Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine launched

18 December 2015

The Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM), at James Cook University has been officially launched by the Federal Education Minister, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham at a ceremony at Parliament House in Canberra.

JCU Medical School
L to R: Prof Ian Wronski, Minister Andrew Robb, Professor Louis Schofield,Vice-Chancellor Professor Sandra Harding, Senator Simon Birmingham (Photo credit: JCU)

The ceremony marks a special milestone for the emergence of AITHM, with James Cook University Vice Chancellor, Professor Sandra Harding stating that the official launch of AITHM demonstrates Australia’s position as a global leader in tropical health and medicine.
“Northern Australia’s proximity to the fast growing Southeast Asian and Pacific nations, both as part of the growing tropics presents extraordinary opportunities for Australian tropical medicine.”
“AITHM and JCU have developed a highly technical and advanced medical research capability and are well poised to respond to the scale of opportunity emerging from our near neighbours in the Asia Pacific,” Professor Harding said.
The official launch featured presentations demonstrating AITHM’s capacity building activities and showcasing a suite of research that is being translated into reality.
AITHM Director Professor Louis Schofield stated “AITHM is developing strong connections with organisations such as the Gates Foundation for research into malaria, and Johnson and Johnson in the development of therapeutics.”
James Cook University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ian Wronski AO said that AITHM’s research focus is on translation and commercialisation of research into new tropical therapeutics and diagnostics.
“AITHM provides a key knowledge based industry for engagement with Asia and the Pacific in research, research training, transfer of knowledge and the commercialisation of research findings.
“Australia has a bright future in tropical health and medicine and AITHM will play an important role in managing or eradicating many of the diseases specific to this region,” Professor Wronski said.
AITHM was made possible with $42M in establishment funding from the Commonwealth Government, Australian Research Council Special Research Initiative, combined with an additional $42.12M funding from the Queensland Government.

About James Cook University Medical School

The JCU School of Medicine specializes in rural and remote medicine. The program has a unique place among Australian medical schools. The course is undertaken entirely in northern Australia and has an emphasis on tropical medicine, the health of rural and remote communities, and of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders. The medical program is informed by a concern for social justice, innovation and excellence in medical education, research and service.

Are you interested in pursuing a career in rural and tropical medicine? JCU Medical School may be for you! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Admissions Officer Sarah Bridson at or call 1-866-698-7355 for more information.