16 December 1999

Director of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) and liver researcher Professor Lawrie Powell (telephone 07 3365 1554) will receive his UQ Alumnus of the Year award and be guest speaker at a University of Queensland graduation ceremony on Friday, December 17 at 4pm.

UQ medical graduate Professor Powell is the eighth recipient of the annual award, established in 1992, which honours University graduates who have achieved distinction in their chosen fields, outstanding reputations among their peers and support from and for their alma mater. Previous winners include Nobel Laureate Peter Doherty, Oscar winner Geoffrey Rush, and cancer researcher Dr Rodney Withers.

In 1990 Professor Powell was appointed QIMR director. Over the past nine years, the Institute has grown threefold in size. He was instrumental in developing and planning the Comprehensive Cancer Research due for completion in 2002 at a cost of $64 million. When fully operational, the Centre will house 1000 scientists and support staff.

Professor Powell has received numerous national and international awards. These include a Gold Medal from the Canadian Liver Foundation "for outstanding life-time contributions to hepatology" and the Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in 1990. He was elected President of the International Association for the Study of the Liver (1986 to 1988) and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in London in 1990.

The ceremony will mark the third University of Queensland Medal for the Longworth family. Alexandra Ashe Longworth (telephone 07 3253 7288 at work or 07 3852 4353 at home) will receive a Medal for her Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree while her sister, Kelli, graduated with University Medals in Japanese (1990) and Law (1992). The family's pride will be doubled on the day as Alexandra's sister Erin (telephone 07 3720 9160) is graduating with her Graduate Certificate of Hospital Pharmacy at the same ceremony. Erin has a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University (1994). Alexandra and Erin both work at the Royal Brisbane Hospital. Their father, Professor John Longworth, from the University's School of Natural and Rural Systems Management (telephone 07 3365 1528 at work, 07 3870 7833 at home) said he was proud to have five women from his family with degrees from the University and all working in professional fields. "My wife Jill has a Bachelor of Social Work from the University (1984) as well as a Bachelor of Agriculture and a Postgraduate Diploma in Dietetics from Sydney University," he said. "Our other daughter Brooke has a Bachelor of Economics (1989) and a Bachelor of Commerce (1991) from UQ so our family has a lawyer, an accountant, a hospital pharmacist, a hospital physiotherapist and a social worker/counsellor." He said the men in the family "tried to keep up" with youngest child, Tom, recently completing Grade 10 with near-perfect School Certificate results.

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