University of Melbourne appoints new head of Research


Highly regarded immunologist Professor Jim McCluskey has been appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Melbourne.

Professor McCluskey, who trained in Perth as a physician and later as a pathologist, is currently Associate Dean of Major Projects in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Partnerships) at the University.

Most recently Professor McCluskey has led the development of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, involving a partnership between the University of Melbourne and Melbourne Health. He will continue his involvement with the Peter Doherty Institute in his new role.

University of Melbourne Vice-Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis said Professor McCluskey was an outstanding candidate who would further drive the University’s world-class research and research training initiatives.

“Professor McCluskey is an esteemed academic and health practitioner who has made a significant contribution to medical research,” he said.

“His vision has helped guide the development of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity into what will be a world-class research, teaching and health institute. His community engagement and excellence in research outcomes ensure he will guide the university’s robust research focus to even greater heights.”

Professor McCluskey studied at the National Institutes of Health in the US and since 1997 has held a chair in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne.

He has consulted for the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for more than 20 years and is Editor-In-Chief of the international immunogenetics journal Tissue Antigens. He has published more than 240 scientific articles on how genes control immunity, autoimmune disease and the basis of transplantation matching.

Professor McCluskey is a member of the Board of Directors of St Vincent’s Institute, Nossal Institute for Global Health, Bionic Ear Institute (alternate), Bio21 Cluster and the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health.

In 1995 he was awarded the Parr Prize from the Australian Rheumatism Association in recognition of his research excellence. His work has also been recognised through the Priscilla Kincaid Smith Oration of the Royal Australian College of Physicians, the Rose Payne Award and medal for distinguished scientific contributions to the field of histocompatibility and immunogenetics from the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics (ASHI) and the Burnet Oration of the Australasian Society for immunology.

Professor McCluskey will take up his appointment in March, 2011.