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The Lamberts receiving their Honorary Fellowships
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Barry and Joy Lambert recognised as medicinal cannabis pioneers

12 December 2019
Grandparents recognised for medical science support
Philanthropists Barry and Joy Lambert have been recognised with Honorary Fellowships by the University of Sydney for their pioneering collaboration on the establishment of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics.

Barry and Joy Lambert were conferred with Honorary Fellowships at the University of Sydney’s Great Hall today in recognition of their support for medicinal cannabis research.

Mr and Mrs Lambert are recognised for their ongoing support and advocacy for research into the efficacy and safety of what some people hope might be the next 'breakthrough treatment’.

Both Barry and Joy were driven by the need to alleviate the life-threatening seizures experienced by their granddaughter
Barry and Joy Lambert (centre) with Professor Cheryl Jones, Head of School and Dean, Sydney Medical School, and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence (L-R).

Barry and Joy Lambert (centre) with Sydney Medical School's Head of School and Dean, Professor Cheryl Jones, and Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Dr Michael Spence (L-R).

The couple was conferred with Honorary Fellowships by Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence at the Faculty of Medicine and Health graduation ceremony. The citation referred to their “substantial contributions to research excellence at the University through the establishment of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics”.

In 2015,  Mr and Mrs Lambert pledged $33.7 million to the University of Sydney for research into the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis at the Brain and Mind Centre. Their gift is being used to fund the Lambert Initiative.

The Lambert Initiative is a world-leading research centre focussed on developing safe and effective cannabinoids for medical use. The Lambert Initiative is also committed to outreach and routinely provides expert advice and education to medical professionals, pharmacists, the government and the general community. 

Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world.

The citation reads: "Barry and Joy’s continued financial and ideological support has transformed the University’s research efforts in this area and allowed the University to lead Australia and the world in the science of cannabis and cannabinoids. The Lamberts’ support has enabled the creation of state-of-the-art facilities that are now thriving with the research activity of around 40 researchers.

“Both Barry and Joy were driven by the need to alleviate the life-threatening seizures experienced by their granddaughter, Katelyn, who was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome at the age of two. Because of her treatment with medicinal cannabis, Katelyn can now go to school and experience life as a typical eight-year-old.

“Barry and Joy are fierce proponents of the need to change the way we think about cannabis and have campaigned strongly for greater patient access to cannabis-based medications.”

Mr Lambert is now the Chairman of Ecofibre, which produces and distributes hemp-derived products to consumers and retailers in the United States.

The citation concludes: “Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world who suffer from conditions that may be alleviated by the use of safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics.”

Vivienne Reiner

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Marcus Strom

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