The Australian Brain Alliance formed in 2016, under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science, is comprised of research organisations and professional associations interested in brain and psychological research. Members of the Alliance have agreed to work together to develop the case for a significant national brain initiative and advocate to the Australian government and other relevant stakeholders for its establishment. Over time it is envisaged that the membership of the alliance would be expanded to include industry and other potential end-users of brain research.
Current Alliance members:
Professor Pat Michie is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Newcastle and is affiliated with the Hunter Medical Research Institute and the Centre for Brain and Mental Health Research. She is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences. Professor Michie’s primary research area is cognitive neuroscience, particularly the neural basis of auditory information processing, attention and executive function in healthy individuals, in people with schizophrenia and those at risk of psychosis. Her research using mismatch negativity (MMN) provided the first evidence for MMN as a potential early marker for schizophrenia. Her current research is focussed on animal models of schizophrenia using MMN as a phenotype. She has also published extensively on auditory and visual selection attention, stop-signal inhibition and task-switching.
Winthrop Professor David Badcock received his undergraduate training in Psychology at the University of Tasmania, his D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and then held post-doctoral appointments at UC Berkeley and Durham University before returning to Australia to the University of Melbourne. In 1996 he was appointed Professor at the University of Western Australia and served a period as Head of School. Throughout he has maintained an active research programme with more than 130 journal publications and has been recognized with Fellowships of the Australian Psychological Society, the Association for Psychological Science and the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and as an Honorary Professor of Vision Science at the University of Nottingham. He is currently an Australian Professorial Fellow, President of the Psychology Foundation of Australia and Deputy Chair of the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Brain and Mind. The focus of Professor Badcock’s research is on the function of the human visual system. The work primarily employs behavioural measurement of human visual performance to reveal the underlying analyses performed by the visual system and also the changes in those analyses in conditions associated with altered perception (Autism, Migraine, Schizophrenia, Dyslexia).
Professor Perry Bartlett was the inaugural Director of the Queensland Brain Institute and is a Professor of Molecular Neuroscience. Previously he was Head of of the Division of Development and Neurobiology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research. He has been responsible for a series of ground-breaking discoveries in neuroscience, which have often overturned existing dogma and led to a new understanding, particularly in the areas of neuronal precursor regulation and neuron survival in the developing and adult nervous system. Professor Bartlett is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (FAA), a past NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow and ARC Federation Fellow and a past President of the Australian Neuroscience Society. He has championed interactions with China, establishing three joint neuroscience laboratories, two with the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In 2015, he was awarded the CSL-Florey Medal and Prize for outstanding achievements in biomedical science.
Professor John Bekkers is Deputy Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research and a Group Leader in the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience, ANU. Professor Bekkers received his undergraduate training in physics at Griffith University, then switched to neuroscience and completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge. After postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, he returned to Australia to establish his own laboratory at the John Curtin School of Medical Research. Professor Bekkers is a cellular neurophysiologist who uses imaging and electrical recording techniques to study how sensory information is represented in neural circuits in the cerebral cortex of rodents, with a focus on the olfactory cortex and the sense of smell. He has received a number of awards and fellowships, including a Queen Elizabeth II Fellowship and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship. Professor Bekkers is also recognised for his activities in research training, having directed for a decade the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience, which he built up into a prestigious program that has boosted the careers of many young neuroscientists in Australia and New Zealand.
Associate Professor James Bourne is currently a Group Leader at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute and a NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and is a member of the NHMRC Research Committee. James completed his undergraduate training in Biochemistry (Hons) at the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London. Following this, he pursued a PhD in the field of Neuropharmacology, undertaking a joint project with the Ministry of Defence (UK) and King’s College, London. Subsequent to this he came to Australia to undertake a Postdoctoral position at the Vision, Touch and Hearing Research Centre at UQ and subsequently moved to Monash University (Clayton) in 2000 to look at the physiological properties of cells in the visual cortex. In 2003, James was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Postdoctoral Fellowship, and started to develop an independent area of research in primate cortical development and maturation. In 2006 he received the AW Campbell Award – awarded by the Australian Neuroscience Society for "the best contribution to the neurosciences by a member of the Society over their first five postdoctoral years". In 2007, James started up his own group in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology and in 2008 received an NHMRC R.D. Wright fellowship, for which he received an NHMRC Achievement Award for the top application. In 2009, James accepted a position at the newly founded Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University, where he now leads a group of 10, including Postdoctoral fellows, and students. In 2014 James received a prestigious NHMRC Senior Research Fellowship. Finally, James has published more than 50 original papers and is on the editorial board of Early Human Development, Experimental Brain Research, Nature Scientific Reports, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy and the Journal of Molecular Signaling.
Professor Anthony Burkitt is the Director of Bionic Vision Australia, a Special Research Initiative in Bionic Vision Science and Technology of the Australian Research Council (ARC), and he holds the Chair in Bio-Signals and Bio-Systems in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Melbourne. As Director of Bionic Vision Australia Professor Burkitt has demonstrated an outstanding track record of building and fostering a large, successful research consortium through successfully leading the project though all of its phases: Project conception, securing $50 million in funding, the research and development programs that led to the development of a prototype bionic eye (suprachoroidal retinal implant) and the successful implantation in three patients. In addition to his work on the bionic eye, Professor Burkitt’s research encompasses a number of areas of medical bionics, including cochlear-implant speech processing, neuro-engineering, computational neuroscience and bio-signal processing for epilepsy. His research has been instrumental in the development of new cochlear implant speech processing strategies, visual stimulation paradigms for retinal implants, methods for detecting and predicting seizures, and the use of electrical stimulation for seizure abatement in epilepsy.
Professor Burkitt has published over 85 journal papers and has been awarded more than $55.8 M of research funding from 18 ARC and NHMRC grants. He is a Board member of the Organization for Computational Neurosciences and Chair of the Program Committee for the annual Computational Neuroscience conference. Professor Burkitt was previously the Deputy Director of the Bionic Ear Institute (now the Bionics Institute) and held research positions at the Australian National University and Universities in Britain and Germany. He completed his undergraduate studies in 1980 in Physics at the Australian National University and his PhD in 1983 in Theoretical Physics at Edinburgh University.
Professor Anne Castles’ research focus is in the cognitive science of reading and language, with a particular focus on reading development and developmental dyslexia. She did an honours degree in psychology at the Australian National University in 1987 and a PhD at Macquarie University in 1993. After that, she moved to the University of Melbourne where she had a teaching and research position in the Department of Psychology. She returned to Macquarie University in 2007 to take up a research chair. In 2010, she became the Scientific Director of the Macquarie Centre for Cognitive Science and subsequently Head of the Department of Cognitive Science. Since 2011, she has been Deputy Director and Reading Program Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Cognition and its Disorders. She is an Honorary Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences (FASSA).
Professor Gary Egan is the Foundation Director of the Monash Biomedical Imaging (MBI) research facilities and Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at Monash University. Professor Egan leads the development of advanced MRI methods to develop MR biomarkers for use in future clinical drug trials in neurodegenerative diseases. His research focuses on the development of neuroimaging biomarkers to enable identification of progressive neurodegeneration and neural dysfunction in the clinical neurosciences. His research team has also developed novel MRI techniques to quantify axonal and myelin pathology in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and animal models of MS. Professor Egan is the Director of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function. The Centre’s research will focus on the greatest scientific challenge of the 21st Century: to understand the link between brain activity and human behaviour. To achieve this goal the Centre's research program will integrate the work of many of Australia’s leading brain researchers in the fields of anatomy, physiology, neuroimaging, informatics, neural modeling and neuroengineering.
Associate Professor Fornito completed his Masters (Clinical Neuropsychology) and PhD in 2007 in the Departments of Psychiatry and Psychology at The University of Melbourne, followed by Post-Doctoral training in the Brain Mapping Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. He joined Monash University in 2013 and is currently Deputy Director of Monash Clinical and Imaging Neuroscience. His research uses brain imaging and network science to understand brain connectivity in health and disease, with a particular emphasis on uncovering key principles of neural organisation, characterising genetic influences on brain networks, developing new methods for brain network mapping, and understanding the role of network processes in brain disease. He has published over 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals and authored the first text book on brain network analysis.
Professor Anthony Hannan received his undergraduate training and PhD from the University of Sydney. He was then awarded the Australian Nuffield Medical Fellowship to pursue postdoctoral neuroscience research at the University of Oxford, where he subsequently held other research positions. He returned to Australia on an NHMRC RD Wright Career Development Fellowship to establish his laboratory at the Florey and later held an ARC Future Fellowship (FT3). He is currently an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and is Professorial Fellow at the Florey and the University of Melbourne. His Neural Plasticity laboratory explores how genes and environment combine via experience-dependent plasticity in the healthy and diseased brain. This research includes models of specific neurological and psychiatric disorders which involve cognitive and affective dysfunction, investigated at behavioural, cellular and molecular levels so as to identify pathogenic mechanisms and novel therapeutic targets.
Professor Ian Hickie is a psychiatrist and prominent mental h ealth campaigner. He is a former NHMRC Australia Fellow heading the University of Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre as a Co-Director for Health and Policy, and is one of Australia's first National Mental Health Commissioners. The Commission oversees enhanced accountability for mental health reform in Australia. Professor Hickie is an internationally renowned researcher in clinical psychiatry and a leading voice on mental health issues, with a special interest in youth mental health, and the prevention of and early intervention in emerging mood disorders. He has been instrumental in using clinical, health services and population health data to drive innovations in health services, particularly in primary care. In partnership with Professor Patrick McGorry, he has been at the forefront of developing the youth mental health service headspace: the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. Professor Hickie passionately advocates for enhanced health and social services for those with persistent mental illness and for increased accountability in the delivery of those services. As inaugural CEO of beyondblue: a national depression initiative, he established important depression awareness, prevention and early intervention programs. As Board Member for Research at the Mental Health Council of Australia (2003-2006), he was at the forefront of assessing consumers’ and carers’ experiences of mental health services. The findings underpinned the COAG agreement of 2006–11 providing $5.5 billion in additional expenditure for mental health and the introduction of access to psychological services within the Medicare scheme.
Professor Matthew Kiernan's role as the Brain and Mind Centre Co Director—Discovery and Translation is to foster multidisciplinary research across the clinical neurosciences, to improve research outcomes and facilitate the translation of research innovations directly into clinical practice for the benefit of patients and the community. Professor Kiernan is the Bushell Chair of Neurology at the University of Sydney. His clinical research unit is located at the Brain and Mind Centre. He is a Professor of Neurology and Staff Specialist at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and is also a Senior Scientist at Neuroscience Research Australia. Professor Kiernan leads a research group comprised of a team of clinicians, scientists, biomedical engineers, doctoral and postdoctoral students with focus on neurological disease. His research team's focus is clinical neurology, in particular disease pathophysiology and treatment strategies of frontotemporal dementia and motor neurone syndromes. Currently his team is investigating the mechanisms and the possible prevention of neurodegeneration in motor neurone disease (MND), also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); frontotemporal dementia; chemotherapy-induced neurotoxicity; stroke; Machado-Joseph disease; spinal muscular atrophy; and other inherited neuropathies. He is also involved in clinical trials investigating potential drug treatments for motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. His team's research is intrinsically linked to the provision of clinical services, particularly the ForeFront Multidisciplinary Motor Neurone Disease & Fronto temporal Dementia Clinic and diagnostic neurophysiology clinics. Professor Kiernan is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry (BMJ Publishing Group). He is also the Director of the Motor Neurone Disease Research Institute of Australia and Vice President of the Australian Brain Foundation, the largest priming institution for neuroscience in Australia, responsible for distributing funding towards research and medical education for the treatment and prevention of neurological disorders.
Professor Mike Kyrios is a clinical psychologist and Director of the Research School of Psychology at the Australian National University. Throughout his career, he has undertaken a range of academic, practice, professional & administrative roles, and has previously held major academic posts at the University of Melbourne and Swinburne University of Technology where he was Director of the Brain & Psychological Sciences Research Centre and the National e-Therapy Centre. Professor Kyrios is the current President of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), having been elected a Fellow in 2007. Professor Kyrios research focuses on obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorders (OCD, hoarding disorder, body dysmorphic disorder, trichotillomania), behavioural addictions (compulsive buying, problem gambling), depression, anxiety disorders, chronic medical illness, the self in psychological disorders, and the development, evaluation and dissemination of evidence-based psychological treatments, including e-therapies.
Julio Licinio, M.D., FRANZCP, is Deputy Director for Translational Medicine and Head, Mind and Brain Theme at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute and Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Flinders University in Adelaide, South Australia. Professor Licinio is founding and Chief Editor of three Nature Publishing Group journals, Molecular Psychiatry, The Pharmacogenomics Journal and Translational Psychiatry. His translational and genomics research spans the lab and clinic examining obesity, depression, and their interface.
Professor Nigel Lovell is currently at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering University of New South Wales (UNSW). Sydney where he holds a position of Scientia Professor. He has authored 220+ refereed journals and 270+ conference proceedings, and been awarded over $80 million in R&D and infrastructure funding. He is a Fellow of five learned societies throughout the world (ATSE, Engineers Australia, IEEE, FIP and AIMBE). His research work has covered areas of expertise ranging from neural interfaces, visual prosthesis design, biomathematical modeling, telehealth technologies and biological signal processing. For 2017 and 2018 he will be the President of the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), the world’s largest biomedical engineering society.
Professor Jason Mattingley is Foundation Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Queensland, where he holds joint appointments at the Queensland Brain Institute and School of Psychology. Professor Mattingley completed his PhD at Monash University, before moving to King’s College at the University of Cambridge (UK) as a research fellow. He returned to Australia in 1997 and established the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at the University of Melbourne, before moving to Queensland in 2007. Professor Mattingley has led pioneering investigations into the neural mechanisms of selective attention, in health and disease, with a particular focus on how attentional processes influence learning, multisensory integration, motor behaviour, neural plasticity and consciousness. In his work he uses a combination of behavioural paradigms, brain imaging and brain stimulation approaches. His published research has appeared in many of the worlds top scientific journals, including Nature, Science, Neuron, Current Biology and Nature Neuroscience. In 2012 Professor Mattingley was awarded a prestigious ARC Australian Laureate Fellowship. He is currently Associate Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Integrative Brain Function, and is a serving member of the ARC College of Experts. Professor Mattingley has received Early Career Awards from the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia and the Australian Psychological Society. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, and in 2012 he was awarded the Australian Psychological Society’s Distinguished Contribution to Psychological Science Award.
Professor Linda Richards is Professor of Neuroscience and Deputy Director of the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland. Professor Richards' laboratory focuses on the development of the cerebral cortex and cerebral connectivity, in particular, the development of the corpus callosum. In 2015 she co-founded an International Consortium for the Corpus Callosum and Cerebral Connectivity with colleagues from Melbourne, San Francisco, France and Brazil. The consortium brings together clinicians and scientists working to identify the causes of developmental brain disorders and how best to provide support and care for affected individuals and their families. Professor Richards has received a number of awards and fellowships throughout her career including the Charles Judson Herrick Award from the American Association of Anatomists in 2004 and the Nina Kondelos award from the Australasian Neuroscience Society in 2010. Since 2011 Professor Richards has been a Principal Research Fellow with the National Health and Medical Research Council. In 2015 she was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and she is president-elect of the Australasian Neuroscience Society. Professor Richards is passionate about the public awareness of science and in 2006 she founded the Australian Brain Bee Challenge, a competition for high school students to learn about the brain. Over 30,000 high school students have participated in the challenge and students from Australia have won the international brain bee competition three times and placed in every event since 2006.
Professor Ingrid Scheffer is a paediatric neurologist helping to transform the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. She is a world renown thought leader in the science around diagnosing and treating neurological conditions, with epilepsy being her primary focus. She has described several new forms of epilepsy and her research group was the first to uncover a gene for epilepsy and subsequently, many of the genes now known to be implicated. These revolutionary findings, which have already improved diagnosis and treatments for many patients and may lead to the development of new therapies, can also be used for genetic counselling. Professor Scheffer has received several awards in recognition for her work in the field of epilepsy. In 2012, she was awarded the L’Oréal-UNESCO Laureate for Women in Science for the Asia-Pacific Region and also received the 2007 American Epilepsy Society Research Recognition Award and the 2009 Eric Susman Prize from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians. More recently The ILAE presented her with the Ambassador for Epilepsy award in 2013 and in the same year, she received the Emil Becker Award for an outstanding contribution to child neurology, the Australian Neuroscience Medallion and the prestigious national prize, the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence. In 2014 Professor Scheffer and Professor Samuel Berkovic were together awarded the Prime Minister’s Prize for Science for their long-standing partnership on cracking the genetics of epilepsy. Professor Scheffer was also elected a fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of 2014.
Professor Peter Schofield is Executive Director and CEO of NeuRA—Neuroscience Research Australia—one of Australia’s leading independent centres for neuroscience research. He is also a Professor of Medicine of the University of New South Wales. Peter studied at the University of Sydney graduating in 1982 with First Class Honours and the University Medal. He obtained his PhD in genetics from the Australian National University in 1985 and was awarded a DSc from University of New South Wales in 1998 for his work on neurotransmitter receptors. He has worked in both the biotechnology industry and in academic medical research institutes in the US (Genentech), Germany (Centre for Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg) and Australia (Pacific Biotechnology). He joined the Garvan Institute in 1991, where he held several NHMRC Research Fellowships and was appointed Director of the Neurobiology Program. In 2004, he commenced his current role at NeuRA. Through a range of leadership roles he has contributed to the public and political advocacy for health and medical research. These have included as a Director and President of the Australian Society for Medical Research, as a Founding Director of Research Australia, and as a member of the Lockhart Review Committee whose recommendations regarding stem cell research in Australia were adopted by the federal and state parliaments. His research interests focus on understanding how signaling in the brain occurs and identifying genes that lead to neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and bipolar disorder and has published over 300 papers. His work on dementia has used genetic approaches to understanding the causes of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia. He was one of the leaders of the NHMRC Network for Brain Research into Mental Disorders and is currently a site leader in the international collaborative Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer Network (DIAN) study, which has assessed biomarker changes in familial Alzheimer disease and has led to clinical prevention trials being established. His research has been recognised by awards including the A W Campbell Award by the Australian Neuroscience Society, the Boehringer Mannheim Medal by the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the Gottschalk Medal by the Australian Academy of Science. In 2015 he was elected a Fellow of the newly established Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences.
Mark is currently Network Head of Neurology Southern Adelaide Local Health Network and Associate Professor of Neurology Flinders University. He completed his training in Neurology with Fellowships in Oxford (UK) and Melbourne in Neuroimmunology and Neurophysiology. Mark established the Southern Adelaide Multiple Sclerosis service and was inaugural Chair of the Australian MS Clinical Trials Network and is current vice-chair of the MS Research Australia research management committee. He is Director of the South Australian Brain Bank and Neurological Tumour Bank and undertakes studies in mitochondrial dysfunction and biomarker discovery in multiple sclerosis.
Professor Greg Stuart is Head of the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience at the John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University. He has developed and pioneered methods that have allowed neuroscientists to probe the function of nerve cells in the brain at unprecedented resolution. Among other discoveries he found that in many neuronal cell types nerve impulses actively propagate back to the site of synaptic input. This work provides a framework for understanding the link between neuronal input and output, which is thought to be necessary for learning and memory. Professor Stuart is considered a world expert on the physiology of neuronal dendrites. He has received a number of national and international fellowships including a C.J. Martin Fellowship, a Q.E. II Research Fellowship and a Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellowship. He has also received the AW Campbell Award from the Australasian Neuroscience Society, the Sofja Kovalevskaja Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and recently was appointed a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of his seminal contributions to understanding how information is processed by individual nerve cells within the brain.
Professor James Vickers holds the Chair of Pathology at the University of Tasmania (since 2003), and is co-Director of the Wicking Dementia Research and Education Centre and Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health. His research interests include neurodegenerative disease (particularly Alzheimer's disease), cognition and health services for dementia. Professor Vickers, in conjunction with Professor Andrew Robinson, established the Wicking Centre in the Faculty of Health in 2008, which now has over 50 staff and 24 honours and RHD students. Professor Vickers has a prominent international research identity in neurodegenerative conditions, particularly Alzheimer's disease, as well as neural injury. In this regard, he has a unique research background, having an extensive track record in laboratory-based neuroscience research, from human brain research through to in vivo and in vitro models, as well as interventional cohort studies, cognition, neurogenetics and health services research. Professor Vickers has published on Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, glaucoma, excitatory receptors and excitotoxicty, neuronal cytokeleton in health and disease, and structural neuronal injury, plasticity and regeneration.
Dr Waters is an Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the School of Applied Psychology at Griffith University, Mt Gravatt. She completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at The University of Queensland and a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at The University of California, Los Angeles, before commencing her work at Griffith University in 2004. Dr Waters conducts laboratory research on the cognitive-neuroscience of emotional disorders in children and adolescents and translates findings from laboratory and basic science work into clinical practice using current generation treatments and novel interventions for childhood emotional disorders. Dr Waters has published over 95 peer-reviewed book chapters and journal articles, and her research is funded by the Australian Research Council, National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Rotary Health, Financial Markets for Children, Queensland Health and Griffith University. She has supervised to completion the research projects of 43 PhD, Doctorate, Masters and Honours students enrolled in psychology postgraduate degree programs. She also supervises the clinical work of postgraduate students enrolled in clinical psychology programs at Griffith University. Dr Waters serves on the Research Advisory Committee of Australian Rotary Health and is an Associate Editor of “Behaviour Research and Therapy,” the "Australian Journal of Psychology," and “Psychopathology Review”. She is the recipient of Griffith Vice Chancellor and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Health) Awards for Research Excellence (Team Category) and an Australian Psychological Society Early Researcher Career Award in recognition of her research.
Professor Bob Williamson is a former Director of the Murdoch Childrens and is currently an Honorary Senior Principal Fellow (Professor). He has been honoured countless times for his work, primarily in the field of genetics and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and of the Royal Society, and an Officer of the Order of Australia. In 1995 the Board of the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (then the Murdoch Institute) appointed Professor Williamson as Director, with a parallel appointment as Professor of Medical Genetics at the University of Melbourne. More recently he has taken a major interest in national science policy and medical and scientific ethics, and had the privilege of advising several Premiers, Health Ministers and Ministers for Innovation. Professor Williamson Chaired the OECD Committee on Pharmacogenetics and Regulation of Genetic Testing, and worked extensively for the World Health Organization both before and after coming to Australia. He has over 400 refereed career publications, of which about 45 are in Nature, Nature Genetics, Lancet and New England Journal. He has been a member of many editorial boards, including that of the Journal for Medical Ethics for the past twelve years, and edited several books on genetic engineering and on ethics and the new genetics.
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