Distinguished honour for young researcher

13 September 2019

An IMB kidney researcher and consultant nephrologist with the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital has been recognised as an outstanding young UQ alumnus.

Associate Professor Andrew Mallett will receive a 2019 Distinguished Young Alumni Award for his work on the genetics of inherited kidney disease and co-founding of Australia’s first renal genetics clinical service and program.

“You can’t treat what you don’t understand, and you can’t translate what you haven’t discovered,” Dr Mallett said. “Discovery science has a key role in making change.”

The current lack of treatments for kidney disease drove Dr Mallett to complete a PhD at UQ in the genetics of kidney disease, with the vision of developing a cure. 

After graduating from his PhD in 2016, Dr Mallett has become a Clinical Fellow at IMB, is Co-Lead of the Renal Genetics Program, National Director of the KidGen collaboration and Lead for two Rare Disease Flagships supported by Genomics Australia. 

He set up the first renal genetics clinic in Australia–a model that has now been rolled out to a further 17 sites nationally–that delivers access to diagnostic services that consider a patient’s genetics and could provide diagnoses for patients whose diseases would otherwise remain a mystery. 

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj AC said the awards are an opportunity to highlight the outstanding talent of alumni and the widespread impact of their work.

“We are honoured to recognise an incredible group of alumni who are making an impact in a diverse range of industries,” Professor Høj said.

“The impact of their work locally, nationally and internationally simply cannot be overstated.”​

The award recipients were nominated by their peers and selected by a committee led by Professor Høj.

“Each of these winners drives success through their work, but also for the communities around them, often taking on service, mentoring and philanthropic endeavours outside of their professional careers,” he said.

“Many of them have taken on the challenge to leverage disruption and embrace opportunities they may not have considered in their initial aspirations– an agility we are proud to instil in all our graduates to prepare them for an increasingly fast-paced professional environment.”

Dr Mallett will be presented with his award at the annual Courting the Greats ceremony on 16 October.