Menzies director one of the smartest in the land 


Director of Menzies School of Health Research (Menzies), Professor Jonathan Carapetis has been named as one of the brainiest people in Australia.

Professor Carapetis made Bulletin magazine's Smart 100 list and is one of ten Australians in the health and medicine category selected by renowned immunologist Gustav Nossal.

Professor Carapetis, who is a specialist in Aboriginal health and pediatric diseases, was appointed director of Menzies in 2006.

He said he was honoured to be listed alongside Nobel Prize winner Peter Doherty and two former Australians of the Year, Ian Frazer and Fiona Stanley.

‘It is important to realise that any researcher is only as good as the team they work with and I see this award as being as much about them as it is about me, it recognises the great people we have at Menzies,’ he said.

‘It is also great to see Indigenous health so prominent in this list, as three of the ten finalists work predominantly in this field.

‘Anything we can do to draw attention to the plight of Indigenous Australians and the need for a seismic change in how we as a country deal with the issue is welcome,’ he explained.

Professor Carapetis was also one of three Australian medical researchers who made Cosmos magazine's Bright Sparks list last year.

He completed his doctoral studies at Menzies in the 1990s and returned last year to take up the director's post.

Some of his work has involved discovering a link between rheumatic fever and scabies, which is helping support government and Aboriginal health service providers in the development of programs in Indigenous communities.