STEMM PROFILE: Professor Judith Black AO | Clinician Researcher | University of Sydney | Sydney | NSW

Judy Black[1]
Professor Judy Black

“You can have a career and a family”

Professor Judy Black studied medicine at the University of Sydney and after some years in clinical practice, undertook a PhD and commenced a career in full time medical research as a National Health and Medical research fellow She has focused on lung diseases such as asthma, smoking induced lung disease and lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM for short)–a devastating disease of young women. Judy has chaired committees of the Young Tall Poppies, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), the Asthma Australia Research Council and internationally, Human Frontiers in Science as well as the inaugural Human Ethics Committee at the University of Sydney.

In 2005 she was inducted into the Asthma NSW Foundation Hall of Fame and awarded an Order of Australia in 2007. She received the Research medal of the Thoracic society of Australia and New Zealand, the American Thoracic Society’s Joseph R Rodarte Award for Scientific Distinction in 2012, and in 2013 an Asthma Australia award for inspirational national leadership. She was elected one of 125 foundation fellows worldwide of the European Respiratory Society, has been elected to editorial boards of international journals and has published 200 papers. The NHMRC appointed her a high achiever in Australian health and medical research. She has delivered more than 90 national and international presentations including the Wunderly oration at the Thoracic Society of Australia and New Zealand and was a plenary speaker and facilitator at the University’s recent Women at Sydney symposia.

After 30 years as an NHMRC research fellow and with substantial contributions to science policy nationally and internationally, she is now focused on her passion of fostering the careers of the next generation of medical researchers.

What do you think is the most important character trait in a successful scientist?

Persistence and passion!

What would you say is your most valuable personal attribute that has helped you succeed?

The ability to network and to mentor younger scientists.

What do you believe are the greatest attributes of a successful leader?

Enthusiasm and empathy.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to women just starting their careers in science?

You can have a career and a family.

How can we change the scientific work culture to improve work/life balance?

Flexible working hours of partners.

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