Alumni

Ekert, Henry AM

  • Professor Henry EkertDate and place of birth

    28th of July 1936, Przemysl, Poland

    University attended

    The University of Melbourne

    Academic qualifications

    MBBS, MD, FRACP, FRCPA

    Positions held at The Royal Children's Hospital

    • Resident
    • Registrar
    • Fellow
    • Clinical Haematologist
    • Director Clinical Haematology and Oncology
    • Senior Consultant Children’s Cancer Centre
    • Director Division of Specialist Medicine
    • Director of Division of Medicine

    Other positions held

    • Fellow Hematology/Oncology Los Angeles Children’s Hospital
    • Welcome Research Fellow Hospital for Sick Children Great Ormond Street
    • Professorial Associate University of Melbourne
    • Advisor on Haematology and Blood Products Commonwealth Department of Health
    • Board Director Peninsula Health
    • Visiting Professor University of Singapore
    • Commissioned Professor University System Hong Kong
    • Visiting Professor University of Vanderbilt
    • Visiting Professor UCLA, USA
    • Visiting Professor Peking Medical Academy China
    • Visiting Scientist Weizmann Institute
    • Israel and Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Hospital Seattle, USA
    • President of Clinical Oncological Society of Australia
    • Chairman of Australian and New Zealand Childhood Cancer Study Group
    • Director of Medical Advisory Board to Haemophilia Foundation of Australia
    • Secretary of Australian Society of Medical Research

    Clinical interests

    All of paediatric haematology and oncology with focus on bleeding disorders particularly haemophilia, leukaemia, lymphomas, bone marrow transplantation and reducing the long term side effects of radiation therapy in childhood cancers.

    Ensuring child and family centred care in the clinical service and aspects of ethics in childhood bone marrow transplantation and cancer treatment.

    Research

    180 published, peer reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of haematology and oncology, and two books. Particular attention to Factor VIII biochemistry and detection of carriers of Haemophilia, Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation and clinical trials in Leukaemia, Hodgkin disease and other solid tumours and methodology and results of autologous bone marrow transplantation.

    Collaboration in molecular measurement of minimal residual disease in leukaemia.

    Role of recombinant factor VIIA in haemostasis in haemophilia and congenital heart disease requiring surgery with cardiac by-pass.

    Career highlights/achievements

    Henry feels privileged to have participated and contributed to the revolutionary improvement in cure rates of all childhood cancers and was the first in Australia to use autologous bone marrow transplantation in leukaemia and lymphomas. His emphasis was on the reduction of morbidity of treatment both short and long term in leukaemia and Hodgkin disease. Henry was also the first in Australia to introduce home treatment of haemophilia and the use of prophylaxis for haemophilia treatment.

    A major career highlight of Henry's was overcoming of the scourge of HIV infections in children with bleeding disorders.

    Outside The Royal Children's Hospital

    Henry has written a book on his and his parents survival during the Holocaust and has told his story to school children through the organisation known as Courage to Care to discourage prejudice and bullying in Victorian schools.

    Henry has participated in creating guidelines for the use of blood products in Australia and has had a major hand in improving health care on the Peninsula through his participation on the Peninsula Health Board.

    Honours and awards

    • Member of the Order of Australia
    • Gold medal award The Royal Children's Hospital
    • Life member Australasian College of Physicians
    • Life member of the Clinical Oncological Society of Australia
    • Winner of Tattersall’s Award for Enterprise and Achievement
    • Ron Sawers Award for Services to Haemophilia
    • Semi-finalist BHP Award for Pursuit of Excellence