Honorary awards

Professor John Prineas

The honorary degree of Doctor of Medicine was conferred upon Professor John Prineas by the Pro Chancellor Mr Alec Brennan at the Faculty of Health Sciences graduation ceremony held at 9.30am on 25 November 2011.

The Pro Chancellor and Professor Prineas

The Pro Chancellor and Professor Prineas, photo, copyright Memento Photography.


Pro-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to commend Professor John Prineas to you for the award of Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa). Professor Prineas has distinguished himself through his creative achievement in the field of medical science, particularly for his contributions to the understanding of the pathology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

Professor Prineas graduated with an honours degree from the Faculty of Medicine in 1958. Following a professional internship at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital he travelled to the United Kingdom where he undertook training in neurology and neurological research for eight years. In 1972 he was appointed Senior Lecturer in Medicine at the University of Sydney where he taught and continued his research before accepting an appointment as Professor of Neurology at New Jersey Medical School and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. He enjoyed a distinguished career in the United States, and on retiring in 1999, returned to Sydney as Honorary Professor in the Department of Medicine where he continues his research as well as the supervision of postgraduate students.

His early research centred on peripheral nerve diseases and he made a significant contribution to medical science, identifying a distinct disease - chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy. He has made a number of outstanding contributions to the understanding of the neuropathology and neuroimmunology of the condition of multiple sclerosis, which is essential to finding a successful treatment of the disease.

Professor Prineas’ work has garnered world-wide attention. His papers have been published in leading international journals and have been recognised by accompanying editorials. In 2009 his contributions to multiple sclerosis research were recognised by the Multiple Sclerosis International Federation which presented him with the highly prestigious Charcot Award for a lifetime of outstanding research into multiple sclerosis. He is the first Australian to be so honoured.

Pro-Chancellor, Professor John Prineas has an exceptional profile in the field of multiple sclerosis both in Australia and overseas; we are pleased to take this opportunity to honour his contribution to neurological science. I invite you to confer the degree of Doctor of Medicine (honoris causa) upon this inspirational alumnus.