Congratulations Jamie – elected to The Royal Society

Professor Jamie Rossjohn, one of Australia’s leading scientists, has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) – one of the world’s most prestigious scientific bodies – in recognition of his transformative contributions to science.

The Royal Society, established in the 1660s, is the oldest scientific academy in continuous existence in the world. During Monash’s 70-year history, Professor Rossjohn is only the second Monash University researcher to receive this international recognition.

Professor Rossjohn FRS, from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University, is among 62 exceptional scientists honoured with Fellowships in 2022, joining the ranks of the world’s most eminent scientists. Previous Royal Society Fellows include Charles Darwin, Peter Doherty, Dorothy Hodgkin and over 280 Nobel Laureates.

A greater understanding of immunity has led to rapid advances in the development of vaccines and new cancer immunotherapies.  Developing groundbreaking and sustained discoveries that advance our molecular understanding of the immune system, Professor Rossjohn has made a pioneering contribution to natural knowledge and greatly enhanced Australia’s international reputation and capability for scientific discovery.

Professor Rossjohn’s citation says:

‘Professor Jamie Rossjohn is principally known for his contributions to the understanding of disease and the vertebrate host response, both from the aspect of protective and deleterious immunity. Namely, he has used structural biology to understand how T cell receptors recognise peptides, lipids and metabolites. Specifically, he has unearthed structural mechanisms of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) polymorphism impacting on viral immunity, drug and food hypersensitivities and T cell mediated autoimmunity.

Rossjohn has pioneered our molecular understanding of how T cells bind lipid-based antigens presented by the CD1 family. He has elucidated the structural basis of how vitamin B metabolites are presented by the MHC class I related protein, MR1; this revealed an entirely new class of antigen for T cells.’ 

“Ultimately these basic discoveries may lay the foundation for future innovative immunotherapies to treat disease,” Professor Rossjohn said.

“I view this appointment as a broader recognition of the team’s efforts in discovery science over the last two decades since I joined Monash – the team of researchers who undertook the investigations, the national and international collaborative team, and team Monash,” Professor Rossjohn said.

“Monash was broad-minded enough to give me an opportunity as a new lab head and provided an ideal environment that has enabled my basic research program to thrive.”

Sir Adrian Smith, President of the Royal Society, said: “It is an honour to welcome so many outstanding researchers from around the world into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“Through their careers so far, these researchers have helped further our understanding of human disease, biodiversity loss and the origins of the universe. I am also pleased to see so many new Fellows working in areas likely to have a transformative impact on our society over this century, from new materials and energy technologies to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence. I look forward to seeing what great things they will achieve in the years ahead.”

Professor Rossjohn will attend a ceremony in London in July where he will give a presentation of his work, sign the Charter book and be formally admitted as a Fellow.

Read more about Professor Rossjohn in Monash Lens.

Click here to learn more about the Royal Society and see the full list of 2022 Royal Society Fellows.

Original article

Also published here.

Outstanding Academy Fellows elected to Royal Society

Four Australian scientists have been elected Fellows of the Royal Society, the world’s oldest scientific academy in continuous existence, for their outstanding contributions to scientific understanding.

Professor Carola Vinuesa FAA FRS FAHMS

Professors Carola Vinuesa, Jamie Rossjohn, Richard Robson and Bob Pressey are among a group of 62 individuals worldwide who have been recognised this year by the Royal Society. All are already Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Vinuesa has been recognised for discovering populations of immune T cells, proteins and genes that work to improve the quality of antibodies that fight infectious microbes, while preventing production of harmful antibodies that can cause autoimmune diseases such as lupus or allergies.

“I feel very grateful to the many incredible members of my team and colleagues who have contributed to our discoveries over the last 20 years,” said Professor Vinuesa, who is based at the Francis Crick Institute and the Australian National University.

“Science will be absolutely key for the survival of our species living in a warming planet and in a world with increasing antibiotic resistance and threats of viral pandemics.

“Science can also bring justice to vulnerable people, as we hope to see in the case of Kathleen Folbigg, where genomic advances have proven her innocence after 19 years in jail falsely accused of killing her four children.”

Professor Jamie Rossjohn FAA FRS FAHMS

Professor Rossjohn is a leading structural biologist who is principally known for his contributions to the understanding the molecular basis underpinning infectious disease and the vertebrate host response.

He said he felt over the moon and overwhelmed to join the prestigious Royal Society and said his election highlighted the importance of basic research.

“Breakthrough scientific discoveries represent the foundation from which new technologies and therapies ultimately emerge,” said Professor Rossjohn, who is based at Monash University.

“The importance of discovery science is rapidly diminishing in Australia. It is important for science to have a strong voice so that we are trusted and supported by the public and government.”

Royal Society President, Professor Sir Adrian Smith, said it was an honour to welcome so many outstanding researchers from around the world into the Fellowship of the Royal Society.

“Through their careers so far, these researchers have helped further our understanding of human disease, biodiversity loss and the origins of the universe,” said Professor Smith.

“I am also pleased to see so many new Fellows working in areas likely to have a transformative impact on our society over this century, from new materials and energy technologies to synthetic biology and artificial intelligence.”

The Fellowship of the Royal Society includes the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from or living and working in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

Each year up to 52 Fellows and up to 10 Foreign Members are elected from a group of about 700 candidates.

Past Fellows and Foreign Members of the Royal Society have included Charles Darwin, Lise Meitner, Albert Einstein, Dorothy Hodgkin, and Stephen Hawking.

Read the Fellows’ citations and full list of Fellows elected to the Royal Society.

Original article