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08 Apr 2019

Professor Stuart Tangye receives prestigious Presidential Award

Professor Stuart Tangye, Leader of Immunity and Inflammatory Diseases research at Garvan, has been awarded the Clinical Immunology Society’s 2019 Presidential Award.

Stuart Tangye

The Clinical Immunology Society is devoted to fostering developments in the science and best practice of clinical immunology, and is one of the leading North American representative bodies for the field. The CIS Presidential Award is presented to researchers for outstanding long-term, high-impact contributions to the science and/or practice of clinical immunology. The award was presented at the Clinical Immunology Society’s Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

“It’s a real thrill to be internationally recognised with this award,” says Professor Tangye. “Previous recipients of this award are superstars in clinical immunology, so it’s an absolute honour to be counted amongst them.”

“It’s truly a testament to the world-class research by Stuart, and the network of colleagues he has brought together, that he has been recognised by international peers with the Presidential Award”, says Professor Chris Goodnow, Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. “This award is rarely given outside the USA, which reflects how much Stuart’s work has advanced the science of immunology and the benefit for patients with serious immune diseases.”

For more than 20 years, Professor Tangye has been dedicated to understanding what makes the human immune system work, and in turn, what can derail it. Working closely with clinicians and patients with rare immune disorders, Professor Tangye has been breaking down the complexities of the immune system to explain immune and inflammatory diseases and define promising therapeutic targets, particularly in the area of adaptive immunity. 

Amongst other projects, Professor Tangye is currently spearheading the Clinical Immunogenomics Research Consortium Australia (CIRCA) program, a Garvan-led research network of scientists and clinicians with diverse backgrounds who come together to unravel the causes of often mysterious illnesses in patients, regularly children,  with rare immune conditions using cutting-edge whole genome sequencing technology. This unique program is already changing the lives of patients and their families, such as Stella, who was diagnosed with a rare genetic variation, DOCK8, through the CIRCA program and has gone on to receive life-changing treatment.

“I’ve always been passionate about finding paths that lead to the translation of research into treatments for patients by linking the genetic and cellular defects that we discover in the lab to clinical defects that cause so many problems for these patients,” says Professor Tangye. “These diseases are rare, and the number of people affected is small, but it doesn’t minimise the importance or need of the research. You’re not just helping one person; you’re helping a whole family and community.”