Prof. Alan Mackay-Sim, Australian of the Year for 2017

Alan receiving the Australian of the Year award

Head of the HSP Research Program honoured


Head of the HSP Research Program, Prof Alan Mackay-Sim was named Australian of the Year for 2017 by the Prime Minister in an awards ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra in late January.


Alan was honoured for his groundbreaking scientific work on adult stem cells, being the acknowledged world leader in nasal stem cells and their application in medical science. Alan and his team have made remarkable progress in HSP research using nasal stem cells from HSPers, to the point where they are now ready to test the effectiveness of a drug treatment in clinical trials.


Foundation President, Frank McKeown, said “This is thoroughly deserved recognition for someone who has dedicated his life to making others’ lives better and whose scientific breakthroughs have led to remarkable achievements. Full credit for what we now know about HSP that has us ready to test drug treatments in clinical trials is due to Alan and his team. What we all need to appreciate is that looking across the field of medical research at the big players spending tens of millions of dollars over decades of research, what Alan and his team have achieved in eight years on what really has been a shoestring budget is nothing short of astonishing. We are lucky to have him and his continuing efforts to find an effective treatment for HSP”.

Publicity and coverage of such a prestigious award was huge. The awards ceremony can be viewed on the ABC iview website.

Here is some of the media coverage:

Australian of the Year

 Herald Sun

ABC News 1

ABC News 2

The Age

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  1. This is marvellous news!!! I’m enormously proud of and happy for Professor Alan Mackay-Sim and feel very fortunate that a scientist of such a high calibre is working with the HSP Research Foundation!!!

  2. Congratulations Prof Alan Mackay-Sim – it’s wonderful to know that we have hope through you for research with HSP. God bless you and your research endeavors!

  3. What an achievement! Having HSP is and can be a very debilitating disease and knowing people like the Prof is out there gives me hope.

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