Western Sydney’s Professor Jeremy Chapman is bestowed with the honour of the Medawar Prize on-stage in Buenos Aires

Professor Jeremy Chapman

Western Sydney Local Health District’s (WSLHD) Professor Jeremy Chapman has accepted the prestigious 2022 Medawar Prize on-stage in Buenos Aires.

The Medawar Prize, awarded biennially since 1990 and named after Society co-founder Sir Peter Medawar, is globally recognized as the most prestigious award for excellence in Transplantation Science and Jeremy is “surprised and honoured” saying “not many people get this award so it’s a true delight”.

The award recognizes outstanding investigators whose contributions have profoundly influenced organ transplantation.

Professor Chapman has dedicated much of his career to clinical care and research at Westmead, since commencing as a renal physician at Westmead Hospital in 1987. He has worked as Director of Western Renal Services, Westmead Hospital’s Director of Medicine and Cancer, as well as the Director of the Westmead Hospital Foundation, Chair of the Westmead Research Hub Council and member and deputy chair of the board of WSLHD.

In the early days of transplantation long-term care of transplant patients was mostly undertaken by transplant surgeons but as both the numbers and the complexity of transplantation increased, Professor Chapman was amongst the vanguard of renal physicians that focussed, as a physician, on care of patients after their transplant.

“It’s been an interesting road of discovery over time, but also a major transformation in the outcome for our patients,” Professor Chapman said.

“When I was first involved in 1978, we thought a 60% success rate at one year after a transplant was pretty good, even when choosing the very best patients to transplant, now, we would expect more than 90 or 95% success rates in much, much older and sicker patients.”

Professor Chapman began working at Westmead Hospital only a few years after it opened and immediately found it an exciting place to be.

It’s always been a place you could do innovative things and you could achieve almost anything because it wasn’t rusted into old habits and old systems. Australia has been a great springboard for global activity, so it’s worked out very well to be working in Australia to impact on transplantation globally.”

Professor Chapman

Professor Chapman has solid advice for anyone else considering a career in WSLHD saying “This is a place where you can make a difference to people’s lives.”

“WSLHD hospitals are all spectacular places to help to care for people with diseases that plague our population in western Sydney, but they also plague much of the world so it’s a great melting pot of people and of diseases and it’s a great place to manage and change the outcome for patients particularly through research and through innovative clinical practice.”