Women in STEM champion elected to esteemed Academy

Professor Elaine Holmes in the lab at the ANPC

One of the nation’s most respected scientific organisations has recognised Murdoch University Professor Elaine Holmes for her world-leading contributions to the advancement of human health.

Professor Holmes is the only Western Australian among 20 distinguished scientists elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science, announced earlier today.

Academy Fellows are among the nation’s most distinguished scientists, elected by their peers for ground-breaking research and contributions that have had clear impact.

As Director of the Centre for Computational and Systems Medicine at Murdoch’s Health Futures Institute, Professor Holmes uses metabolic profiling and chemometrics to investigate maternal and infant health, liver and gastrointestinal disease, and metabolic diseases such as diabetes and dementia.

Much of her research is directly translational to public health. For example, Professor Holmes looks at molecular “cross-talk” between the human host and gut microbiome to determine personalised nutrition requirements, and she has contributed to understanding the molecular processes driving obesity.

“I love that my work makes a real difference,” she said, “science has given me many opportunities, the greatest of which has been the opportunity to explore how humans respond to their environment.”

“It is an honour to be elected as a Fellow of the Academy, and I am hoping that I can contribute to the Academy's mission to encourage more girls and women to thrive in STEM subjects.”

Professor Holmes was inspired by her father, to undertake a scientific career. She was the first in her family to do so and was a single mother when she completed her PhD.

“People were doubtful I could manage both family and work commitments, but that’s just not true, my advice is believe in yourself and just go out there and do it,” she said.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks praised Professor Holmes’ determination and commitment to her research.

“Not only is she solving complex health issues that have real, global impact, every day that she does, she is inspiring women and girls to embrace careers in science,” he said.

“I congratulate Professor Holmes wholeheartedly on her election to the Academy, it is an accolade that is truly well deserved.”

Leran more about how Murdoch University research is finding life-changing solutions to life's complex challenges.
Posted on:

25 May 2023

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The many interlinked facets of human health, from understanding the genome and its variable expression, to disease surveillance, health data linkage, mental health and navigating life's milestones, intersect at the Health Futures Institute.

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