Professor James McCluskey has been at the University of Melbourne for more than 20 years, becoming Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) in 2011 and assumed the role of Acting Provost from January to September in 2021.
He studied in Perth as a physician before embarking on a life of research into how genes control immunity, initially at the US National Institutes of Health and later at Monash University, Flinders University and the University of Melbourne. He is a Clarivate highly cited (HiCi) author and his research has won a number of international and national prizes. He has overseen transplantation matching by Life Blood, the Australian Red Cross Blood Service for the last 30 years and he has served on the governing boards of multiple independent medical research institutes in Melbourne. He is a board member of the Atlantic Institute in Oxford and the Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity program at Melbourne. He is a director of the Australian Friends of ASHA (a charity to improve life in Indian slums) and Trinity College Melbourne. He led the development of the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.
His family was from working class roots in Newcastle-upon-Tyne where life and future prospects were not promising. When he was 11 years old, along with his parents and brother he immigrated to Australia, thus transforming his life through education and opportunities presented by a growing nation. He became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2018.