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South Australian scientist joins Attenborough as AAS fellow

Health & Medical

A South Australian professor, whose research changed international food laws and set global infant nutrient recommendations, has been named one of Australia’s top scientists.

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Announced today, Professor Maria Makrides is one of 22 scientists who have been this year elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS).

Professor Makrides is the Healthy Mothers, Babies and Children Theme Leader at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) in Adelaide.

She now joins the academy’s prestigious group of fellows and corresponding members, including Nancy Millis, Douglas Mawson and David Attenborough.

Professor Makrides will be formally inducted into the academy on May 28 in a ceremony in Canberra for her work evaluating the effect of different dietary fats during pregnancy and infancy growth, health and development of babies.

Her work set new standards internationally for the conduct of nutrition intervention studies with young families.

It also had an important influence on recommendations guiding the intake of dietary fatty acids in pregnancy, lactation and infancy.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in the Adelaide BioMed City precinct.

AAS President, Professor John Shine congratulated the new fellows on making significant and lasting impacts in their scientific disciplines.

“These scientists were elected by their academy peers following a rigorous evaluation process,” Professor Shine said.

“What stands out among the new fellows elected this year is the collective impact of their science on an international scale.”

Professor Makrides is one of eight women elected a 2019 fellow, and the only scientist from South Australia.

In 2018 she was awarded the Alexander Leaf Distinguished Scientist Award for Lifetime Achievement at the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL) Congress.

She was the eighth recipient of the award, which has been presented every two years since 2002, and was its first female winner.

SAHMRI is part of the A$3 billion Adelaide BioMed City one of the largest life sciences clusters in the Southern Hemisphere, and is focused on seven research themes including Cancer, Heart Health, Infection and Immunity and Aboriginal Health.

A second building, known as SAHMRI 2 will house Australia’s and the Southern Hemisphere’s first Proton Therapy Unit and a further 400 researchers from 2020.

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