellowships by Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence at the Faculty of Medicine and Health graduation ceremony in recognition of their “substantial contributions to research excellence at the University through the establishment of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics”.
In 2015, Barry and Joy pledged $33.7 million to the University of Sydney for research into the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis at the Brain and Mind Centre. Their gift is being used to fund the Lambert Initiative.
The Lambert Initiative, in the University’s Brain and Mind Centre, is a world-leading research centre focussed on developing safe and effective cannabinoids. The Lambert Initiative is also committed to outreach and routinely provides expert advice and education to medical professionals, pharmacists, the government and the general community.
Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world.
The citation reads: Barry and Joy’s continued financial and ideological support has transformed the University’s research efforts in this area and allowed the University to lead Australia and the world in the science of cannabis and cannabinoids. The Lamberts’ support has enabled the creation of state-of-the-art facilities that are now thriving with the research activity of around 40 researchers.
“Both Barry and Joy were driven by the need to alleviate the life-threatening seizures experienced by their granddaughter, Katelyn, who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome at the age of two. Because of her treatment with medicinal cannabis, Katelyn can now go to school and experience life as a typical eight-year-old.
“Barry and Joy are fierce proponents of the need to change the way we think about cannabis and have campaigned strongly for greater patient access to cannabis-based medications.”
Barry is now the Chairman of Ecofibre, which produces and distributes hemp-derived products to consumers and retailers in the United States.
The citation concludes: “Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world who suffer from conditions that may be alleviated by the use of safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics.”