Peter Mac News


Professor Johnstone honoured with the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence

21 November 2023

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Peter Mac Professor Ricky Johnstone is the recipient of the prestigious 2023 Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence award. 

The Ramaciotti Medal is an annual award to honour an individual who has made an outstanding discovery in clinical or experimental biomedical research that has had an important impact on biomedical science, clinical science, or the way in which healthcare is delivered.

The approach to cancer treatments and discoveries has adapted over the years in part due to Professor Johnstone’s key discoveries in cancer epigenetics, transcription and immunology.

“I am truly honoured to be recognised as the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence recipient in 2023,” Professor Johnstone said. 

“My laboratory is focussed on cancer epigenetics, transcription and immunology with research directed towards the integration of basic research activities, platform technologies, and pre-clinical model systems to develop, characterise and refine novel cancer therapeutics for clinical use.

“As the Executive Director of Cancer Research at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre I oversee more than 700 staff and students and play a key role in research strategic decisions across the organisation.

“While this award is for the work performed in my own lab, I am even more proud of the collective efforts at Peter Mac to enhance the lives of cancer patients across the globe through research-driven care.”

Professor Johnstone explained that his research has led to the development of multiple clinical cancer trials that were all founded on the development of epigenetic drugs for the treatment of blood cancers.

“I am very proud to have contributed to the FDA approval of three new oncology drugs,” he said.  

Professor Johnstone has published a total of 257 papers with 28,723 total citations (Scopus). He has won several prestigious awards including The FAOBMB Award for Research Excellence (2021) and the Australian Academy of Science Gottschalk Medal (2005). 

Professor Johnstone was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, in 2014 and was listed by Clarivate (Thomson Reuters) as one of the world’s most influential scientists in 2023. PLOS Biology named Professor Johnstone as in the top 0.14% of authors for the research subfield of Oncology & Carcinogenesis in 2020.

He has been awarded more than $45 million in research funding as primary chief investigator, has supervised 37 PhD students to completion and serves as a senior editor at Science Advances and Molecular Cancer Therapeutics (AACR).

Congratulations on this remarkable achievement.