31 May 2023

Congratulations to Associate Professor Vilija Jokubaitis on her promotion

The Central Clinical School is delighted to announce the promotion of Dr Vilija Jokubaitis to Associate Professor.

Associate Professor Jokubaitis is an outstanding research-focused academic and internationally recognised expert in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and neuroimmunology research. 

A/Prof Jokubaitis leads the neuroimmunology genomics and prognostics research group at the Central Clinical School. Her research aims to improve the long-term outcomes of people living with MS by deriving evidence for treatment personalisation, and tackling progressive MS, with an additional focus on women’s health. To achieve this goal, her team takes a multidisciplinary approach integrating clinical, genomic, cellular and molecular evidence.

She is a leading expert in genomic (including epigenetic predictors of prognosis and treatment response) and pregnancy research. Her key 2021 pregnancy research publication was immediately translatable to clinical care where it is helping guide treatment decisions for women with MS planning to get pregnant. She has further contributed to international guidelines on the management of women with MS through pregnancy. Her current research focus is clarifying the long-term disease modifying outcomes of pregnancy, which will provide strong reassurance for women with MS considering pregnancy that they are not risking disease worsening. Her pregnancy research also delves into the biological drivers of MS outcomes, with the aim of discovering novel mechanistic insights into MS pathophysiology that might drive future drug discovery; a program of research supported by industry partner F.Hoffman La-Roche.

A/Prof Jokubaitis is actively engaged with her professional and research community, holding many leadership roles, such as with ANZGene, MSBase and the International Women in MS (iWiMS) network. Of particular note is the outstanding and extensive mentoring program that she established with the iWiMS network to promote diversity in MS research. She is regularly invited to speak at major national and international conferences on her research, and has developed an extensive and productive network of collaborations in Australia and abroad.

“Associate Professor Jokubaitis is an outstanding neuroscience researcher who has built a productive research group undertaking internationally significant research in the field of MS and neuroimmunology,” said Helmut Butzkueven, Head of the Department of Neuroscience at the Central Clinical School. 

“Her research has been impactful on the field, on clinical practice and has been recognised nationally and internationally by other researchers and clinicians in her field, but also by industry partners. Her work as one of the school’s three honours coordinators has been absolutely outstanding, particularly in the highly challenging and stressful environment during the last three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has also made many key contributions to supporting gender equity and diversity, in particular, supporting and mentoring women in science.”

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