Breast cancer researcher recognised by UK Royal Society

The United Kingdom’s national science academy, the Royal Society, has recognised the achievements of Melbourne breast cancer researcher Professor Jane Visvader, bestowing its fellowship on her.

Smiling researcher

Breast cancer researcher Professor Jane Visvader is

one of three Australians to be elected as Fellows of

the UK Royal Society in 2020

Professor Visvader is one of only three Australians – and among 62 people worldwide – to be elected to the Royal Society in 2020. She was honoured for her significant contributions to breast cancer research and developmental biology, which have revealed how the breast is formed from stem cells, and the relationship between normal breast cells and cancer.

Professor Visvader’s research discoveries have underpinned the development of better ways to treat and prevent breast cancer, some of which are now in clinical trials.

At a glance

  • Breast cancer researcher Professor Jane Visvader has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the United Kingdom’s national science academy.
  • The award reflects Professor Visvader’s lifetime contributions to understanding how normal and cancerous breast cells develop, and discovering better ways to prevent and treat breast cancer.

Significant research contributions

Professor Visvader has jointly led the Institute’s breast cancer research program since its establishment in 1998. Her team has investigated the molecular workings of cells within the breast, understanding how they develop and what goes wrong when cancers arise. This work has revealed new approaches to treating and preventing breast cancer.

Highlights of Professor Visvader’s research have included:

International recognition

Professor Visvader said she was honoured to join the Royal Society. “The society has promoted excellence in science for more than 350 years, and I am very humbled to be elected to a fellowship that includes many scientific luminaries,” she said.

“I’d like to emphasise that my achievements have been shared with many people – in particular my long-standing scientific partner Professor Geoff Lindeman, as well as all the talented researchers who have been part of our team. I would also like to thank Professor Suzanne Cory, Professor Jerry Adams and Professor Doug Hilton for their mentorship and leadership throughout my career.”

“I’d also like to acknowledge the significant philanthropic support that has enabled me to focus on my research. Funding from the Australian and Victorian governments has also been instrumental.”

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute director Professor Doug Hilton AO said Professor Visvader was one of Australia’s leading cancer researchers and thoroughly deserving of recognition by the Royal Society.

“Jane’s research has been particularly notable for how it has spanned from fundamental research discoveries through to clinical research. I am in awe of the passion and vision she has, to be able to take discoveries in the basic biology of the breast and to translate this into research that is benefitting people with breast cancer,” he said.

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