A photo of Professor Mackay-Sim with the 2017 Australian of the Year trophy.

Biomedical scientist Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim has been awarded 2017 Australian of the Year. The Prime Minister, The Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, presented Professor Mackay-Sim with the 2017 Australian of the Year trophy at a ceremony in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra this evening.

The Award recognises Professor Mackay-Sim’s lifetime of dedicated research and international leadership which has led to ground breaking advances in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.

An inspirational scientist and international leader in stem cell research, his decades of work have given hope to thousands of Australians and people across the world with spinal cord injuries.

Professor Mackay-Sim is a global authority on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells and led the world’s first clinical trial using these cells in spinal cord injury. In 2014, his research helped play a central role in the world’s first successful restoration of mobility in a quadriplegic man – a breakthrough described as the scientific equivalent to the moon landing.