Alan Mackay-Sim

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Alan Mackay-Sim
Alan Mackay-Sim 2017.jpg
Mackay-Sim in 2017
Born (1951-05-16) 16 May 1951 (age 68)
Nationality Australian
Alma mater Macquarie University
Awards Australian of the Year (2017)
Scientific career
Fields Biomedical science
Institutions Griffith University
Thesis Odorous communication by stressed rats (1978)

Alan Mackay-Sim (born 16 May 1951)[1] is an Australian biomedical scientist specialising in adult stem cell research, and winner of the 2017 Australian of the Year. Some of his research focuses on olfactory ensheathing cells,[2] which are cells in the human nose that interact with the nervous system to cause a sense of smell.

His research into stem cells contributed to the treatment of spinal cord injuries. The restoration of mobility to Darek Fidyka, a Polish paraplegic man, used research by Mackay-Sim.[3][4][5]

Academic and professional life

Mackay-Sim received his PhD from Macquarie University in 1980,[6] then subsequently studied at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Wyoming.[4]

He was the director of the National Centre for Adult Stem Cell Research at Griffith University before his retirement in 2015.[7]

Personal life

Mackay-Sim grew up in Roseville, New South Wales,[4] the third of four brothers.[8] He attended North Sydney Boys High School.[9]

He is married, with two children.[8]

In 2015,[10] he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, and was treated with stem cell transplant.[7][11][12]

Mackay-Sim retired in 2015, and lives in Currimundi, Queensland.[8]



  1. ^ "Family Notices". The Sydney Morning Herald (35, 382). New South Wales, Australia. 17 May 1951. p. 20. Retrieved 25 January 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Chehrehasa, Fatemeh; Ekberg, Jenny A. K.; Lineburg, Katie; Amaya, Daniel; Mackay-Sim, Alan; St. John, James A. (November 2011). "Two phases of replacement replenish the olfactory ensheathing cell population after injury in postnatal mice". Glia. 60 (2): 322–32. doi:10.1002/glia.22267. hdl:10072/45582. PMID 22065423.
  3. ^ a b "Champion for stem cell use named Australian of the Year". ABC News. 25 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Knott, Matthew (25 January 2017). "Scientist whose miracle made a paraplegic walk again named Australian of the Year". Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. ^ "Australian of the Year is injury research pioneer Alan Mackay-Sim". BBC. 25 January 2017 – via
  6. ^ a b "Curriculum vitae". Griffith University. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Australian of the Year winner: Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 January 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Susan Johnson (20 January 2017). "Professor Alan Mackay-Sim is dedicated to spreading the word on medical research". The Courier Mail. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  9. ^ NSBHS Higher School Certificate 1969
  10. ^ Emily Brooks (25 January 2017). "Meet The New Australian Of The Year: Professor Alan Mackay-Sim". Huffington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  11. ^ Stephanie Bedo (22 January 2017). "The remarkable scientist making new life connections". Griffith University. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Myeloma: I am ready to enjoy each day more". Leukaemia Foundation. Retrieved 27 January 2017.

External links

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