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)
ResidenceCurrimundi, Queensland
Alma materMacquarie University
AwardsAustralian of the Year (2017)
Scientific career
FieldsBiomedical science
InstitutionsGriffith University
ThesisOdorous 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[edit]

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[edit]

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. (Nov 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. 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. 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[edit]