Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti receives prestigious honour

Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti from the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and the Lions Eye Institute has been elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australia’s most prestigious honour in science. The Australian Academy of Science was founded in 1954 by Australian Fellows of the Royal Society of London. Since 1954, the Academy has elected 895 Fellows, with a maximum of 20 per annum through Ordinary Election. Election to the Australian Academy of Science represents the highest level of scientific achievement. As a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Professor Degli-Esposti joins the nation’s most distinguished scientists, recognised by their peers for ground-breaking research and clearly impactful contributions.

Director of the Monash BDI, Professor John Carroll, congratulated Professor Degli-Esposti on her election to the Academy. “Mariapia’s election as a Fellow of the Australian Academy is testament to the outstanding quality of her research over many years, including a number of notable breakthroughs,” Professor Carroll said. “Professor Degli-Esposti has made a significant impact not only in discovery science but also in translational research,” Professor Bill Morgan from the Lions Eye Institute said. Professor Mariapia Degli-Esposti is an internationally renowned immunologist and expert in the field of viral immunology. Her research focuses on understanding the regulation of complex immune responses, including those that affect the eye. Her findings have been key to both discovery and translational research aimed at developing improved therapies by harnessing the immune system.

Mariapia Degli-Esposti in the laboratory

“By studying immune responses to viruses, our work has provided new insights into some of the most critical complexities of the immune system. Our research has elucidated the mechanisms that protect against viruses while simultaneously mitigating harmful immune responses. Our findings provide new knowledge that deepens our understanding of the immune system and lays the foundation for potential therapeutic advancements,” Professor Degli-Esposti said. Professor Degli-Esposti is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. She has received numerous awards and prizes, including the UNSW Eureka Prize for Scientific Research in 2019, the Cancer Council WA award for Cancer Researcher of the Year 2017, and The University of Western Australia Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Award 2015 for sustained career excellence and distinguished achievement in research.

“New knowledge and discovery hold the power to create significant impact and ultimately shape the future, and science has given me the tremendous opportunity to contribute to the expansion of knowledge,” Professor Degli-Esposti said. “I am immensely honoured and deeply humbled. Being elected to the Academy is much more than a personal recognition, it is a testament to the remarkable creativity and dedication of the exceptionally talented scientists who I have been fortunate to work with in my team throughout the past 25 years,” she said. “I am also extremely grateful to Monash University and the Lions Eye Institute who have provided environments fostering my discovery research program, as well as opportunities for clinical interactions,” she said.

“Professor Degli-Esposti has had a long and distinguished association with the Lions Eye Institute. Her discovery research has been outstanding, but in addition she has shown great leadership in translating core laboratory and scientific discoveries through translational efforts towards understanding disease pathogenesis and developing treatments,” Professor Ian Constable, Founding Director and Patron of the Lions Eye Institute said.

Read more about the newly elected 2023 Australian Academy of Science Fellows.

Download the media release.

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