Recognition for Alan Mackay-Sim

2023 ‘Queensland Greats’ award

Alan Mackay-Sim

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.

Lisa accepting the award

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.

Read more.

1 comment

  1. I accidentally met Alan at a party a couple of years ago.
    We chatted casually and as often happens in conversation with a stranger I asked him what he did for a living (at this point I had no idea that he was a stem cell research pioneer and a leading light in HSP research).
    He casually replied that he did “a bit of research into neuroscience”.
    We talked on and I eventually realised I was talking to an Australian of the Year, and an authority on treatment options for paraplegia…..
    I was overwhelmed when I realised who he was and what an incredible difference he has made as a scientist working for all of us with HSP.
    Alan was a humble gentleman who did so much for the HSP community.
    I am so glad I was able to thank him that night on behalf of all HSPers.
    A hero indeed.

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