Prof Mark Dawson receives Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year

Professor Mark Dawson has been awarded the 2020 Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year.  This prestigious award is one of the Australian Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science which recognises the contributions our scientists, innovators and science teachers make to Australia’s scientific commercialisation capabilities.

Professor Dawson is both a haematologist clinician as well as a research scientist.  This places him in the unique position of taking his research from the lab to the clinic.  Mark’s research interest lies in epigenetics, the study of biological mechanisms that cause changes to the way our genes work. Mark believes that by understanding what switches our genes on or off, we may be able to determine how to better treat blood cancers.   Early in Mark’s career, the Snowdome Foundation identified him as a gifted researcher who, along with his laboratory, had the ability to make major breakthroughs in identifying new ways of targeting blood cancers.  We have proudly supported the George and Yolanda Klempfner Fellowship in the Mark Dawson Laboratory since 2015.

Mark’s achievement of Life Scientist of the Year is very well deserved.  His research has created a platform for more than 30 clinical trials across more than 20 countries, providing access to potentially life-extending novel therapies for people with cancer. His research has been published in world leading journals including Nature, Cell, Science and the New England Journal of Medicine.

Professor Dawson’s passion to deliver better therapies to patients drives his curiosity and love of both research and clinical work. “Without curiosity there is no discovery, without discovery there are no cures.” Mark Dawson.

Prof Dawson is the program head of the Translational Haematology Program and group leader of the Cancer Epigenetics Laboratory and Consultant Haematologist at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.