Professor Heddy Zola has been recognised on the Australia day 2023 honour roll of outstanding Australians. He was awarded an Office of the Order of Australia (AO) for his distinguished service to medical research, particularly immunology and immunopathology, and professional associations.
This pays tribute to a highly decorated research career that spans over 50 years together with profound contributions to diverse communities in science and healthcare. He is a National Health and Medical Research (NHMRC) chief investigator with 20 grants, author of more than 260 peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals and holds 8 patents. He has served in over 40 different professional roles (director, executive, council, committee, and advisory) across more than 20 professional societies in Australia and abroad.
The Australian and New Zealand cytometry communities are among those who have greatly directly benefited from Prof Zola’s pivotal work and service. His game-changing research at Flinders Medical Centre was a paradigm shift in immunology discoveries in Australia and internationally. He developed the first hybridoma lab to mass produce monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and his insights in Human Leucocyte Differentiation Antigens (HLDA) drove the discovery, mapping, and standardisation of many new cell surface markers, and in turn, the development of novel medical diagnostic tests and therapeutics. He also facilitated the installation of the first Flow Cytometer Cell Sorter in South Australia. Beyond his scientific excellence, Prof Zola has been a driving force of support and mentorship for many Australian scientists. His engagement with societies and collaborative research projects has been responsible for placing many investigators and their work on to the world stage.
For many years, Prof Zola has demonstrated extensive service to our professional society, the Australasian Cytometry Society. He was among the first to establish the AFCG, hosting the second-ever meeting of the AFCG which was held in Adelaide in 1979/80. He chaired the 8th International Conference on Human Leucocyte Differentiation Antigens (HLDA), a combined meeting with the 27th Annual Meeting of the AFCG and the 34th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Australasian Society for Immunology (ASI) in 2004. It is for his tremendous dedication to the field of flow cytometry that the Australasian Cytometry Society recognised Prof Zola’s life-long contribution with a Career Recognition Award, presented at our Annual General Meeting in 2018.
His influential research and service to the flow cytometry community of Australia and New Zealand brought a great deal of knowledge, experience, and a direct link to the rest of the world. His legacy is profound as it will be long-lasting on the local and the international scientific community.
The Australasian Cytometry Society is proud to honour and celebrate Prof Zola’s Order of Australia (AO) title and his exceptional career.