Professor Powell graduated in 1952 and is now globally recognised for his contributions to liver research. He has won a gold medal from the Canadian Liver Foundation and in 1990, the Companion of the Order of Australia medal.
Professor Powell also influenced the successful development and planning of a new Comprehensive Cancer Research Centre at Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR). The Centre officially opened in September 2001, and at capacity can house almost 1,000 scientists and support staff. In 2002, he was presented the Queensland Great Award.
Today, Professor Powell is still involved with medical research projects with hospitals and universities.