R. John Aitken
United States of America
R. John Aitken graduated from the University of London in 1969 with special honours in Physiology. He then undertook a Masters degree in embryology at the University of Wales, followed by a PhD in reproductive biology at the University of Cambridge under the supervision of RV Short. Following post-doctoral positions at the Institute of Animal Genetics, University of Edinburgh and the University of Bordeaux, he accepted an invitation to join the World Health Organization in Geneva, where he managed two WHO task forces within the Human Reproduction Unit. In 1977, he joined the Medical Research Council's Reproductive Biology Unit, University of Edinburgh, to establish a research group in the area of gamete and developmental biology. In 1992 John was awarded an Honorary Professorship within the Faculty of Medicine of Edinburgh University, and in 1995 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In 1998 he received an ScD degree from the University of Cambridge and in the same year moved to the University of Newcastle, NSW, as Chair of Biological Sciences and Foundation Director of the Centre for Life Sciences. He was subsequently appointed as Head of the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences before becoming Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Biotechnology and Development in 2003. Since arriving in Newcastle he has established a research group with more than 40 members, has grossed more than $30 million in research income and been instrumental in developing an undergraduate degree program in Biotechnology. John has published over 400 research articles, given more than 300 invited lectures and filed 13 patents. His work has been cited >11,000 times (h-index of 58), the highest citation index in his field and in the top 5% for all of biology and biochemistry. He has held industrial consultantships with a number of major pharmaceutical companies and is actively engaged in commercializing IP generated by the ARC Centre of Excellence. Examples of professional awards include the Walpole prize (Society for the Study of Fertility) in consecutive years (1986,1987), the Puvan Memorial Lecture (Royal Malaysian College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology) Bruce Stewart Memorial Lecture (American Society of Reproductive Medicine) the Amoroso lecture (the most prestigious award offered by the Society for the Study of Fertility) the Jennifer Hallam Memorial Lecture (Family Planning Association of the United Kingdom) and the MJ Edwards lecture (Australian Birth Defects Society). In 2003 he gave the Lloyd Cox Memorial oration to the University of Adelaide, and in 2004 delivered the Founders Lecture (the most prestigious award offered by the Society for Reproductive Biology) at a combined meeting of the SRB and the Endocrine Society of Australia in Sydney. In 2005 he received the ST Huang-Chan Memorial Medal from the University of Hong Kong, was appointed a Laureate Professor by the University of Newcastle and received the 2005 Scientist-Of-The-Year award for Research Excellence from the Hunter Medical Research Institute.
Reproductive Biology, Obstetrics and Gynaecology,