University of Adelaide awards honorary doctorates

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Three distinguished leaders in their fields will receive honorary doctorates recognising their outstanding contributions to medicine, science communication, and agricultural economics, to be awarded at the University of Adelaide's graduation ceremonies this week, starting today (13-15 September).

The recipients will receive their honorary degrees in historic Bonython Hall alongside more than 1300 students, who are graduating across six ceremonies. The honorary doctorate recipients are:

Professor John Hopwood, AM – Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa)

Professor Hopwood is a pioneer in the diagnosis, treatment and biology of so-called lysosomal diseases, which are caused by abnormal genes. He established the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit at the Women's and Children's Hospital, where he and his team were the first to isolate and characterise the genes of several lysosomal storage disorders. These research outcomes have vastly improved the quality of life for many patients worldwide. During his career he has raised over $32 million in research funding and has published more than 430 papers in peer-reviewed journals. Professor Hopwood has also held a number of senior roles nationally and internationally for the management of lysosomal diseases, including advocacy for families.

Dr Susannah Eliott – Doctor of the University (honoris causa)

Dr Eliott joined the Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC) as founding CEO in 2005 and has successfully grown the centre for over 10 years. AusSMC is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that works with the news media to inject more evidence-based science into public discourse. Dr Eliott has also been pivotal to the growth of the number of Science Media Centres globally. She was appointed to the national Climate Commission from 2011-2012 and chaired the Expert Working Group on Science and the Media for the Federal Government as part of the "Inspiring Australia" initiative. She has sat on several boards and panels including the Environment Institute at the University of Adelaide.

Dr Derek Byerlee – Doctor of Economics (honoris causa)

Following an extensive and groundbreaking international career in agricultural science and technology policy – in which he helped to bring scientists and farmers closer together – in 1994 Dr Byerlee moved to the World Bank in Washington DC, where he remained until 2008. His positions included: Rural Strategy and Policy Advisor; Leader, Agricultural and Rural Development; and Co-Director of the highly influential World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. Since 2008, Dr Byerlee's work has been focused on agribusiness investment, land policy and sustainable land use in developing countries. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the international journal Global Food Security, and his book on the impacts of intensification on land use and deforestation will be published next month by Oxford University Press.

University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington said: “Recipients of an honorary degree from the University of Adelaide represent the very highest in their fields of endeavour.

"This week we honour three exceptional individuals who have made outstanding contributions, to medical science and clinical care, to the community's understanding of and value for science, and to agricultural policy and economics, which affects the entire global community."


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