|Professor Dr. John Sheppard Mackenzie|
|Date of Birth:
|Affiliations (at the time of the award):
|Premier’s Fellow and Professor of Tropical Infectious Diseases at the Division of Health Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, Australia|
|Tropical Infectious Disease|
|Summary of body of work recognised by MSA:
|Through continued and careful investigations, Professor Mackenzie has contributed to solving the problems of the tropics in his studies related to Japanese encephalitis virus. He has investigated the phylogeny, virus movement into Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Straits Island, the kind of mosquitoes involved in transmission, risk analysis about establishment in new areas, and elucidating the ecology of the virus in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. Subsequently, Professor Mackenzie was closely involved in the discovery and investigation of the Hendra virus, which is closely related to the Nipah virus. These viruses caused considerable morbidity, mortality and economic distress, and continue to trouble some of the countries. Through Prof. Mackenzie’s efforts, we now know the link between Hendra virus and flying foxes, as well as the reservoir host.|
|Latest Biography/Profile of Organisation:||Prof. Mackenzie is the Premier’s Fellow and Professor of Tropical Infectious Diseases at the Division of Health Sciences, Curtin University of Technology, Australia, a post that he took up in May 2004. Prof. Mackenzie also holds several other positions, including Adjunct Professor of International Health, Curtin University; Honorary Professor, University of Queensland (2004-2007); Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow, Queensland Institute of Medical Research (2001-present); Technical Consultant, World Health Organization (WHO), (2004-2006); and Member, Board of Directors, PANBIO (2004-present).
Since migrating to the Asia Pacific region 30 years ago, Prof. Mackenzie has embraced the region and its challenges. His work became increasingly focused on viruses of this region leading to his contributions to Japanese encephalitis virus study along with other emerging tropical infectious diseases. Through continued and careful investigations, Professor Mackenzie has contributed to solving the problems of the tropics in his studies related to Japanese encephalitis virus. He has investigated the phylogeny, virus movement into Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the Torres Straits Island, the kind of mosquitoes involved in transmission, risk analysis about establishment in new areas, and elucidating the ecology of the virus in Papua New Guinea and the Torres Strait. Subsequently, Professor Mackenzie was closely involved in the discovery and investigation of the Hendra virus, which is closely related to the Nipah virus. These viruses caused considerable morbidity, mortality and economic distress, and continue to trouble some of the countries. Through Prof. Mackenzie’s efforts, we now know the link between Hendra virus and flying foxes, as well as the reservoir host.
Earlier, Prof. Mackenzie contributed much to influenza research. Through his work at his laboratory, he discovered the H15 component of avian influenza, and demonstrated the role of migratory waders in carrying the virus between continents. This work remains vitally relevant as the world faces an influenza pandemic, which is likely to start in, and poses most threat to, the tropical parts of Asia.
Throughout his career, Prof. Mackenzie has taken continuous steps to bring about change through his research using the four-fold approach. He starts by undertaking excellent science, followed by making sure that the findings of the science are well-known by publishing and speaking in international floors. He ensures training is available to junior scientists as well as facilitating training for scientists; and finally he does everything possible to translate science into policy and practice.
At present, Prof. Mackenzie is the Premier’s Fellow and Professor of Tropical Infections Diseases. Professor Mackenzie’s contributions both in terms of value and impact are well reflected through his recent involvement in the two major events affecting the Asian region, namely the SARS outbreak and the Tsunami. Professor Mackenzie led the first major team that went into China to study SARS and has subsequently revisited to advice on investigating the source and transmission of the SARS virus, as well as laboratory safety surrounding the handling of the coronavirus virus that was shown to be the cause of SARS. During the tragic Indian Ocean Tsunami event, Professor Mackenzie was one of the first experts called to help in setting up laboratory capacity by coordinating the various offers of assistance and providing practical advice. Prof. Mackenzie shuttled between Jaka rta and Banda Aceh in Indonesia, to bring together Indonesian and international efforts to establish laboratory capacity.
Recognition of his expertise by the world can be gauged from his involvement in the WHO. Prof. Mackenzie sits in the Steering Committee for the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) (2000-present). He is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Global Health Security, (2001-present). Other involvements with the WHO include, 1982-present, Consultant in Virus Diseases; 1984-1998, Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for the Collection and Dissemination of Data on Virus Diseases of Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific; 2000, Member, Technical Consultation on Nipah Virus, Kuala Lumpur; 2003, Team Leader, Expert Technical Mission to China to investigate the possible cases of severe respiratory diseases from Guangdong; 2003-present, Convenor, SARS International Research Advisory Committee; and 2005, Member, Tsunami relief team, Indonesia.
Prof. Mackenzie’s contribution to his field is evidenced by his publications. He has authored or co-authored more than 250 publications on emerging diseases, in particular emerging tropical infectious diseases. He has also served in many international editorial boards, including Ecohealth (2003-present); FEMS Microbiological Reviews (1996-2003); Emerging Infectious Diseases (1998-present); Microbiology Australia (1995-2004); Research in Virology (1996-1999); Virus Genes (1995-present); World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology (1993-1997); Journal of Clinical Virology (1992-present); and Virus Information Exchange Newsletter (1984-92); and Ecology of Disease (1982-1986).
Prof. Mackenzie has also shown his commitment to ensure appropriate fora are available for regional scientists. As the Foundation Editor for the “Virus Information Exchange Newsletter”, published for laboratories in South East Asia and the Western Pacific by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Collection and Dissemination of Data on Virus Disease, he provides the means through the Newsletter for the laboratories in the region to share information about viruses and virus disease and the activities and diagnostic results in each laboratory.
Prof. Mackenzie’s eminence in emerging tropical diseases research has been recognized by his election as a member of numerous national and international scientific/expert committees, including at present Expert Committee on Lyssaviruses, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care; Australian National Certification Committee for the Eradication of Poliovirus; Australian Army Malaria Institute Advisory Board; National Arbovirus and Malaria Advisory Committee; National Consultative Group for the Biological Weapons Convention; Executive Board of Asian Pacific Society for Medical Virology; Executive Board of Federation of Asian Pacific Microbiological Society; Executive Board of International Union of Microbiological Societies; Advisory Board of Cordlife Pte. Ltd.; Advisory Board, Centre for Emerging Infectious Disease, Chinese University of Hong Kong; and Associate of Consortium of Conservation Medicine, New York.
Over the years, Prof. Mackenzie has received numerous awards and accolades, among others, 2002, Officer in the Order of Australia, Queen’s Birthday Honours List; 1999, Co-recipient, James H Nakano Citation of the National Centre for Infectious Diseases of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention; 2000, Excellence in Virology Award, Asian-Pacific Society for Medical Virology; 1999, Nomination for a share in the Charles C Shepard Science Award for the most outstanding peer-reviewed research paper published by CDC/ATSDR scientists; Distinguished Service Award, 1999, The Australian Society for Microbiology, Inc.; 1996, and Co-recipient, the Medical Journal of Australia/Wyeth Research Award for the best original research paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia during 1996.