Epidemiologist recognised in King’s Birthday honours

Cosmos Magazine


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By Cosmos

Professor David Hunter has been awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia in the 2023 King’s Birthday Honours list.  

Hunter, who originally studied medicine at Sydney University before spending three decades at Harvard, is a world-renowned epidemiologist specialising in disease prevention and early detection now based at Oxford University in the UK. 

With a more recent focus on breast, colorectal, prostate and skin cancer, Hunter’s early career was focused on HIV research, particularly its prevalence in Africa and interactions between nutrition and the AIDS-causing disease’s pathogenesis.  

Joining the faculty at the Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in 1989, he went on to establish the Harvard Center for Cancer Prevention in 1997 and later its Program in Molecular and Genetic Epidemiology. 

Occupying deanships at the T.H. Chan school from 2019 to 2016, he was made an Emeritus Professor in 2016.  

After 33 years at Harvard, he most recently crossed the Atlantic to take up the position of Oxford’s Richard Doll Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, and where he leads a joint Harvard-Oxford epidemiological program as is a chief science advisor to the UK Early Detection of Disease Research Platform. 

As one of the worlds most prolific epidemiological researchers, he has published more than 700 studies and is one of the world’s most frequently citied medical researchers.  

His Companionship of the Order of Australia citation was awarded for eminent service to medicine as an epidemiologist, particularly in relation to disease prevention and early detection, and to the aetiology of breast, colorectal, prostate and skin cancers.  

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