Professor Jeremy Wilson has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Commitment to Pancreatology Award established by the Australasian Pancreatic Club (APC). The award was presented at the annual scientific meeting of the APC held during the Australian Health and Medical Research Congress in Melbourne, November 2014. The award recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution to pancreatic research and to the discipline of pancreatology overall.
Since Jeremy established the Pancreatic Research Group in 1987, the Group has received consistent NHMRC/DVA project grant support, in addition to competitive grant funding from the ARC and the Cancer Council of NSW. With more than 115 peer reviewed publications and having received more than $17m in competitive research and infrastructure funding, Jeremy has a proven record of research excellence.
Jeremy is internationally recognised as a leader in the field of alcohol-related pancreatic injury and pancreatic fibrogenesis. In 1998, the Group was the first in the world to develop a method to isolate and culture pancreatic stellate cells (PSC), a breakthrough without which current knowledge about pancreatic fibrogenesis in health and disease, would be non-existent. The Group was also the first to establish a key role for PSCs in the desmoplasia of pancreatic cancer by demonstrating that PSCs were the predominant source of collagen in the fibrotic stroma of pancreatic cancer, and importantly, that they played a key role in facilitating cancer progression.
Jeremy has also been a member of the Council of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) since 2001 and, in recognition of his standing in the Discipline, he is currently serving his second four year term as Secretary-General of the Association. During his tenure, he has achieved a significant increase in membership and the establishment of research initiatives to support large-scale multinational studies in clinical pancreatology.
This award is worthy recognition of the contribution that Jeremy has made to the field to date and I hope you will join me in congratulating him on this achievement.