GTAC Advisory Board
The GTAC Advisory Board consists of leading life sciences and education experts who are dedicated to increasing student interest and literacy in science. They strengthen our reputation as leaders in life science education through facilitating linkages to the wider Research and Development sector and by providing support services and advice that enrich our practice.
Professor Suzanne Cory
AC PhD FAA FRS
Chair (Appointed 2001)
Professor Suzanne Cory is one of Australia's most distinguished molecular biologists. She was born in Melbourne, Australia and graduated in biochemistry from The University of Melbourne. She gained her PhD from the University of Cambridge, England and then continued studies at the University of Geneva before returning to Melbourne in 1971 to a research position at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. From 1996 to 2009 she was Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Professor of Medical Biology at The University of Melbourne. She is currently an Honorary Distinguished Professorial Fellow at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her research has had a major impact in the fields of immunology and cancer and her scientific achievements have attracted numerous honours and awards. She was President of the Australian Academy of Science from 2010 to 2014 and serves on a number of councils and boards in Australia and overseas.
Professor Dick Strugnell
Deputy chair (Appointed 2001)
Richard (Dick) Strugnell is a molecular microbiologist who completed his PhD at the Alfred in 1985 on the pathogenesis of experimental syphilis. He left for the UK on a CJ Martin Fellowship in late 1986 and spent three years split between the Wellcome Research Laboratories at Beckenham Kent, working with Gordon Dougan, and the Birmingham University School of Life Sciences, working with Charles Penn, on research that focussed on the use of Salmonella Typhimurium as a vaccine “vector”, ie. engineered to carry antigens from other pathogens as a live vaccine. Dick returned to Monash Microbiology at Clayton in 1989. After two years at Monash Clayton, Dick took up an independent academic position at the University of Melbourne, commencing as a Senior Lecturer in 1991. He was promoted to Associate Professor and Reader in 1999 and Professor in 2001.
His research has focussed on the molecular basis of bacterial pathogenesis, with an emphasis on the intersection between pathogen and the mammalian immune system, both adaptive and innate. He has studied Salmonella Typhimurium for the last 25 years was a co-organiser of the 3rd ASM (USA) International Meeting on Salmonella in Aix in 2009. He was also member of the CRC for Vaccine Technology for 13 years, the last 7 as Deputy Director under Anne Kelso, where he developed an interested in structured research training, the addition of allied skills training to the central and fundamental research project during the PhD. His time is split between University administrative responsibilities as Pro Vice Chancellor (Graduate and International Research) and running a research laboratory in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Melbourne in the new Doherty Institute. His research is funded by the NHMRC under Program Grant support, and the ARC.
Dick has been Member of the GTAC Board of Management since the Board was constituted
Professor Brendan Crabb
Professor Brendan Crabb AC is the Director and CEO of Burnet Institute and Immediate-Past President of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI). He is Chair of the Victorian Chapter of AAMRI. Professor Crabb is a molecular biologist with a particular interest in infectious diseases and in health issues of the developing world. His personal research is the development of a malaria vaccine and the identification of new treatments for this disease.
He is the current Chair of the US-based Malaria Vaccine Science Portfolio Advisory Committee, the oversight group for the major malaria vaccines under development. He is also Chairman of Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP) Council, Chairman of the PATH/Malaria Vaccine Initiative Science Portfolio Advisory Committee in the US.
Professor Crabb holds Professorial appointments at The University of Melbourne and Monash Universities and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. Until his appointment as Director of the Burnet Institute he was a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the National Health & Medical Research Council of Australia, and an International Research Fellow of the US-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
He serves on the Scientific Advisory Boards of the Sanger Institute’s Malaria Program and the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science. Professor Crabb was the Editor-in-Chief of the world’s leading parasitology research journal the International Journal for Parasitology from 2006 to 2009 and remains on its editorial board along with that of Nature Communications and F1000 Reports.
He was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC) in the 2015 Australia Day Honours for his contributions to medical research and global health.
Professor Tony Bacic
BSc (Hons), PhD, FAA
Professor Tony Bacic is Director of the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the School of Botany, University of Melbourne. Internationally recognized as a leader in plant biotechnology, his research is focused on the structure, function and biosynthesis of plant cell walls and their biotechnological application. His focus also includes the application of functional genomics tools in biological systems. He holds a Personal Chair in the School of Botany. He was Director of the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute at the University of Melbourne from 2008 – 2015.
Tony is Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls and Program Leader of the team at the University of Melbourne. He is Platform Convenor of the NCRIS-funded Metabolomics Australia, and is on the Management Committee of Bioplatforms Australia Ltd. He is a current Board Member of the Royal Botanic Gardens (Melbourne). He is a James Cook University Outstanding Alumnus (2010) and a La Trobe University Distinguished Alumnus (2013).
Associate Professor Ruth Kluck
Associate Professor Ruth Kluck is laboratory head and ARC Future Fellow in the Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, where her main focus is the biochemistry of apoptotic cell death. Following PhD studies at the University of Queensland, she undertook postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Don Newmeyer in San Diego, where she discovered that pro-survival Bcl-2 proteins act by blocking mitochondrial permeabilisation. Continuing this work in Melbourne, her group has made major advances in understanding how Bak and Bax form pores in mitochondrial membranes, including the symmetric dimerisation model of Bak and Bax oligomerisation.
Senior Vice President, Research, CSL Limited
Andrew Nash completed his PhD in immunology at The University of Melbourne in 1988 and, after moving to the Centre for Animal Biotechnology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, developed and led a research group focused on basic and applied aspects of cytokine biology. In 1996 he joined the ASX listed biotechnology company Zenyth Therapeutics (then Amrad Corporation) as a senior scientist and subsequently held a number of positions including Director of Biologicals Research and Chief Scientific Officer. In July of 2005 he was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Zenyth, a position which he held up until the acquisition of Zenyth by CSL Limited in November 2006. Following the acquisition he was appointed as CSL’s SVP, Research and is currently based at the Bio21 Institute where he leads a large global effort focused on the discovery and development of new protein-based medicines to treat serious human disease.
Professor Jan H. van Driel
Jan van Driel is a professor of science education at Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. After obtaining a Master’s degree in chemistry (1984), he worked as a teacher of chemistry in a secondary school. He did a PhD at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, which focused on the teaching and learning of chemical equilibrium. From 1995-2016, he worked at ICLON – Leiden University Graduate School of Teaching; in 2006 he was appointed full professor of science education. From 2010-2016, Professor Van Driel was the director of ICLON, until moving to the University of Melbourne in September 2016. His research focuses on science teachers’ knowledge and beliefs and their development in the context of pre-service education and educational reform.
Dr Hayley Newton
Hayley Newton is a senior lecturer and laboratory head within the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. Her research is focussed on uncovering the host-pathogen interactions mediated by intracellular bacterial pathogens with particular attention on the causative agents of Q fever, Coxiella burnetii, and Legionnaires’ disease, Legionella species. Her laboratory employs multidisciplinary approaches to investigate the unique ways these pathogens manipulate the human host. After completion of her PhD, at Monash University, Dr Newton undertook postdoctoral training within the Department of Microbial Pathogenesis at Yale University. Here she developed pioneering techniques to genetically manipulate Coxiella burnetii and made important discoveries regarding the genetic basis of pathogenesis of this bacterium. Dr Newton is also integrally involved in curriculum development and delivery of bacteriology content to undergraduate students at the University of Melbourne and also serves as the Doherty Institute co-theme leader of Host-Pathogen Interactions.
Professor Michael Parker
DPhil, FAA, FAHMS
Professor Michael Parker is Director of the Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne and Head of Structural Biology, St. Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne. He is also an NHMRC Investigator Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at Bio21. Michael completed a Bachelor Science degree with a major in chemistry at ANU followed by a D. Phil. in protein crystallography from Oxford University, Michael returned to Australia to re-establish a protein crystallography laboratory at St. Vincent’s in 1991. He has published over 300 papers and his work has been recognised with numerous awards including the 2011 Lemberg Medal of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the 2011 Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research, and the 2012 Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists Award for Research Excellence. He was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010 and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2015. He has been closely associated with drug discovery and development for nearly 20 years. He was Head of Biota’s Structural Biology Lab (2000-2014) and Head of the structural biology node of the CRC for Cancer Therapeutics (2007-2014).