Professor Philip O’Connell MBBS, BSc[med], FRACP, PhD


Philip O’Connell is Executive Director of The Westmead Institute for Medical Research.  He is a Conjoint Professor in Medicine at the University of Sydney, Director of Transplantation at Westmead Hospital and a Senior Practitioner Fellow of the NHMRC. He is the founding Director of the Centre for Transplant and Renal Research at the Westmead Institute of Medical Research. His major research interests are the use of genomics as a marker of renal allograft dysfunction and the development of islet transplantation as a main-stream treatment for type 1 diabetes. He has a strong interest in modernising clinical trial design for transplant immunosuppression.

Professor O'Connell is a Past President of The Transplantation Society.  He was a member of the Australian Government Organ Donor Task Force that recommended the establishment of the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority to oversee organ donation in Australia. He is committed to the establishment of ethical solutions to the world wide organ shortage. He is an active member of the Declaration of Istanbul Custodian Group and is the focal point for The Transplantation Society’s relationship with the World Health Organisation.


Nephrology, Kidney disease, Diabetes, Transplantation


Obesity, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease, Infection and Immunological Conditions

Clinical Specialty


Research Focus

Philip’s main research interest is in islet transplantation and he is director of the Australian Clinical Islet Transplant Consortium.

His laboratory research is focused primarily on the immunobiology of islet xenograft rejection and developing islet xenografts as a clinical therapy. His other focus is the study of kidney graft outcome using new research technologies such as gene-chip microarray technology. This research is funded by the NIH.

He has long-standing collaborations with researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York, Harvard Medical School, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne, The Garvan Institute, Adelaide University and The Children's Hospital at Westmead.

Other Affiliations

Faculty of Medicine and Health > Westmead Clinical School > Westmead Clinical School

Awards and Recognition

  • 1978 - NHMRC Bachelor of Medical Science Scholarship
  • 1986-88 - NHMRC Medical Postgraduate Research Scholarship
  • 1989 - University of Melbourne Gordon-Taylor Scholarship
  • 1989 - TSANZ Janssen-Cilag Travelling Fellowship
  • 1989-90 - Don Jacquot Overseas Travelling Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians and the Australasian Society of Nephrology
  • 2002 - TJ, Neale Award- Australian and New Zealand Soc. of Nephrology for contributions to Nephrology
  • 2014 - Professor of Distinction Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney


  • BSc (Med) Pathology, UNSW Australia                     
  • MBBS Medicine, UNSW Australia                                
  • FRACP, Nephrology, Royal Australasian College of Physicians                                       
  • PhD, Immunology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne