Three UNSW academics have been elected as Fellows of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor David Cooper, the Director of the National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research; Ian Dawes, Professor of Genetics in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences; and Professor Richard Harvey, a UNSW employee on an Endowed Chair of Cardiovascular Research at the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute were among the leading scientists honoured by the Academy.

Professor Cooper was acknowledged for his work in HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy, Professor Dawes was given the nod for his research into yeast genetics and microbiology and Professor Harvey was elected for furthering understanding in molecular cardiovascular developmental biology.

Each year the Academy recognises 16 scientists, judged by their peers to have made an exceptional contribution to knowledge in their field.

The Fellowship of the Academy is made up of around 380 top scientists and election is subject to an extensive appraisal of the candidate's published works, including reference to leading scientific researchers around the world.

"Election to the Fellowship of the Academy is one of the greatest honours that can be bestowed in Australian Science," said Professor Les Field, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). "The Academy is an elite body and being elected is a tremendous lifetime achievement. This result reflects the depth of UNSW's research excellence and further cements UNSW as one of the nation's best research-intensive universities."

Fellows contribute to the Academy in an honorary capacity by serving on the Council, committees and as advisers.