Professor Ross McKinnon

Strategic Professor in Cancer Research & Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Health Sciences (3.41)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Welcome to my homepage. I am currently a Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor in the College of Medicine and Public Health. I was previously Foundation Director of the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute, Dean (Research) and Cancer Council Beat Cancer Professor. A Flinders School of Medicine PhD graduate, I joined Flinders as Inaugural Director of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer in 2011 after 16 years with UniSA. At UniSA, I was the Inaugural Director of the Sansom Institute (2005-2009), Associate Head (Research) of the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Director, Centre for Pharmaceutical Research (spun out as CPR Pharma). I am an academic pharmacist with broad research interests in pharmacology, pharmaceutical biotechnology and oncology. I am a co-inventor of patents relating to cancer chemoprevention (PharmaQest) and the discovery of novel anti-inflammatory compounds. I am a Board Member of Therapeutic Innovation Australia,having provided the original vision for its facilitated therapeutic development pathways. I am a former Vice-President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) (two terms), which represents more than four million pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists globally. I was elected to the position of Chair, FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2020. I am a Fellow of both the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

B Pharm (SAIT)
B Sc (Hons) (Flinders)
PhD (Flinders)
Honours, awards and grants

Current Grants

McKinnon RA. Beat Cancer Professor (Cancer Council SA/ SA Health) 2012-2022

Meech R, McKinnon RA, Mackenzie PI, Hu DG, Karapetis CS. UGT enzymes in chemotherapeutic drug metabolism: new avenues to improve drug response and overcome resistance. NHMRC Project Grant. 2019-2021

Watson D, Karapetis C, Young G, Ratcliffe J, Woodman R, Koczwara B, Symonds E, Reed R, Fraser R, McKinnon R. Improving gastrointestinal cancer outcomes: prevention, treatment and survivorship. Beat Cancer Translational Package. 2018-2022


2020 Chair, FIP Board of Pharmaceutical Sciences

2020 Flinders University Distinguished Alumni Award

2018 APSA Distinguished Achievement Award

2017 Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor

2016 Fellow, Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences

2016: Barrie L. Reed Distinguished Lecturer, Monash University

2016: Vice-President, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) (Elected for second term)

2014: Fellow, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

2014: Chair, FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress 2014

2012: Vice-President, International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP)

2011: APSA Medallist

2011: AusBiotech Millis Orator

2010: CSIRO Flagship Fellow

2010: National Facilitator, DIISR Translating Health Discovery Into Clinical Applications SuperScience Project

2008: UniSA Chancellor's Community Engagement Award (collaboration with Chuulangun Aboriginal Corporation)

2004-2008: President, Australasian Pharmaceutical Science Association

2001: Fellow, Governor's Leadership Foundation (Leaders Institute of SA)

2000: Australian Institute of Political Science Tall Poppy Award

1993: NHMRC C.J. Martin Fellowship

1990: ASCEPT Neville Percy Prize

1988: Flinders University Medal, Peter Meffin Prize, Chancellor's Merit List, Dean's Merit List

1985: Beecham Research Laboratories Mastermind of Australian Hospital Pharmacy (State, National Winner)

1982: SAIT School of Pharmacy: Lipsham Memorial Award, Parke Davis Prize, Sir Eric Scott Prize

Key responsibilities

Beat Cancer Professorial Chair (Cancer Council/SA Health)

Teaching interests
  • Medical Biotechnology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer therapeutics
  • Research
Supervisory interests
Cancer treatment
Clinical pharmacology
Drug metabolising enzymes, cytochrome P450 and UDP-glucuronosyltransferase
Mutagenesis/carcinogenesis, molecular basis of mutation
Pharmaceutical biotechnology and natural product drug discovery
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Pharmacy (1), Oncology (1)
Associate supervisor: Biochemistry (1), Pharmacology (1)
Principal supervisor: Exotoxicology (UniSA) (4), Carcinogenesis (UniSA) (2), Pharmacy (UniSA) (1), Medicinal Chemistry (UniSA) (1), Cancer prevention (UniSA) (2), Pharmacology (UniSA) (3), Pharmacy (1), Oncology (2)
Associate supervisor: Cancer prevention (UniSA) (1), Autism (UniSA) (1), Biochemistry (UniSA) (1), Ecotoxicology (UniSA) (2), Drug Discovery (UniSA) (2), Genetics (UniSA) (1), Pharmacology (4), Cancer prevention (2), Cardiology (1), Oncology (Flinders) (1), Medicinal Chemistry (UniSA) (2)
Higher degree by research student achievements
Michael Ward

APSA Oral Prize -

Michael Ward

APSA Poster Award -

Bradley Simpson

Finalist, Channel 9 Young Achiever Awards - DEC 2009

Sasja Beetstra

Sansom Medal - DEC 2009

Michael Sorich

Tall Poppy Award - DEC 2009

Phil Gregory

Tall Poppy Award - DEC 2009

Michael Sorich

PE Biosystems Prize in Drug Metabolism, Delivery and Pharmacokinetics - DEC 2001

Michael Sorich

APSA Young Investigator Award - DEC 2003

Mafalda Dias

ASCEPT Pharmacogenomics Prize - DEC 2012

Michael Sorich

NHMRC CJ Martin Fellowship -

Bradley Simpson

NHMRC Early Career Fellowship -

Bradley Simpson

Tall Poppy Award - AUG 2014

Madele Van Dyk

Vice-Chancellor's Early Career Researcher Award - AUG 2020

Sasja Beetstra

Sansom Institute High Impact Paper Award - AUG 2006

Nuy Chau

ASCEPT Poster Prize in Drug Disposition - DEC 2012

Nuy Chau

PSWC 2014 Student Award – International Pharmaceutical Federation - APR 2014

Madele Van Dyk

Beat Cancer Early Career Fellow - DEC 2020

Ayla Orang

Flinders University 3 Minute Thesis winner - AUG 2017

Ayla Orang

ComBio Poster Award 2018 - SEP 2018

Sylvie Callegari

ASBMB Poster Prize - JUL 2008