Vale Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim AM

Media release
06 Jan 2023
Prime Minister, Minister for Health and Aged Care

Australia has lost a shining light in the field of neuroscience and stem cell research with the passing of Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim AM.

While instantly recognisable in academia and biomedical research, it was Professor Mackay-Sim’s work in the laboratory which set him apart.

Recognised as Australian of the Year in 2017, Professor Mackay-Sim’s expertise and studies led to effective drugs for many neurological diseases, and his work on patient sourced stem cells has improved the lives of many thousands of Australians.

Professor Mackay-Sim’s prestigious accolades also include Queenslander of the Year in 2003 and 2017, the 2018 Neil Hamilton Fairley Medal for outstanding contribution to medicine, the 2017 Australasian Neuroscience Society Distinguished Achievement Award, and the 2011 Eureka Science Prize.

Professor Mackay-Sim’s contribution to health and medicine cannot be overstated.

He was also a proud supporter of Australia’s next generation of health and medical researchers.

Quotes attributable to Prime Minister Anthony Albanese:

“Professor Emeritus Alan Mackay-Sim’s work in understanding the human brain and stem cells was game-changing and improved countless people’s lives. A dedicated and innovative researcher, he garnered respect and recognition for Australian science around the world.”

“Professor Mackay-Sim’s work continues to benefit people with spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease and schizophrenia. He lived an inspiring life, and I offer deep condolences to his family and loved ones.”

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler:

“While the honours awarded to Professor Mackay-Sim cannot give full measure of the man, those honours are many. His ground-breaking work has had an enormous impact on science and medicine.”

“I offer my sincere sympathies to Professor Mackay-Sim’s family, his wife and children, and his friends. His loss will be sorely felt, but his contribution to medicine in Australia and globally will live on.”