Alumnus Professor Robert Elliott Knighted in Queens Birthday Honours

Sir Robert Elliott


Photo Credit: Abigail Dougherty

University of Adelaide alumnus Sir Robert (Bob) Elliott CNZM died peacefully at home with his family on 21 August this year, months after being knighted in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honours in New Zealand.

In the 1970s Sir Elliott, 86, made a medical breakthrough when he developed a test to check for cystic fibrosis in newborn babies.

His test made early diagnosis of the disorder possible and allowed treatment to commence before irreversible scarring of the lungs and has caused the life expectancy of suffers to increase from 7-10 years to more than 40 years.

Sir Elliott’s heel-prick test has been adopted globally and considered standard practice for newborn babies.

He was also responsible for co-founding the Child Health Research Foundation in 1971, now known as CureKids. The foundation is the largest funder of child health research outside the government.

Born in Adelaide, he studied at the University of Adelaide before joining the University of Auckland in 1970.


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