Global leader in pharmaceutical science

As a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor, Ross McKinnon is an academic pharmacist with a substantial and diverse record of achievement spanning education, research, policy, professional activity and leadership. 

Professor Ross McKinnon’s (BSc (Hons) ’89, PhD(Med) ’93) long relationship with Flinders University began when a senior pharmacy colleague recommended he study at Flinders, highlighting the innovative nature of its pharmacology research effort. Professor McKinnon excelled at his studies, inspired particularly by Professors Mick McManus, John Miners and Peter Mackenzie.

“The research environment I worked in at Flinders was world-class and positioned me well for a career in pharmacology and pharmaceutical science,” he says. “And my postgraduate experience at Flinders was instrumental in driving my career in research and my research leadership roles. It provided the skill set and motivation to pursue an ambitious approach to everything I do.”

Now a research leader at the University, Professor McKinnon has attracted more than $34 million in research funding and has led the establishment of three major South Australian medical research entities – the Sansom Institute (UniSA), Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer (FCIC) and the Flinders Institute of Health and Medical Research (FHMRI).

Recognised as a global leader in pharmacy, Professor McKinnon is widely credited with the internationalisation of Australian pharmaceutical science through successfully engaging with the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), which represents over four million pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists globally. Recently, he became the first Australian elected Chair of the FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences, effectively the global lead in pharmaceutical science.

Professor McKinnon is particularly proud of having provided the vision for the establishment of a national therapeutic development pathway that forms the basis of Therapeutic Innovation Australia’s highly successful therapeutic development activities.

He says, “My future aim at Flinders is to contribute to the ongoing success of the Precision Medicine group, and internationally I seek to further unite the various areas of pharmaceutical research and education under the remit of the International Pharmaceutical Federation under a single vision.”

Professor Ross McKinnon was awarded a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award for his distinguished national and international leadership in pharmaceutical science, positioning Australia as a major contributor to the global pharmaceutical science community.

Read more about the Flinders University Alumni Awards

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