Tilman Ruff

Tilman Ruff speaks in Adelaide, 2015
Tilman Ruff speaks in Adelaide, 2015

Professor Tilman Alfred Ruff AM (born 1955) is an Australian public health and infectious diseases physician who has focused his efforts on immunization and "the global health imperative to eradicate nuclear weapons." He is an Associate Professor at the Nossal Institute for Global Health, University of Melbourne. He is also the Australian chair of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN),[1] and has written extensively on nuclear issues, including the hazards or ionizing radiation, nuclear weapons, nuclear war and nuclear famine.[2][3]


Ruff was born in Adelaide, South Australia in 1955. He is married to Charlotte and the couple have two adult children, Ingrid and Kristian. He has described becoming a parent as strengthening his resolve and commitment to advocating for nuclear disarmament.[4] Ruff is a graduate of Monash University and Glen Waverley High School.[4]


Ruff serves as medical advisor to the international department of Australian Red Cross and is a member of the World Health Organisation Western Pacific Region's Hepatitis B Expert Resource Panel. Ruff has previously led the development of travel medicines, worked on the control of Hepatitis B and worked to improve maternal and child health in Indonesia and the Pacific islands. He has also worked as a regional medical director for vaccines, employed by a major manufacturer.[5]


Ruff has been an active member of the Medical Association for Prevention of War in Australia for over three decades and is a co-president of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW). He helped establish the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and was its founding chair. He remains a member of the ICAN Australia Committee and ICAN's International Steering Group.[5] In 2010, he told the Sydney Morning Herald: "We've come a long way. The numbers of nuclear weapons have been reduced from the peak of 70,000 in 1986 to about 23,000 - that's a drastic reduction."[4] Ruff recently co-authored an article with former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser entitled "2015 is the year to ban nuclear weapons."[6]


In 2012, Ruff was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia “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”.[7]


  1. "Tilman Ruff - On Line Opinion Author". Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  2. "Tilman Ruff". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  3. "Tilman Ruff - On Line Opinion Author". Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  4. 1 2 3 "Nuclear nemesis". Retrieved 2015-06-20.
  5. 1 2 "Tilman Ruff". The Conversation. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  6. Fraser, Malcolm; Ruff, Tilman (2015-02-19). "2015 is the year to ban nuclear weapons". The Age. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
  7. "It's an Honour - Honours - Search Australian Honours". www.itsanhonour.gov.au. Retrieved 2015-06-19.
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