Professor Kathryn North AC is Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the David Danks Professor of Child Health Research at the University of Melbourne.
Professor North trained as a paediatrician, neurologist and clinical geneticist and was awarded a research doctorate in neurogenetics. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Harvard Genetics Program. She is one of Australia’s most influential clinician scientists, dedicated to driving Australian medical research towards real improvement in human health. At MCRI, Professor North leads a diverse team of over 1500 researchers focussed on improving the health and wellbeing of children and their families. MCRI’s overarching research strategy encompasses genomics, stem cell medicine, population health, global health, computational biology and clinical translation.
Professor North is a national and global leader in genomic medicine. Since 2016, she has led Australian Genomics, a national network of over 100 institutions around Australia, with the goal of embedding genomic medicine in the Australian health system. She is Vice Chair of the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health, a collaborative network of over 600 organisations across 100 countries focused on the responsible sharing of clinical and genomic data. In 2022 Professor North was appointed by the Australian government as the inaugural Chair of Genomics Australia, a new health agency established to support and accelerate genomic technologies into clinical practice.
Professor North is President of the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes, a Board member of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a member of Victorian Government Health and Medical Research Strategic Advisory Committee. She is Chair of Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health (UK) International Advisory Board, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Singapore National Precision Medicine Program and Toronto Sick Kids Research Institute. Professor North also served as Chair of the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Research Committee from 2012-2018.
Professor North has received several awards and distinctions for her outstanding achievements and contributions, including the GSK Australia Award for Research Excellence (2011), the Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2012), and the Peter Wills Medal (2019) (in recognition of her long-term contribution to building Australia’s international reputation in health and medical research). In 2014 she was appointed as a Foundation Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and in 2019 she was awarded one of Australia’s highest honours, Companion (AC) of the Order of Australia, in recognition of her eminent service to genomic medicine.