Professor Douglas Hilton is the Director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) and Research Professor of Medical Biology and Head of the Department of Medical Biology at the University of Melbourne. His research interest is in molecular regulation of blood cell formation and function.
He studied a Bachelor in Science at Monash University, and went on to complete a BSc (Hons) in 1986 and PhD in 1990 from the University of Melbourne. After his PhD, Professor Douglas Hilton spent two formative years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Whitehead Institute, MIT, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with Professor Harvey Lodish. During this time, he worked on trying to understand how the dedicated receptor on the surface of red blood cells recognizes the hormone erythropoietin (also known as EPO), famous for its clinical use in patients with renal failure and infamous for its illicit use by some sports people.
At the age of just 39 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and currently serves on this organisation’s Council. In 2008, he was recognized as one of the NHMRC’s ‘Ten great minds in health and medical research’.
Professor Hilton has received many prizes and awards for his contribution to medical research, including the Amgen Medical Researcher Award, the inaugural Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research and the GSK Australia Award for Research Excellence.
In recent years, together with Warren Alexander and Benjamin Kile, Professor Hilton has established a new program using large-scale mouse genetics and genomics to identify which of the 30,000 genes in the genome regulate blood cell formation. The purpose of the program is to identify targets for the development of new medicines.
Throughout his career, Professor Hilton has been actively involved in the application of research through collaboration with industry. He is an inventor on more than 20 patent families, most of which have been licensed. He co-founded the biotechnology company Murigen and actively collaborates with CSL on a number of projects.
See the links below for more information or further reading on Professor Douglas Hilton, and his work: