“Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world who suffer from conditions that may be alleviated by the use of safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics.”

By Medicinal cannabis pioneers honoured


Posted on December 13, 2019

When Barry and Joy Lambert’s granddaughter was suffering life-threatening seizures he decided to put the money from the A$373 million sale of his businesses to create a world-leading research centre focussed on developing safe and effective use of medicinal cannabis.

Barry and Joy Lambert’s granddaughter Katelyn was diagnosed with Dravet syndrome, a genetic abnormality that affects the brain’s electric signalling system and causes blackouts and uncontrollable twitching that can last for hours, at the age of two. Dravet syndrome leads to some intellectual disability in almost all cases, and often death.

Thanks to advances in the development and application of medicinal cannabis, Katelyn can now go to school and experience life as a typical eight-year-old, the University of Sydney said in a statement.

In 2015, Barry and Joy Lambert pledged A$33.7 million to the University of Sydney for research into the therapeutic use of medicinal cannabis at the Brain and Mind Centre. Their gift is being used to fund the Lambert Initiative. Barry Lambert founded Count Financial, a chain of accounting and financial planning shopfronts that he started 38 years ago, before selling to the Commonwealth Bank in 2011.

Barry and Joy Lambert received Honorary Fellowships at the University of Sydney’s Great Hall on Wednesday (Australian time) for their pioneering collaboration on the establishment of the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics and support for medicinal cannabis research.

medicinal cannabis, Barry Lambert, University of Sydney

The Lambert Initiative is a world-leading research centre focussed on developing safe and effective cannabinoids for medical use. The Lambert Initiative is also committed to outreach and routinely provides expert advice and education to medical professionals, pharmacists, the government and the general community.

“Barry and Joy’s continued financial and ideological support has transformed the University’s research efforts in this area and allowed the University to lead Australia and the world in the science of cannabis and cannabinoids. The Lamberts’ support has enabled the creation of state-of-the-art facilities that are now thriving with the research activity of around 40 researchers,” the citation reads.

“Barry and Joy are fierce proponents of the need to change the way we think about cannabis and have campaigned strongly for greater patient access to cannabis-based medications.”

Barry Lambert is now the Chairman of Ecofibre, which produces and distributes hemp-derived products to consumers and retailers in the US.

The citation concludes: “Through their spirit of generosity and their strong promotion of research excellence, Barry and Joy have truly changed the lives of thousands – if not millions – of people in Australia and around the world who suffer from conditions that may be alleviated by the use of safe and effective cannabinoid therapeutics.”

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