Sydney Medical School professors awarded a Payne-Scott Professorial Distinction



We are excited to announce that Professor Tania Sorrell and Professor Philip Poronnik of Sydney Medical School are among the five University of Sydney professors who have been honoured with a 2017 Payne-Scott Professorial Distinction.


The inaugural Payne-Scott Professorial Distinction aims to celebrate outstanding leadership and mentorship at the University, and to acknowledge leaders who live the University values.


The awardees were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the University community in their respective fields. Not only is their work recognised globally, but they have played a major role in community engagement and public debate, as well as contributing to educational reform and innovation.


Vice-Chancellor Dr Michael Spence noted that the awardees come from diverse fields, including environmental politics, computer science, mathematics, biomedical sciences and infectious diseases. 


"They may represent a broad range of academic disciplines, but they have something special in common: over a significant period of time, each of our awardees has demonstrated academic leadership that is imbued with teaching and research excellence and reflective of our University’s values," said the Vice-Chancellor. 


Over the course of the next year, the five Payne-Scott Professors will be engaged in activities designed to further the impact of the cultural strategy.


We congratulate all the awardees, which also include Professor Nalini Joshi, Professor Judith Kay and Professor David Schlosberg.

Professor Tania Sorrell

Professor Sorrell has made significant contributions to the University as a pioneer in the area of infectious diseases. She established the Marie Bashir Institute for Infectious Diseases and Biosecurity, uniting people from an array of disciplines to create an environment for higher degree students and post-doctoral fellows to develop into clinician and non-clinician leaders in infectious diseases research.


Along with her multiple leadership roles, Professor Sorrell is active in the supervision and mentoring of students and has a strong participation in grant reviews, manuscript peer-reviews and committee attendance for national and international efforts. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science and a Member of the Order of Australia.


As Deputy Dean at the Westmead campus, Professor Sorrell has taken a major leadership role in the University’s redevelopment initiative. She facilitated the development of an important strategic plan for the Westmead Clinical School and the formation of a strategic planning group for clinical research on the campus linked to the Westmead Research Hub.

Professor Philip Poronnik

Professor Poronnik is actively contributing to the transformation of education at the University. He led the program of work involved in the design and implementation of the teaching spaces and shared services model in the Charles Perkins Centre, most notably the flagship X-Lab.


He has had significant impact in creating new opportunities in interdisciplinary research and teaching, as well as initiating two Charles Perkins Centre project nodes: Health and Creativity and the Science of Learning Science.


He has been at the forefront of the University’s Westmead project, raising awareness, creating new units of study, mentoring and designing new educational spaces.


As the program director for medical sciences, Professor Poronnik leads the expert team developing the new curriculum. He plays an integral role in efforts to develop course structures, units of study and educational approaches that effectively address the long-term educational needs of our students.