The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences: an authoritative, independent voice in the Australian landscape

Ingrid E Scheffer and Ian H Frazer
Med J Aust 2021; 214 (11): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51089
Published online: 21 June 2021

The Academy focuses on the nation’s most pressing health challenges and supports Australia’s thriving health and medical research sector

In 2015, the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) was created following discussions between government, universities and a range of key stakeholders that highlighted a need for a scholarly, impartial entity to provide advice on health and medical sciences in Australia. The aim of founding this learned Academy was to create a forum for leaders in health and medical sciences in Australia to provide authoritative, independent expertise and advice to government and the wider community on matters of health and medical research. The Academy focuses on the nation’s most pressing health challenges and acknowledges and supports Australia’s thriving health and medical research sector. The decision to establish the Academy followed the realisation that Australia lacked an independent body of political, professional and institutional interests in health and medical research. Its purpose mirrors well established entities around the world, including the Academy of Medical Sciences in the United Kingdom,1,2 the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences,3 and the United States National Academy of Medicine.4 The AAHMS joins four other scholarly Australian Academies: the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering, the Australian Academy of the Social Sciences and the Australian Academy of the Humanities. The AAHMS contributes to expert scientific endeavours with the other Academies, together with national organisations such as the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and Science and Technology Australia, to bring high level scientific and health advice to government, including guiding health measures during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‐19) pandemic.

  • 1 Epilepsy Research Centre, University of Melbourne and Austin Health, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD


Competing interests:

Ingrid Scheffer serves/has served on the editorial boards of Annals of Neurology, Neurology, Epileptic Disorders and Epilepsy Currents; may accrue future revenue on pending patent WO2009/086591; has a patent for SCN1A testing held by Bionomics Inc and licensed to various diagnostic companies (WO/2006/133508); and has a patent for a molecular diagnostic/therapeutic target for benign familial infantile epilepsy (WO/2013/059884) with royalties paid. She has served on scientific advisory boards for UCB, Eisai, GlaxoSmithKline, BioMarin, Nutricia, RogCon, Chiesi Farmaceutici, Encoded Therapeutics, Knopp Biosciences and Xenon Pharmaceuticals; has received speaker honoraria from LivaNova, GlaxoSmithKline, UCB, BioMarin, Biocodex and Eisai; has received funding for travel from UCB, Biocodex, GlaxoSmithKline, Biomarin and Eisai; has served as an investigator for Zogenix, Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Ultragenyx, GW Pharmaceuticals, UCB, Eisai, Epygenix, Anavex Life Sciences, Ovid Therapeutics, Encoded Therapeutics and Marinus Pharmaceuticals; and has consulted for Zynerba Pharmaceuticals, Atheneum Partners, Ovid Therapeutics and UCB. She receives/has received research support from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia, Medical Research Future Fund, Health Research Council of New Zealand, Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy, Australian Epilepsy Research Fund, March of Dimes and National Institutes of Health: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.


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