Professor R. John Aitken (ScD FSRB FRSN FAHMS FRSE FAA)

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Health and Medicine

Laureate Professor of Biological Sciences

The University of Newcastle, NSW.

Laureate Professor John Aitken is a global leader in reproductive biology and was awarded the 2012 NSW Scientist of the Year. Based at the University of Newcastle, he is President, International Society of Andrology, Director of the Priority Research Centre in Reproductive Science and Professor of Biological Sciences.

Professor Aitken heads up a research team that is making significant inroads into human reproductive issues. His research achievements include identifying a major cause of male infertility that has resulted in new methods of therapeutic intervention.

Professor Aitken and his team have also been responsible for identifying a range of environmental and other factors, including potential toxins in cigarette smoke and pesticides that could not only impact on fertility but also create multi-generational DNA damage, resulting in a significant increase in the chances of a man’s children developing cancer. The work of Professor Aitken not only addresses human reproduction but also animal reproduction where his research is a crucial aspect of improving the efficiency of Australia’s world-leading horse breeding industry.

Professor Aitken joined the University of Newcastle in 1999 after forging an impressive international career, which included heading up two Geneva-based independent World Health Organisation task forces dealing with fertility regulation. John has published over 480 research articles, given more than 350 invited lectures and filed 12 patents. His work has been cited >16,000 times and since arriving in Newcastle he has generated >$37 million in research income. He is on the Editorial Boards of eight journals and Chairman of two pharmaceutical boards.