MACH is pleased to announce that Director of WEHI Professor Ken Smith will join the MACH Board from July 1.

He succeeds Professor Kathryn North AC, Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI), who steps down from the MACH Board after six years of dedicated leadership.

Professor Smith recently returned to Australia from the United Kingdom to take up his WEHI appointment in April after serving as Head of the Department of Medicine at Cambridge University since 2010.

He says Melbourne’s medical research landscape has evolved to make the city one of the world’s leading biomedical research precincts.

“MACH is an organisation that is committed to fostering collaboration between these research leaders, to accelerate the translation of their breakthroughs in the lab into real patient outcomes.

“I’m both honoured and excited to have the opportunity to work with MACH and its partner network of universities, medical research institutes and health service providers, to help build on that mission.”

At Cambridge University, Professor Smith led an experimental medicine and translational program focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying immune-mediated diseases. Work in the Smith lab ranged from exploration of fundamental immunological principles, including the development of complex animal models, through experimental medicine and genetics, to clinical trials.

Professor Smith has been instrumental in forming alliances between industry and academia and has first-hand experience in founding start-up companies and commercial experience with the pharmaceutical industry in the UK, US and Europe.

Chair of the MACH Board Professor Jane Gunn says she welcomes Professor Smith’s appointment.

“Professor Smith brings over 30 years’ of experience as a highly innovative clinician researcher to MACH, and we’re delighted to have him on the Board,” says Professor Gunn.

“We also extend our sincere gratitude to Professor North for helping advance MACH in our strategy over the last six years.

“I’m sure she will continue to contribute significantly as a member of our Council and the MACH Strategic Translational Research and Platforms Committee, which she created for MACH in 2019 and chaired with élan for nearly six years.”