Sharon R. Lewin AO, FRACP, PhD
Professor Sharon Lewin is an infectious diseases physician and basic scientist and the inaugural director of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity and Professor of Medicine, a joint venture of the University of Melbourne and Royal Melbourne Hospital. The Doherty Institute combines research into infectious disease and immunity with teaching excellence, reference laboratory diagnostic services, epidemiology and clinical services. The $210 million building houses 700 expert scientists, researchers, clinicians, academics, staff and students and has a significant focus on virology and emerging infectious diseases. She was previously Chief of the Department of Infectious Diseases (2003 – 2014) at the Alfred Hospital.
Professor Lewin is internationally recognised for her work and expertise in the field of HIV persistence, reservoirs and latency. She leads an active laboratory based group and oversees early phase clinical trials for cure interventions. She was the local co-chair of AIDS2014, that was held in Melbourne and attracted over 14,000 delegates, the largest health conference ever held in Australia.
In 2022, Professor Lewin was appointed as the President of the International AIDS Society (IAS).
She was Melburnian of the Year in 2014, awarded to an inspirational role model who has made an outstanding contribution to the city. She was awarded the Peter Wills Medal in 2015 from Research Australia, the first woman to win this award. She was a foundation council member (2014-2017) and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
In the 2019 Australia Day Honours List, Professor Lewin was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in recognition of her distinguished service to medical research, and to education and clinical care, in the field of infectious diseases, particularly HIV and AIDS.
She has had continuous funding support from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) since 1992 and international funding as the lead investigator from multiple organisations, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 2003, the Wellcome Trust and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR). She is currently the lead investigator on a newly funded NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence on Emergency Response to Infectious Diseases, a national network of over 40 investigators working on all aspects of emergency responses (2016-2021).
She is an elected member of the governing council of the International AIDS Society (14,000 members; 2016-2020), a member of the Strategic Technical Advisory Committee to the Director, HIV and Hepatitis Program, World Health Organisation; She is a member of NHMRC council (2015- ) and Chair, Health Translational Advisory Committee (2015- ) of NHMRC; a member of the Science and Medical Research and Technology panel, the advisory group to the Victorian Government on investment in medical research, clinical trials and developing the clinical translational workforce. She is Chair of the Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood Borne Viruses and STIs (2016-), the peak body that advises the Minister of Health of Australia.