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After training as a physician, Dr Vadas began his research career with a PhD at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, then conducted postdoctoral work at Harvard. He has established major research enterprises in Australia, and his work has made significant contributions to medical science. These include seminal papers on the role of activation of granulocytes and endothelial cells in inflammation, and most recently on drugs that repair faulty blood vessels and reverse the vascular leak that underlies many inflammatory diseases.

Dr Vadas was most recently Executive Director and Joint Head of the Vascular Biology Program at the Centenary Institute in Sydney, and was previously Inaugural Director of the Hanson Centre for Cancer Research (now Hanson Institute) in Adelaide. He has extensive commercialisation experience and was involved in establishing two ASX-listed biotechnology companies; he now consults to the Australian biotechnology sector. Dr Vadas is an inaugural Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and a life member of the Australian Cancer Research Foundation.