Professor Antony Basten was appointed Professor of Immunology at the University of Sydney in 1975, at the remarkably young age of 36.
His continuing contribution to the science of immunology and the art of clinical immunology is an unparalleled, extraordinary record of achievement for him, and a chronicle of much of the progress in his chosen field of immunology in Australia, and, indeed, internationally. These achievements have been recognised by his appointment as an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for services to Medicine (AO), his election to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA) and to Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences (FTSE), an award from the Prime Minister of Australia of a Centenary Medal for service to Australian society and science in immunology, and the award of the Inaugural Wellcome Australia Medal for ‘distinguished discovery and its demonstrated use’, the Rotary International Award for Vocational Excellence and his appointment as Professor Emeritus at the University of Sydney in 2006. In addition, the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy have established the Basten Oration, in honour of his contribution to this society, which he served as its inaugural President, amongst several other roles.
Of many highlights in Professor Basten’s scientific career, the award of one of the first NHMRC Program Grants, his listing (as one of only seven Australians) in the top 1,000 Scientists from all disciplines world-wide (adjudged by Citation Index), his Directorship of the Clinical Immunology Research Centre, University of Sydney, his appointment as the inaugural Executive Director of the Centenary Institute of Cancer Medicine and Cell Biology (recognised world-wide as one of the foremost medical research institutes) and his role as Chief Scientist for CenTec Limited, are unsurpassed.
Professor Basten remains widely sought as a speaker at prestigious scientific meetings, both in Australia and overseas. He has been the Rubbo Orator at the Australian Society for Microbiology, the Florey Lecturer of the Royal Society, London, and he delivered the Burnet Oration at the 25 th Annual Meeting of the Australasian Society of Immunology. In addition, he has been an invited speaker at over 100 international scientific meetings, served on the Editorial Boards of 11 international scientific journals, served on WHO Steering Committees on Vaccines for Fertility Regulation and Immunology of Mycobacteria and as Chairman of the Year 2000 International Congress of Allergology and Clinical Immunology (1995-2000).
Publications in international journals by Professor Basten number in excess of 270.
Throughout his career, Professor Basten has directed clinical medical services at all levels, as Head of the Department of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Area Director of Clinical Immunology and Allergy for Central Sydney Health Service and as Head of the Division of Medicine at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, whilst serving as a Consultant Immunologist at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children, Concord General Repatriation Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and Royal Newcastle Hospital.
To date, over 50 students have completed their degrees and numerous physicians have completed their clinical immunology training under his supervision, with seven of these now full Professors, three Associate Professors, seven Staff Specialists at major teaching hospitals, three Senior Lecturers and three Lecturers, while another three have taken up senior positions in the biotechnology industry.
Currently, Professor Basten is Professor of Medicine at the University of New South Wales and Honorary Senior Principal Research Fellow in Immunology at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, following his return from Trinity College, Cambridge, UK, where he was the Visiting Fellow Commoner at Trinity College and a Fellow at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology at Cambridge University. His research interests have included the regulation of immune responses in health and disease, and clinical trials of immunomodulatory agents in cancer, multiple sclerosis and deep vein thrombosis. In 2012 he co-chaired an Australian Academy of Science’s working party on vaccination.