The CSL Centenary Fellowships are overseen by a five-person Selection Committee, comprising both independent members (including the Chairman) and CSL representatives.
Chair - Professor Sharon Lewin
Professor Sharon Lewin completed her medical degree at Monash University, physician training in infectious diseases at the Alfred, Royal Melbourne and Fairfield Infectious Diseases Hospitals and her PhD in virology and immunology at Monash University. In 1997, she moved to New York as an NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow to complete her post-doctoral fellowship at the Aaron Diamond AIDS Research Centre at Rockefeller University. She returned to Melbourne in 1999 to establish her own laboratory at the University of Melbourne and in 2003 was appointed Professor/Director of the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Alfred Hospital and Monash University. In 2014 she was appointed the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. She is also Professor of Medicine at the University of Melbourne and an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow.
She has won several major prizes including the Peter Wills Medal from Research Australia and in 2014 was Melburnian of the Year, an award made each year by the City of Melbourne to an inspirational role model. In 2015, she was elected as a foundation fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and served a council member until 2017. Most recently, Sharon was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2019, in recognition of her distinguished service to medical research, and to education and clinical care, in the field of infectious diseases, particularly HIV and AIDS.
She is a member of the council of the NHMRC and is Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmitted Infections, the peak advisory body to the Minister of Health of Australia. She is an elected member of the Governing Council of the International AIDS Society (IAS) representing the Asia Pacific region and is a member of the Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee to the HIV and hepatitis program of the World Health Organisation.
Professor Ranjeny Thomas
Professor Thomas is Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, consultant rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital, fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and Chief Technical Officer of the Uniquest spin-off company Dendright.
Her research seeks to understand autoimmune disease and restoration of immune tolerance. Through this work, she developed dendritic cell-based antigen-specific immunotherapy in the first proof-of-concept trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis. She developed a liposome immunotherapy that targets dendritic cells to induce antigen-specific tolerance. The product, DEN181, was developed by Dendright, in partnership with Janssen-Biotech, the US pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson. Ranjeny is also progressing the development of liposome-based tolerance strategies in other autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, as well as nanoparticle-based dendritic cell targeted cancer vaccines. She has also contributed major insights into how the microbiome is involved in causing spondyloarthropathy, leading to the development of disease biomarkers and therapeutic strategies.
Professor Simon Foote
Professor Simon Foote completed his BMedSci in 1981 through the University of Melbourne but at INSERM U36 in Paris. His medical degree (University of Melbourne) was completed in 1984 and his PhD (University of Melbourne and WEHI) in 1989. He spent 5 years at the Whitehead Institute at MIT, Massachusetts, USA, working on the genome project, after which he returned to WEHI.
Simon was co-head of the Genetics and Bioinformatics Division at WEHI, Director of the Menzies Research Institute, UTAS, Dean of the School of Advanced Medicine at Macquarie University and Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at ANU. He is now an Emeritus Professor at ANU, Chair of the Board of the Australian Genome Research Facility, Honorary Treasurer of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and is on the Board of the Baker Institute. His research focuses on the genetics of the host response to infection.
Professor Foote is a fellow of the Australian Academies of Science (AAS), Health and Medical Science (AAHMS) and Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE).
Dr Andrew Nash (CSL)
Dr Andrew Nash is the Senior Vice President, Research at CSL. Dr Nash completed his PhD in Immunology at The University of Melbourne in 1988 and, after moving to the Centre for Animal Biotechnology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, developed and led a research group focused on basic and applied aspects of cytokine biology.
In 1996 he joined the ASX listed biotechnology company Zenyth Therapeutics (then Amrad Corporation) as a senior scientist and subsequently held a number of positions including Director of Biologicals Research and Chief Scientific Officer.
In July of 2005 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zenyth, a position which he held up until the acquisition of Zenyth by CSL Limited in November 2006. Following the acquisition he was appointed as CSL’s SVP, Research and is currently based at the Bio21 Institute where he leads a large global effort focused on the discovery and development of new protein-based medicines to treat serious human disease.
Dr Bev Menner (CSL)
Dr Bev Menner is the Executive Director of Portfolio and Alliance Management at CSL. She is responsible for leading the team who manage CSL’s strategic partnerships with industry and academia to develop great products and technologies that have the capacity to address unmet medical need. Bev’s group also lead the decision-making and prioritisation analyses across CSL’s therapeutic areas to ensure we are delivering a balanced portfolio to support the ongoing growth of CSL.
Bev has held various roles at CSL in Victoria and Pennsylvania over the past nine years. She has a PhD degree in Molecular Medicine from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in cancer genetics and is a qualified genetic counsellor with experience in cancer and prenatal genetics. Prior to her role at CSL, Bev managed the delivery of multiple global clinical trials in therapeutic areas including rheumatology, dermatology, medical imaging, infectious disease, oncology and cardiovascular disease.