Academic Profile

World renowned endocrinologist and researcher
Professor James Best is a distinguished medical leader who has dedicated his career to improving treatments for diabetes and kidney disease.

Professor Best is formerly the Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) (July 2014 to March 2021) and Head of Medical School at the University of Melbourne in Australia (July 2007 to July 2014). He has over 30 years’ experience in research, teaching and medical leadership.

A graduate of the University of Melbourne in 1972, Professor Best has practised in the discipline of Endocrinology in Australia, Hong Kong, the USA and the UK. He trained in Endocrinology at Melbourne’s St Vincent’s Hospital and in diabetes research at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Having worked as an Endocrinologist at St Vincent's from 1982 to 1989, he joined the University of Melbourne staff as Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine (St Vincent's Hospital) and in 1999 was appointed as Professor of Medicine and Head of Department. He has also been Deputy Dean of the Faculty from 2004 to 2006 and subsequently Associate Dean (Resources).

In July 2007, he was appointed as Head, Melbourne Medical School (MMS), a School that was established in 1862, and today ranks among the top 20 medical schools worldwide by the Times Higher Education. As Head of School, he was responsible for medical education and for health and medical research involving 23 biomedical science and clinical departments.

Professor Best has taught extensively during his career, especially on the topic of diabetes and metabolism, as well as on the medical interview. His research has involved physiological and molecular studies of glucose disposal, as well as studies of lipid biochemistry and epidemiological and clinical studies of risk factors for cardiovascular disease in diabetes. His current research is predominantly in healthcare delivery for diabetes prevention and management.

Professor Best has been on the Board of Directors of three different Health Services and a Medical Defence Organisation in Australia. He is currently on the Board of St Vincent’s Institute (Medical Research) and on the Heart Foundation (Australia) Research Committee. In 2006 he was appointed to the Council of Australia’s peak funding body for medical research, the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and from July 2006 to June 2012, served as Chair of the NHMRC Research Committee.

The author of over 200 publications, Professor Best is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland; Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal College of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh; and Honorary MD from St Andrews University.
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Prof James D Best
Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

  • Preventing limb losses in Singapore through health literacy and healthcare improvements