Leading translational scientist named Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science

Andrew Wilks, Honorary Enterprise Professor, Dept of Biochemistry & Pharmacology, has been inducted into the Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science for 2023.

Oncologist and cancer cell biologist Andrew Wilks is recognised as one of the highest profile translational scientists in Australia. Highly regarded in the global pharmaceutical industry he has founded and co-founded 11 companies. One of his companies has contributed towards a human gut microbiome project being led by Malcolm McConville and Sammy Bedoui.

In 2018 Andrew and his team at SYNthesis Group joined Bio21 and in 2020 he was appointed as an Honorary Melbourne Enterprise Professor in in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology School of Biomedical Sciences.

“Wilks has completed a rare “trifecta” – discovering and patenting a number of important drug discovery targets (viz. JAK1 and JAK2) and defining their roles in cytokine signalling; founding one of Australia’s most successful biotech companies, Cytopia; and coÔÇÉinventing and leading the team that delivered the therapeutic JAK inhibitor, momelotinib. This drug was licensed to GlaxoSmithKline for US$1.9 billion in July last year after passing a phase III trial for treating a rare bone marrow cancer.”  says Professor Michael Parker, Director of the Bio21 Institute.

Andrew joins 19 other researchers and scientists this year, nominated for their outstanding contributions to science and ground-breaking research. Please join us in congratulating Andrew on this outstanding achievement.

About the Australian Academy of Science


The Australian Academy of Science is a learned academy that provides independent, authoritative and influential scientific advice, promotes international scientific engagement, builds public awareness and understanding of science, and champions, celebrates and supports excellence in Australian science. Since 1954 nearly 900 Fellows have been elected to the Academy with ~20 new Fellows elected each year from all branches of science.

This article was orginally published by the Bio21 Institute June 2023.

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