Professor Hopwood was honoured with the 2009 CSL Florey Medal for his life-long work into the diagnosis and treatment of genetically inherited disorders that affect children with devastating clinical effects leading to progressive destruction of the brain and other organs.
Born in Melbourne, and educated at the Swinburne Institute and then Monash University, Hopwood first formed the Lysosomal Diseases Research Unit in 1976.
From basic science to clinical trials, through to clinical outcomes and commercialisation, Professor Hopwood has dedicated three decades of research, discovery and personal perseverance in the service of human health advancement for the sufferers of lysosomal storage disorders (LSD) which affect at least one in 5,000 babies if not one in 1,000, as recent research suggests. Recently, lysosomes have become implicated in otherwise unexplained stroke and heart disease, cancers and neurodegenerative disorders.
Professor Hopwood today heads a group of more than 30 researchers through SA Pathology at the Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s Hospital, focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of LSD, and was awarded the South Australian of the Year (Science) Award in 2008 amongst other accolades. Hopwood and his team have developed a novel program to enable newborn screening for these disorders. His unit has achieved world-first treatments for two lysosomal storage diseases that have dramatically improved clinical outcomes for patients worldwide, numerous patents, as well as FDA-approved drugs and commercial licenses and attracted over $30 million in competitive research funding, to date.
John Hopwood’s research is world leading. He has displayed continuous and humble dedication and effectiveness in relating to LSD patients and their families alongside his research team, clinicians, global colleagues and pharmaceutical companies. John is a man of vision who, through basic research, persistence and commitment, has accumulated and harnessed scientific knowledge and techniques to achieve his stated goal of “early diagnosis and effective therapy of lysosomal storage disorders”. Without his efforts, thousands worldwide would be without diagnosis, therapy or the hope that either would ever come.
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