Professor Ralph Martins is well known and highly respected internationally as a prominent researcher in Ageing and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). His insight into this devastating disease has led to a number of ground breaking discoveries. Recognition of Professor Martins’ tireless pursuit of research excellence has come in the form of publications in prestigious high impact journals, numerous keynote presentation invitations; a stupendous testimony of securing research funding; community engagement; industry collaboration; and the generation of commercially and clinically valuable intellectual property, with 8 patents leading to successful commercialization outcomes. He holds numerous Adjunct Professorial appointments with esteemed universities around the world. He was instrumental in establishing the McCusker Alzheimer’s Research Foundation in 2001 and has since been the Director of Research. In 2004, Professor Martins was appointed by Edith Cowan University (ECU) to the Inaugural Chair in Ageing and Alzheimer’s. He instigated the Centre of Excellence for Alzheimer’s Disease Research and Care at ECU in 2006. In 2006, he was awarded a prestigious US National Institutes of Health (NIH) program grant; and he was appointed to an Adjunct Professorial position at Thomas Jefferson University’s Farber Neurosciences Institute.
Through his leadership and dedication, Professor Martins has built a substantial and world-class research and clinical capacity in Western Australia with active links to international peers at the forefront of the battle against Alzheimer’s disease. Recognising collaboration and teamwork on a global scale as key to solving this enormous scientific and medical challenge in Alzheimer’s disease, he has led innumerable global collaborations facilitating international knowledge transfer. To foster research collaborations, he has been holding a joint academic appointment between Edith Cowan University and Macquarie University since April 2016.
In recognition of his outstanding research achievements, Professor Martins was awarded a number of very prestigious accolades, including the Melvin Jones Award from Lions Club International Foundation USA in 2010 (which is the highest Award that Lions can bestow recognising outstanding service to the community and being one of only two recipients of this award by the Club in the last 25 years), the Western Australian of the Year in 2010, the Western Australian Citizen of the Year in 2011, the Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club in 2011, Member of the Order of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem (KSJ) in 2013 and the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the General Division in 2013.
He has been an Australia Day Ambassador since 2011 and he has been serving on the Rotarian Action Group Board since 2014. In 2014, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the International Federation on Ageing (IFA). IFA, based in Canada, is an influential and prominent non-governmental organisation working closely with the United Nations and the World Health Organization; Professor Martins is the only researcher representing the Australian research community. Since 2016, he has been a board member of the Maggie Beer Foundation, which is directed at improving the quality of food provided for aged care with the aim of enhancing the well-being of the elderly. Most notably, Professor Martins’ has been receiving tremendous, continued and loyal support for his Alzheimer’s research, from the Lions Alzheimer’s Foundation (LAF), which represents all Lions Clubs of Australia. LAF was launched in Perth in 2016, after more than 10 years of fundraising from Lions Clubs throughout Australia.