Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee

27 April 2010

The degree of Doctor of Science (honoris causa) will be conferred upon Emeritus Professor Adrian Lee in recognition for his world leading research in microbiology and his significant role in the improvement of the quality of teaching and learning. Professor Lee will also deliver the occasional address at the 29 April ceremony.

Professor Adrian Lee holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Melbourne. Following the awarding of these degrees, Professor Lee travelled to New York where he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Rockefeller University with Professor Rene Dubos, one of the world’s great microbiologists. He became interested in the microbial ecology of the intestinal tract, a research interest that continued for the next thirty-five years. Professor Lee joined the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney in 1968 as a Lecturer, progressing to the position of Professor of Medical Microbiology.

He was Head of the School of Microbiology and Immunology from 1990–1999. Professor Lee was the leader of a large research team investigating H. pylori and the diseases peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. He has published more than 250 articles and was continuously funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) from 1972–2003. He was the first to develop a small-animal model of helicobacter infection and to show the potential of immunisation against the gastric pathogen. A major commercial partnership in the development of this vaccine was established between Unisearch, CSL Ltd Melbourne and Astra/Zeneca.

Professor Lee was awarded the Kincaid Smith Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Medicine in 1995, was the President’s Lecturer of the Australian Society for Infectious Diseases in 1999 and was made an Honorary Member of the European Helicobacter Study Group being one of only three members outside Europe. In 2002, he was the Rubbo Orator at the Annual meeting of the Australian Society for Microbiology.

Professor Lee was one of the first to receive the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence at UNSW and he was the inaugural recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award of the Australian Society for Microbiology. He was one of the first Associate Members of the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Regional Teacher Training Centre based at UNSW and has been a WHO Consultant in Medical Education. It was his commitment to improving the quality of teaching at UNSW that saw him take up the position of Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education and Quality Improvement) in 2000.

Professor Lee retired in 2006 and has since worked with many universities, including Deakin University, to help improve the student learning experience. In 2008, he was awarded a Career Achievement Award from the Australian Learning and Teaching Council. This award is given to individuals whose career achievements in learning and teaching in higher education have had a major influence and left an enduring legacy.

Back to media release

3rd May 2010