2023 ‘Queensland Greats’ award
Following his passing at the start of the year, principal researcher for the Foundation Alan Mackay-Sim has received posthumous recognition with a ‘Queensland Greats’ award by the State Government.
Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim AM
Stem cell research pioneer
The awards website contains the following:
Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim AM made a profound contribution to Queensland as a world-leading scientist in the use of patient-derived stem cells for spinal cord injury rehabilitation and neuroscience drug discovery that dramatically changed treatment options for paraplegia.
Alan’s work helped to establish Queensland as a hub for cutting-edge neuroscience research and contributed to the growth of the state’s biotechnology industry. His research was the catalyst for Queensland’s developments in the field of injury rehabilitation and contributed towards the MAIC funded pre-clinical trial led by Professor James St John to produce 3D biodegradable nerve cell bridges. Alan revolutionised the use of patient-derived stem cells (in contrast to transgenic animal models) to open new research possibilities in developing disease-modifying drugs for neurological conditions.
Alan was driven by a life-long commitment to making a difference in the health and wellbeing of our communities. He remained committed to developing a cure for neurological diseases, staying the course when major drug companies had closed their neuroscience research departments.