Medical research community mourns the loss of leading HIV research pioneer

Medical research community mourns the loss of leading HIV research pioneer

20th March, 2018

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) mourns the loss of one Australia’s great pioneer researchers, Scientia Professor David Cooper AO, who sadly passed away on Sunday 18 March after a short illness.

Professor Cooper was a renowned clinician and researcher who dedicated his life to the prevention, treatment and cure of HIV and other infectious diseases that affect disadvantaged populations worldwide. Through his work, he was also an advocate for health as a fundamental human right.

Professor Tony Cunningham AO, President of AAMRI, said that Professor Cooper’s passing was very sad news for the medical research community, and that his leadership and intellect will be greatly missed by all.

“I’m deeply saddened by this news. David was one of the early pioneers who transformed Australia’s research into HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases,” Professor Cunningham said.

Professor Cooper was the Director of the Kirby Institute, and his leadership spanned the entire history of the institute. The institute was established in 1986 as small research centre responding to the then emerging HIV epidemic and he oversaw its development into a globally renowned research institute, producing life-saving research into HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.

“David’s research has made a significant contribution to curbing the spread of HIV. He played a leading role in current large-scale international clinical trials aimed at improving HIV treatments and eliminating HIV transmission through effective and safe drugs for prevention. His work has saved so many lives and will continue to do so.

“The AAMRI Board extends its deepest sympathies to David’s family, loved ones, and colleagues at the Kirby Institute,” Professor Cunningham said.


Media Contact: Peter Thomas, 0411 600 992,


You can read further on David’s contribution to the sector, and find out how to share stories of his life through the UNSW website.