Laureate Professor Alan Lopez, Director, Global Burden of Disease Group, University of Melbourne has received the prestigious Peter Wills Medal at The Research Australia Awards

Now in its 12th year, the Research Australia Awards recognise individuals who have continuously contributed to, and advocated for, the health and medical research sector in Australia.

A Global health and disease expert, Professor Lopez has a distinguished career as a researcher, author and as a generous collaborator who has greatly influenced debates about priority setting and resource allocation in health.

Professor Lopez is known for the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study, which he co-founded with Prof Christopher Murray in 1990. The GBD is an ongoing effort involving more than 1000 collaborators worldwide to quantify the impact, and measure the comparative importance of over 300 diseases and injuries, and 67 risk factors worldwide.

These methods have been adopted by over 50 countries, including Australia.

Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Professor Stephen Smith said Professor Lopez is a highly cited author whose publications have received worldwide acclaim for their importance and influence in health and medical research.

“Professor Lopez’ scientific contributions have focused around strengthening the evidence base for health policy. His work has helped us understand the major causes of death and disability in populations and how they are changing,” said Professor Smith.

“He has been awarded major research grants in epidemiology, health services research and population health, including funding from the NHMRC, Wellcome Trust, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and AusAID, “ he said.