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Dominic Dwyer calls time on 40+ year career in virology and public health pathology

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15th December, 2023

He became the public face of our pathology services during the COVID-19 pandemic, but now Professor Dominic Dwyer PSM is retiring after more than four decades dedicated to researching, diagnosing, and treating infectious diseases.

Pro­fes­sor Dominic Dwyer PSM is a world-renowned med­ical virol­o­gist and infec­tious dis­eases physi­cian at NSW Health Pathol­o­gy’s Insti­tute of Clin­i­cal Pathol­o­gy and Med­ical Research (ICPMR) at West­mead Hospital.

His long and dis­tin­guished career spans near­ly 42 years and has tak­en him all over the globe to inves­ti­gate viral out­breaks that threat­en the safe­ty of communities.

When he’s not con­sult­ing with inter­na­tion­al experts or shar­ing his insight and expe­ri­ence at health con­fer­ences, he has been a trust­ed spokesper­son on pub­lic health and emerg­ing infections.

A man wearing a white lab coat and face mask swabbing the nose of a woman seated in front of him.
Pro­fes­sor Dwyer on the front lines of COVID test­ing while on sab­bat­i­cal in Paris.

We’ve lost count of how many media inter­views he has enthu­si­as­ti­cal­ly giv­en dur­ing the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic and he is a glob­al­ly renowned researcher with over 500 pub­lished papers.

Dominic under­took post­grad­u­ate research in HIV/AIDS at the Insti­tute Pas­teur in Paris, France, before going on to the lead the World Health Orga­ni­za­tion (WHO) Nation­al Influen­za Cen­tre in Westmead.

He has exten­sive expe­ri­ence in pan­dem­ic respons­es, even pri­or to COVID-19. His work in mol­e­c­u­lar test­ing for HIV spans three decades and he assist­ed the WHO to man­age the SARS out­break in Chi­na near­ly 20 years ago.

“Dominic has been an exem­plary pub­lic ser­vant and a role mod­el for col­lab­o­ra­tive lead­er­ship and inno­v­a­tive ideas,” NSW Health Pathol­o­gy Chief Exec­u­tive Vanes­sa Janis­sen said.

“He’s a trust­ed voice in the lab­o­ra­to­ry, in the clin­ic and the media, but per­haps his biggest test came with the dev­as­tat­ing glob­al COVID-19 pandemic.

“Work­ing around the clock, he mar­shalled our expert ICPMR-West­mead team, devel­op­ing sci­en­tif­ic break­throughs to advance the health response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In 2020 Dominic was select­ed by the WHO to be part of an inter­na­tion­al team of physi­cians, sci­en­tists and researchers to explore the ori­gins of the coro­n­avirus in Wuhan, China.

A man wearing a surgical face mask leans on a balcony railing in a high-rise brick building.
Dominic Dwyer in Wuhan, Chi­na. (Pho­to cred­it: Rhett Why­man, SMH)

Dominic’s con­tri­bu­tion to the pan­dem­ic response earned him an Hon­ourable Men­tion in the 2021 NSW Pub­lic Ser­vant of the Year award.

He was award­ed the Pub­lic Ser­vice Medal in the 2022 Aus­tralia Day Hon­ours List for out­stand­ing pub­lic ser­vice as an infec­tious dis­ease expert and pub­lic health advi­sor in NSW, and the French Government’s ‘Cheva­lier de l’Ordre Nation­al du Mérite’ in 2021 for COVID-19 services.

Con­grat­u­la­tions on a stel­lar career Dominic, and we wish you a long and enjoy­able retirement!

A close up of a man's face above a row of test tubes.
Hang­ing up the lab coat after more than 40 years.



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