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New Board to guide research funding

The Australian Government has announced the new membership of the expert advisory board that will chart the nation’s research strategy for the next five years to support our best and brightest medical researchers and innovators.

The Hon Greg Hunt MP
Former Minister for Health and Aged Care

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The Morrison Government has announced the new membership of the expert advisory board that will chart the nation’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 landmark $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

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

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

The new AMRAB is composed of renewed previous members and new members, which ensures continuity in knowledge and expertise across the medical research and innovation sector. All AMRAB members have contributed to research and will continue to advance Australia's research potential.

Collectively, they possess expertise and experience in health and medical research (including across workforce), policy relating to health systems, management or delivery of health services (including clinical expertise), medical innovation, financing and investment, commercialisation, philanthropy and consumer issues relating to health.

Professor Ian Frazer AC will continue as Chair of the new AMRAB. He was its first Chair when it was established in 2016. He is recognised as co-inventor of the technology enabling the 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 Deputy Chair.

Half of the new AMRAB members are women and the Morrison Government is committed to women holding 50 per cent of Government board positions overall with at least 40 per cent representation of both men and women on individual boards.

A key task for the new AMRAB will be to conduct consultation on the Government’s next five-year Australian Medical Research and Innovation Strategy (Strategy) and the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities. The Strategy, established in 2016, sets out the vision, aims and objectives for the MRFF.

These have provided a wide-ranging platform that has allowed the MRFF to be responsive to the current health challenges, while continuing to fund projects that stimulate health and medical research across the entire research pipeline and achieve the MRFF's strategic objectives.

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 further information on the consultation process will be provided shortly through the MRFF Newsletter (available at, as well as on the Department of Health's website.

The Morrison Government’s $20 billion MRFF, is a long-term, sustainable investment in Australian health and medical research, helping to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to the sustainability of the health system. It is the single largest boost in health and medical research funding in Australia’s history.

AMRAB members


Background and experience

New/previous member

Professor Ian Frazer AC (Chair)

Professor Ian Frazer is a scientist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Queensland. He is the previous Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Director of Research of the Translational Research Institute. He is now Chair of the Translation Research Institute Foundation Board.

Previous Chair

Professor Caroline Homer AO (Deputy Chair)

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

New member and new Deputy Chair

Professor Anne Kelso AO (Ex-Officio Member)

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

Previous member

Professor Denise Doolan

Professor Doolan is the Deputy-Director at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Director of the James Cook University Centre 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 former president of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institute.

Previous member

Ms Imelda Lynch

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

New member

Professor Tom Calma AO

Professor Calma is the 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 Chief Executive of the Australian Investment Council where he is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organisation’s work in representing the private equity and venture capital industry in Australia.

Previous member


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