We are proud of our standing, our history and our achievements. In the past 70 years we have produced four Nobel Laureates, some of Australia’s most pre-eminent health and medical scientists and thousands of graduates with a world-class education in health and medicine.
In 1946, Federal Parliament passed a Bill establishing ANU as the country’s national university. The University comprised four founding research institutes, one of which was the John Curtin School of Medical Research (JCSMR).
Over the following decades, research schools in psychology and population health were established at ANU, and in 2002, a medical school. In 2017, these schools were combined into one specialised college, the College of Health and Medicine, in recognition of the important, and growing, role ANU can play in this field as Australia’s national university.
Our Nobel Laureates
Instrumental to the inception of JCSMR was one of the world’s most eminent scientists, Lord Howard Florey. Florey won the 1945 Nobel Prize in Medicine for developing the therapeutic potential of penicillin and instigating its large scale production.
Following in the footsteps of Lord Howard Florey, Professor John Eccles, founding Professor of Physiology, was awarded the 1963 Nobel Prize in Medicine for his ground-breaking research on the ionic mechanisms of synaptic transmission in the brain.
Thirty three years later, Professors Rolf Zinkernagel and Peter Doherty received the 1996 Nobel Prize in Medicine for their revolutionary work in immunology.
Then and now
The contribution of ANU Professor Frank Fenner to the field of virology is without precedent. Distinguished by his visionary ability to advance cross-disciplinary research, Professor Fenner’s work at JCSMR on the myxoma virus changed the way the scientific community thought about the evolution of disease. Later, he oversaw the global eradication of smallpox, regarded as the greatest achievement of the WHO.
Our extraordinary history informs our bright future. Today, our researchers continue to change lives at a local, national and global level:
Professor Carola Vinuesa, also from JCSMR, has revolutionised treatment for sufferers of autoimmune diseases like lupus, type-1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis, by providing them personalised medication based on their genetic make-up.
Professor Emily Banks, from the ANU Research School of Population Health, is an epidemiologist whose large-scale cohort studies have provided critically important information for the health of Australians, including links between hormone replacement therapy and breast cancer, and the impact of smoking on heart disease.
Neonatologist Professor Zsuzsoka Kecskes from the ANU Medical School developed an Australian-first, family-focused neonatal intensive care unit at the Canberra Hospital, changing the lives of parents.
Professor Kate Reynolds from the ANU Research School of Psychology has changed the way we think about social cohesion. Working in partnership with government, her research informs policy on how we can all get along in our communities.
Together, all our extraordinary researchers, across all our research schools, are making history at the ANU College of Health and Medicine.
Professor Peter Doherty, 1996 Nobel laureate
Professor Rolf Zinkernagel, 1996 Nobel laureate
Professor John Eccles, 1963 Nobel laureate
Lord Howard Florey, 1945 Nobel laureate
Professor Carola Vinuesa
Professor Zsuzsoka Kecskes
The Australian National University is established by an Act of Federal Parliament.
Foundation stone is laid for The John Curtin School of Medical Research.
The School of General Studies, inclusive of the Faculty of Science, opens and the first undergraduate students commence at ANU.
Professor John Eccles is awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his groundbreaking research on the ionic mechanisms of synaptic transmission in the brain.
The School of General Studies formally becomes 'The Faculties'.
The National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health is established.
Professor Rolf Zinkernagel and Professor Peter Doherty are awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their revolutionary work in immunology.
The Centre for Mental Health Research, previously called the NHMRC Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Centre, is established.
The ANU Medical School is established.
The Medical School is accredited by the Australian Medical Council for its first intake of students in the following year.
The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute is established.
The Menzies Centre for Health Policy, a collaborative centre between ANU and the University of Sydney, is established.
The Eccles Institute of Neuroscience is launched as part of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, and the Research School of Population Health is established.
The ANU College of Health & Medicine is established to incorporate the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU Medical School, Research School of Population Health and Research School of Psychology.