UNSW Sydney appoints new Dean of Medicine


UNSW Sydney appoints new Dean of Medicine

The former Executive Director of the George Institute for Global Health, Professor Vlado Perkovic, starts as UNSW’s new Dean of Medicine on 1st October.

1 October 2019: After more than two decades in research and leadership positions at The George Institute for Global Health Professor Perkovic will take up the role of Dean of Medicine at UNSW Sydney on 1st October.

He succeeds Professor Rodney Phillips, who will move to the new role of Pro Vice-Chancellor, Health within the Division of Enterprise at UNSW, after four and a half years leading the Faculty.

“This is a challenging and exciting time to take on the role of Dean,” says Professor Perkovic. “The role will offer many opportunities to make a difference to people’s health and how we train the doctors of the future. Some of the massive global challenges that we’re facing in health and in education – from the epidemic of obesity to the need to manage comorbidities as people live longer – create enormous possibilities to make a real impact.

Professor Perkovic trained as a general physician in internal medicine and specialised in nephrology at Royal Melbourne Hospital. He was subsequently pulled toward a career in medical research and has since published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, which have produced major findings identifying better ways to prevent and treat kidney disease, including multiple clinical trials and meta-analyses.

After completing his PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2005, he moved to Sydney to take a senior position at The George Institute and managed international trials that have changed global treatment guidelines for kidney disease. He was appointed Executive Director of The George Institute of Global Health (Australia) and Professor of Medicine at the University of Sydney in 2012, Professor of Medicine at UNSW in 2017 and played a central role in developing an affordable dialysis system, which was a Eureka Prize finalist in 2017.

“Specialising in kidney disease gave me a chance to make a real difference to patients’ lives. It is a rare area of medicine where people can be incredibly sick, with terrible quality of life, and after a kidney transplant, they just come alive. It’s incredible to be part of, and something I still really enjoy.”

Leading the 2019 CREDENCE trial, an international study that discovered a treatment that reduced kidney failure rates by a third, was one of the major highlights of his career, he says.

“Medical schools have a mandate to help society move forward and tackle our collective challenges. To be progressive, address inherent disadvantages in the health system, harness underused technology, improve health care in remote areas and be a part of a global community that helps people wherever they live,” Professor Perkovic said.

Professor Perkovic said the development of UNSW’s partner hospitals in the south-east and south-west of Sydney was critical in allowing universities and researchers to connect with community.

“With these developments, we will be uniquely placed with the largest co-located health, innovation and education zone in NSW. This integration with adjacent Randwick hospitals will put the faculty at the forefront to deliver improved health care of the future.”

President and Vice-Chancellor of UNSW Sydney, Professor Ian Jacobs, congratulated Professor Perkovic on the new appointment and highlighted Professor Perkovic’s breadth of experience in leadership roles.

“Professor Perkovic is one of the nation’s top kidney disease experts and a leader in translating high impact research into outcomes for patients that have had a major effect on the lives of people around the world,” Professor Jacobs said.

“Having successfully led the Sydney hub of our partner The George Institute, which is one of Australia’s largest medical research institutes, Professor Perkovic will bring enormous experience to his role as Faculty Dean. We have exciting and ambitious plans for the Faculty during Professor Percovic’s time as Dean as we shape the Faculty and University to play a prominent role in addressing global, national and local healthcare challenges.”

Professor Jacobs acknowledged the quality of the work of Professor Phillips in leading the Faculty for almost five years.

“UNSW Medicine is one of the world’s top medical faculties and our students, clinicians and researchers have prospered under Professor Phillips’ leadership. I am grateful to Professor Phillips for his stellar contribution which includes bringing the George to UNSW and assisting with plans for our Randwick Health and Education Precinct. I am delighted that he will continue at UNSW in the role of PVC Health with particular responsibility for the new precinct.”

For more about UNSW Medicine: https://med.unsw.edu.au/

/Public Release.