Professor James Alexander Angus

AO 2010, BSc, PhD (Syd), FAA

Head, Melbourne Medical School from 2003 to 2010 and Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences from 2003 to 2013

Scientist, Pharmacologist, Educator and Dean

James Alexander Angus graduated in Science from the University of Sydney in 1970 and completed his PhD there in 1974. An NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship enabled him to work with eminent pharmacologist and later Nobel Laureate, Sir James Black, from 1977 to 1978 at University College London and at the Wellcome Research Laboratories. He returned to Australia, working at the Baker Institute as NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow in the field of cardiovascular pharmacology and was appointed to a Personal Chair in Pharmacology at Monash University in 1992.  

In 1993 James Angus joined the University of Melbourne as Chair of Pharmacology and Head of the Department of Pharmacology.  In 1999 – 2001 he was a Member of the University Council and in 2000 – 2001 President of the University’s Academic Board. He was Pro Vice-Chancellor from 1999 – 2001 and was appointed Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences in 2002 and Dean of the Faculty in 2003.

The most recent of the Deans of the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences to also carry the role of Head, Melbourne Medical School, James Angus created the structure that resulted in the establishment of the Melbourne Medical School within the graduate school framework as part of the University’s Growing Esteem strategic plan.

James Angus chaired the development of the Indigenous Health Curriculum Framework, published in 2004; and during his tenure as President of the Medical Deans of Australia and New Zealand (MDANZ) from 2009 - 2011, was a champion of Indigenous issues. His support of MDANZ indigenous health projects, in particular the Leaders in Indigenous Medical Education (LIME) Network, has been invaluable to their development and implementation, making an outstanding contribution to the education of medical students in aspects of indigenous health.

James Angus has been a recipient of many distinguished awards: the Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Science (1984), Australia's Centenary Medal for contribution to Pharmacology and the Community (2003) and an appointment as Officer of the Order of Australia (2010) for distinguished service to biomedical research, particularly in the fields of pharmacology and cardiovascular disease, as a leading academic and medical educator, and as a contributor to a range of advisory boards and professional organisations both nationally and internationally. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and has been a member of its Council.

A first Vice-President of the International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR), James Angus was also President of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists. His current roles include directorships of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Mental Health Research Institute, Melbourne Health, Incorporated Joint Venture of the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre, Victor Smorgon Epworth Institute of Education and Research, and Victorian Institute for Forensic Medicine. He is also the Honorary Secretary, Victorian Rhodes Scholarship.

James Angus’ work in these many important roles throughout scientific and academic circles have brought distinction to the University and to the Melbourne Medical School and have facilitated its sustained high standing in those and wider communities.