Pictured above is Professor Vasso Apostolopoulos being awarded one of Rotary's highest honours, a Paul Harris Fellow. She received the award from President Kim Deneys.

For the past two years, the proceeds from the club's annual golf day, which amounts to $50,000, has been directed to the medical research facility at Victoria University. Vasso is the head of this facility. Her team is doing tremendous work in developing vaccines for various forms of cancer and other diseases.

Vasso was born and educated in the western suburbs of Melbourne. She studied at the Universities of Melbourne and Oxford. In the 1990's, she was the first to develop a method of immunotherapy to stimulate the immune system, which is used today by hundreds of labs around the world. Twenty years ago, she conducted human trials of vaccine formulations for breast and ovarian cancer. One of those trials now has long-term follow-up data showing that, 25 years later, those injected with the cancer remain cancer free.

Vasso has also applied immunotherapies to other diseases including multiple sclerosis, diabetes, drug addiction and alzheimer’s disease.

In return for our funding to her research laboratory, Vasso gladly attends our club meetings on a regular basis as a guest speaker. She talks about health-related matters and always attracts a big audience.

Congratulations Vasso.