Dr Sam Hawgood
Dr Sam Hawgood
3 November 2009

UQ has produced a multitude of talented leaders – but only one of them has a team that includes an Australian female Nobel laureate.

Medical graduate Dr Sam Hawgood was appointed to the prestigious office of Dean of the School of Medicine and Vice-Chancellor for Medical Affairs at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in September.

Within three weeks his school – already one of the USA’s top rated medical schools – gained even greater stature, when faculty member Dr Elizabeth Blackburn won the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Both Dr Hawgood and Dr Blackburn are Australian-born, but while Dr Blackburn (the first Australian woman to win a Nobel) hails from the Apple Isle, Dr Hawgood is a Smart State product. The son of pharmacists, he grew up on the Redcliffe Peninsula and attended the Anglican Church Grammar School ("Churchie") in Brisbane. Later he graduated from UQ with first class honours before specialising in paediatrics and neonatology.

“The education I received at The University of Queensland in the early 1970’s prepared me exceedingly well for my future career,” Dr Hawgood said recently.

“I was very well prepared in the fundamentals of medicine but I also left the University with a clear recognition of the value of continued inquiry and the importance of ongoing discovery.

“My years at the University were critically important in cementing a desire to not only practice medicine of the highest quality but also to actively participate in research and education to move the field forward.

“I took from my time at The University of Queensland the self-confidence and a set of fundamental values that has served me well as I have been granted the privilege of taking up leadership positions.”

Dr Hawgood completed paediatric training at the Royal Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and neonatal fellowships at the Queen Victoria Hospital, Melbourne and UCSF. Since 1984 he has worked at UCSF, including in its children’s hospital.

UQ’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Paul Greenfield, congratulated Dr Hawgood and UCSF.

“Dr Hawgood’s achievements bring honour to his first university, and his contributions to infant health are a particularly valuable application of his grounding at UQ,” Professor Greenfield said.

“Importantly, his appointment reinforces links between UQ and UCSF, which are connected via The Atlantic Philanthropies. Atlantic, founded by Mr Chuck Feeney, is a generous donor to both of our institutions, and its massive gifts to research open opportunities for radical improvements in human health and wellbeing.”

Media: Fiona Kennedy (07 336 51384, fiona.kennedy@uq.edu.au)