Melbourne, October 11: The Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (AAHMS) has elected 37 new Fellows, including Prof Shitij Kapur & Prashanthan Sanders in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the health and well being of Australians and to the medical research community in Australia.

12 of the 37 elected Fellows are women; and 13 from the University of Melbourne and partner institutions including Professorial Fellows and former leaders within the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct.

Professor Shitij Kapur FAHMS, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne is among the 13 Fellows from University of Melbourne.

Prof Shitij Kapur, who was earlier leading the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College in London, has 300 peer-reviewed papers, received over 25,000 citations for his numerous presentations worldwide.

He is a clinician-scientist with expertise in psychiatry, neuroscience and brain imaging and his main research interest has been in understanding Schizophrenia and its treatment.

His studies have led to a better understanding of antipsychotic action, its relationship to brain dopamine receptor blockade, the role of appropriate dosing of these drugs. He is now working on how ‘biomarkers’ might be best incorporated into psychiatric care and drug development.

Apart from the recent

  • Fellowship from AAHMS, he is also
  • Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association;
  • Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, UK; and
  • Fellow of King’s College London, UK.

Prof Shitij Kapur also serves in advisory capacity to public charities and pharmaceutical companies and has received national and international awards including the AE Bennett Award of the Society for Biological Psychiatry, Paul Janssen Award of the CINP.

University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) James McCluskey welcomed the announcement of the Fellows and emphasised the strength of Australian medical research reflected in these appointments.

“I congratulate all those individuals who are at the core of finding new and better ways of treating diseases,” Professor McCluskey said.

Prof Kapur graduated from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, did his psychiatric training at the University of Pittsburgh and subsequently completed a PhD and Fellowship at the University of Toronto.

He currently leads NEWMEDS, an EU-wide Innovative Medicines Initiative and when he is able to get away from his work Prof Kapur is wearing out his knees playing squash, ferrying his children from one activity to another and working hard to perfect his recipe for the ultimate ‘lamb biryani’.

Amongst 37 elected Fellows is also Professor Prashanthan Sanders FAHMS, Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders, University of Adelaide.

AAHMS Fellow, Prashanthan Sanders, Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders, University of Adelaide.

He graduated from the University of Adelaide with Honours, named on the Dean’s list for academic merit.

He trained as a Cardiologist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital before sub-specialising in Cardiac Electrophysiology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

He then took doctoral studies at the University of Melbourne and he then completed his postdoctoral studies at the Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévêque and Université Victor Segalen Bordeaux II, Bordeaux, France.

In 2005 he moved back to Adelaide and has established a formidable team of clinicians and researchers who span the spectrum of research into heart rhythm disorders; and more recently population-based studies.

Ramakrishna VenuGopal

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