Former Director of UQCCR, Professor Murray Mitchell has been elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) ad eundem, in a ceremony held at Brisbane’s iconic Town Hall, one of Queensland’s most significant heritage and cultural icons.
For the first time, the RCOG held their annual World Congress in Australia as a joint event with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG). Three eminent contributors to the fields of obstetrics and gynaecology from around the world were acknowledged by their peers and made Fellows’ ad eundem by RCOG.
RANZCOG also awarded one honorary fellowship for outstanding contributions to the discipline to Professor Sir Peter D. Gluckman from The University of Auckland, presently Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minster of New Zealand. Prof Gluckman is a former long-time colleague of Prof Mitchell’s.
Prof Mitchell has had a long and eminent career in research into the mechanisms of control of parturition, with relevance to the causes and possible prevention of preterm birth, post maturity and uterine pathologies in women.
Professor William Ledger from the University of New South Wales introduced Prof Mitchell at the awards ceremony and spoke to his translational research approach and work well before ‘translational’ became a buzz word in academia.
Prof Mitchell’s findings with Professor Roberto Romero, Chief of the Perinatal Research Branch of the USA’s National Institute for Child Health and Development of the National Institutes of Health, on intrauterine infection as the major cause of premature labour have had a global impact on the way premature labour is managed and formed the basis for the development of new treatments.
In his acceptance speech and response on behalf of all RCOG Fellowship recipients, Prof Mitchell stressed the importance of collaboration and support between peers as a key driver of finding ways to advance clinical care.
UQ’s Professor Ian Frazer was also honoured and made RCOG Fellow for his outstanding contribution to immunoregulation and immunotherapeutic vaccines for Papillomavirus associated cancers. Prof Frazer’s research has led to the development of the human papillomavirus vaccine, the cause of most cervical cancers. The third Fellowship recipient was Professor Roberto Romero who is Chief of the Perinatal Research Branch of NICHD, NIH. He is also a long-time collaborator of Prof Mitchell.