5 July 2007

The University of Queensland (UQ) has appointed leading medical researcher Professor Nicholas Fisk to head a major new clinical research centre.

Professor Fisk, formerly Professor of Obstetrics and Fetal Medicine at Imperial College London, has been appointed Director of the UQ Centre for Clinical Research – a $66 million facility under construction at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital.

A Sydney medical graduate, Prof Fisk has a stellar international reputation in medical research in the fields of fetal and maternal health, stem cell biology and translational medicine.

He previously headed London research centres focused on fetal medicine and obstetrics and gynaecology.

Professor Fisk’s research, on topics ranging from clinical research to stem cell research, has been published in numerous high quality research publications.

He is a former president of the International Fetal Medicine and Surgery Society. Professor Fisk addressed the 5th annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research held in Cairns last month.

Professor Fisk will take up his new University of Queensland role at the end of this year. The seven-storey purpose-built UQCCR complex is funded by a partnership with the Queensland Government and major US philanthropic organisation Atlantic Philanthropies.

The facility will house around 300 specially selected researchers focused on patient-orientated research, conducted in response to questions that arise “at the bedside”.

UQ Vice Chancellor Professor John Hay, AC, said Professor Fisk would oversee the establishment of the Centre, which aims to provide better treatment and results for patients, as well as adding to the body of knowledge about particular diseases or health problems.

“Professor Fisk has a distinguished record and we are delighted to have attracted a researcher and clinician of the highest calibre to head this exciting new development," Professor Hay said.

"Under his leadership, UQ will develop an international node of excellence in clinical research in Queensland."

Faculty of Health Sciences Executive Dean Professor Peter Brooks said the appointment represented an important new stage in the development of health and medical research in Queensland.

"Professor Fisk will enhance our growing health research capacity," Professor Brooks said.

"We are looking forward to completion of the UQCCR building at the end of this year and the operation of this dynamic new centre of excellence,” Professor Brooks said.