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Honorary Principal Fellow, School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne

Tilman Ruff AO is a public health and infectious diseases physician. He serves as Co-President of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW, Nobel Peace Prize 1985); and was founding international and Australian Chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN), awarded the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize “for its work to draw attention to the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of any use of nuclear weapons and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons".

Honorary Principal Fellow in the School of Population and Global Health since retiring at the end of 2020 as Associate Professor in the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne, Dr Ruff was inaugural head of travel medicine at Fairfield and Royal Melbourne Hospital; worked on hepatitis B control, immunisation and maternal and child health in Indonesia and Pacific island countries with the Australian and NZ government aid programs, Burnet Institute, UNICEF and WHO. He was medical director for vaccines for GSK for Australia/NZ/Oceania 1998-2003, a founding member of the WHO Western Pacific Region Hepatitis B Immunisation Expert Resource Panel, and international medical advisor for Australian Red Cross from 1996 to 2019. He was first to document links between outbreaks of ciguatera fish poisoning and nuclear testing in the Pacific.

Dr Ruff is past president of the Medical Association for Prevention of War (Australia). He was one of two civil society advisors to the International Commission on Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, and led the IPPNW delegation in New York through the negotiation of the historic United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, adopted on 7 July 2017 and which entered into legal force on 22 Jan 2021.

Dr Ruff received a national honour (AM) in 2012 “for service to the promotion of peace as an advocate for the abolition of nuclear weapons, and to public health through the promotion of immunisation programs in the South-East Asia - Pacific region”, and a further honour (AO) in 2019.


  • 2005–present
    Associate professor, Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne


  • 1980 
    Monash University, MB, BS (Hons)


Officer of the Order of Australia