A life devoted

ONE of renowned paediatrician Professor Fiona Stanley’s earliest memories is of watching her virologist father extract spinal cords from mice, grind them up and inject them into chimpanzees to try to produce a polio vaccine, in Sydney in the 1940s.

Bedtime stories in the Stanley household were more inspirational than fairytales, with science books at the top of the pile. Poring over such books, and the stories of Nobel laureates Marie Curie and Albert Schweitzer, and African American scientist George Washington Carver, it’s little wonder that the young Fiona Stanley grew up to be a doctor, professor, leader in research and high achiever.

At age 12, Professor Stanley won a book about Albert Schweitzer at school. “I’m sure it made a difference to the reason why I wanted to do medicine,” she says.

Today, she is an epidemiologist with an impressive list of qualifications, work experience, achievements and passion for