Citation for the Award of Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa)
Professor Emeritus Sir Peter Morris is widely recognised for his remarkable pioneering achievements combining research on the immune response to histocompatibility antigens and its suppression with the clinical application of this work into transplantation. His work has received international accolades for its role in the development of the specialty areas of transplant surgery and biology.
After graduating MBBS from the University of Melbourne in 1957 and completing a residency at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Peter Morris travelled to London on a Dominion Postgraduate Fellowship. His time in the UK was followed by a series of appointments in America after which he returned to Australia taking up clinical and research roles in the University Department of Surgery at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. Since 1974 until early this century he was Nuffield Professor and Chair of the Department of Surgery at the University of Oxford and Radcliffe Hospitals, Director and Founder of the Oxford Transplant Centre and Fellow of Balliol College. He also cofounded the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics at Oxford. In 2001 he was elected as President of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, a post he held till 2004. He then established a Centre for Evidence in Transplantation, which is based at the College of Surgeons and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he holds an honorary Professorship.
Evidence of the high esteem in which Peter Morris is held is found in the diversity of places where his work has been singled out for special acknowledgement and the range of institutions seeking his association through visiting appointments and professorships. Such recognition has been made across North and South America, throughout Europe, Asia and Oceania and he has delivered over 40 special and invited lectures at universities and professional societies throughout the world. The breadth of his sphere of influence is revealed through the many professional bodies across the world of which he is an elected or honorary member or fellow.
He is the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, prizes and medals bestowed in recognition of the role his scientific and clinical work has played in the development of transplant medicine and surgery. The exceptional character of Peter Morris’ professional and civic contributions throughout his career received special acknowledgement with the award of a knighthood for his services to medicine in 1996, and in 2004 he was made a Companion of the Order of Australia for services to medical science.. He holds honorary doctorates from the University of Hong Kong and Imperial College, London. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Foundation Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, while in the USA he is a foreign member of both the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and The American Philosophical Society.
Peter Morris’ dedication to serving scientific, medical and broader communities is demonstrated by his extensive involvement in the governance of over 30 organisations ranging from health authorities, professional bodies, advocacy associations, funding bodies, research institutes and foundations to conferences, universities and specialist working groups.
One of the world’s most cited authors in the area of clinical medicine, Peter Morris is the author of some 800 scientific articles, reviews, editorials and chapters, editor or co-editor of 18 books and has held numerous editorial appointments to highly respected journals.
Peter Morris’ extensive public engagements through the media, and his involvement in civic debate, have greatly enhanced work in his areas of specialty and adjacent disciplines throughout the world.