Professor Rob Norman AO
BSc (Hons), MBChB(Hons), MD, FRANZCOG, FRCPA, FRCPath, FRCOG, CREI, FAHMS,
Professor Rob Norman was born in the United Kingdom, spent 3 preschool years in India and then moved to Rhodesia in Africa where his father was a medical practitioner. He completed his school and college education there, before going to medical school in Salisbury (now Harare), which was at that time, a College of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom. He was the top student the year he graduated and obtained his medical degree with honours from the University of Birmingham. He went on to complete his training in obstetrics and gynaecology in Harare Hospital maternity unit, gaining Fellowship of the UK College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology four years later. During this time, he trained with Prof Hugh Philpott who was the inventor of the partogram, now widely used across the world for monitoring labour.
He then moved to South Africa where he completed his higher doctorate and gained qualification in chemical pathology with a subspecialty in endocrine biochemistry and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists. He spent a year in the United Kingdom doing research at St Bartholomew's Hospital in London under Professors Tim Chard and Michael Besser.
In 1988 he moved to Adelaide, Australia where he became a Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and subsequently Professor of Reproductive Medicine. During these early days of in vitro fertilisation, he was involved in many of the great innovations being introduced into fertility management including ICSI, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, lifestyle programmes and development of many drugs. During this time, he led a University reproductive medicine unit called Repromed, which became one of the leading academic groups in the world and donated close to $30 million to the University for research in reproduction.
In 2009 he founded the Robinson Research Institute, with 450 researchers encompassing research in the areas of preconception, pregnancy, neonatal life and paediatrics. During his tenure as the Inaugural Director of the Institute, the Australian Government consistently formally ranked this group number one in Australia in the area of Paediatrics and Reproductive health. In 2013 he stepped down from the position and became Medical Director of fertility clinic, Fertility SA (2013-2018), whilst remaining Professor of Reproductive and Periconceptual Medicine. He is currently (2019) Co-Director of the National Health and Medical Research Council's Centre of Research Excellence in Polycystic Ovary Syndrome together with his close friend Prof Helena Teede, and is Chief Investigator on two NHMRC project grants. In the past he was CIA on 2 NHMRC program grants for 9 years.
Has has published 500 peer-reviewed papers, has an h score of 100 and has more than 42,000 citations. He is one of only three gynaecologists who are Fellows of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in Australia. He was awarded the American Society of Reproductive Medicine's distinguished researcher award in 2013, the Australian government's Order of Australia in the same year and has been Scientist of the year in South Australia as well as receiving the award as the leading physician and scientist in South Australia in 2009. The University of Adelaide awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Medicine in 2015. He was also awarded the inaugural Ricardo Azziz distinguished researcher award in 2015, by the international Androgen Excess-PCOS society for which he was President in 2006. In 2017 he was made a life member of ESHRE and in 2018, received the lifetime achievement award from ASPIRE.
He served on the NHMRC’s research committee for 6 years (2009-2014), during which time his committee dispersed more than $4 billion of federal research funds across all disciplines of medical research. He was president of the Asian equivalent of ASRM and ESHRE, Aspire between 2012 and 2014. He is a mentor and trainer of many medical and scientific trainees and fellows