Members of the EMBL Australia Council


Professor Brandon Wainwright

Brandon Wainwright is a Professor of Molecular Genetics and Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) at The University of Queensland. His research interest is developing new therapeutic approaches for paediatric brain tumours and his group was the first to identify a causative gene for any brain tumour. Prof Wainwright has been a member of the EMBL Australia Council since its inception and was elected Chairperson in December 2015.



Professor Iain Mattaj

EMBL Director General Professor Iain Mattaj is a distinguished scientist whose contributions have been recognised by his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society (London), Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Member of Academia Europaea, Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science, Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences (London) and Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences (US). He is a member of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and helped make The EMBO Journal a highly successful international scientific journal, acting as Executive Editor from 1990 to 2004.


Dr Silke Schumacher

Dr Silke Schumacher has a degree in biology and in public administration and is the Director of International Relations at EMBL-Heidelberg. She is responsible for all government and EU relations at EMBL, as well as relations with EIROforum, and she oversees the European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences. She studied Biology at the University of Hamburg and holds a PhD in Structural Biology from the Université Paris XI. She worked in pharmaceutical business development and communications before moving into international relations.


Universities Australia

Professor Rob Saint

Professor Robert Saint is Vice-President and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Flinders University. After gaining his undergraduate, honours and PhD degrees from the University of Adelaide, Professor Saint was a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University and at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute for Medical Research. He pioneered research into cell cycle control during animal development at the University of Adelaide and held senior roles at the Australian Research Council, the Australian National University, the University of Melbourne, where he was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science in 2009, and the University of Adelaide, where he was Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Strategy). Professor Saint has been awarded the Julian Wells Medal of the Lorne Genome Conference, the MJD White lectureship of the Genetics Society of Australia and the President’s medal of the Aust. New Zealand Society for Cell and Developmental Biology. In 2017, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for service to tertiary education as an academic, administrator and researcher, and to the biomedical and molecular sciences.


Professor John Carroll

Prof John Carroll obtained his PhD from the University of Adelaide before moving to the MRC Experimental Embryology Unit in London. He joined University College London (UCL) in 1996 and became Director of the UCL Division of Biosciences in 2007. Since moving to Monash in 2012, Prof Carroll has led the formation of the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute. His research focusses on understanding the mechanisms of oocyte development, maturation and fertilisation in mammals. His laboratory is known or using live cell imagery to address questions that improve understanding of oocyte polarity, the control of meiosis and the fidelity of chromosome segregation in the oocyte and early embryo. His research has been funded by long-term MRC Programme Grants and the ARC, and the results published in leading journals, including Nature Cell Biology, Science, Developmental Cell, Development and Journal of Cell Biology.


Professor Sarah Russell
Sarah Russell

Professor Sarah Russell has a background in immune cell signalling, particularly T-cell development and fate determination. Her research interest is in the control of cell fate determination and leukemogenesis by polarity, asymmetric cell division and the tumour suppressor proteins of the Scribble family. She has expertise in microscopy and image analysis, particularly time-lapse microscopy, quantitative image analysis and super-resolution microscopy.


Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes

Professor Andrew Sinclair

Professor Andrew Sinclair is Deputy Director of the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and a Professor in the Department of Paediatrics at The University of Melbourne. Nationally, Professor Sinclair co-leads the Australian Genomic Health Alliance, a network of over 40 organisations that aims to integrate genomics into the Australian health care system, and is in the Executive Management group of Melbourne Genomics. He leads an NHMRC research program (2004-2019) focusing on disorders of sex development (DSD); genomics and diagnosis to inform clinical care. His contributions have been fundamental to the advancement of the field, including significant gene discovery and development of an accurate, rapid diagnostic assay that has improved outcomes for patients with DSD.


Professor Frank Gannon

Professor Frank Gannon is the Director and CEO of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute. He joined QIMR Berghofer in January 2011, having been Director General and board member of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) since 2007. He obtained his PhD from the University of Leicester, England in 1973 and worked subsequently in the USA, France, Ireland and Germany, where he was Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Senior Scientist at EMBL from 1994-2007. His major research interest is the regulation of gene expression by the oestrogen receptor, which plays a major role in breast and endometrial cancer.



Dr Paul Savage

Dr Paul Savage is the Research Director of CSIRO’s Biomedical Manufacturing Program. The Program's aim is to work collaboratively with existing companies in the Australian biomedical industry to develop new and innovative devices, materials and processes, thereby leading to growth, global competitiveness and economic benefits. Paul has a PhD in synthetic heterocyclic chemistry from the University of Queensland, and an MBA EMBL Australia Council EMBL Australia 2016 Annual Report 36 (Technology Management) from the Chifley Business School, La Trobe University. He joined CSIRO in 1990 following a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Florida and is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Dr David Hansen

Dr David Hansen is CEO of the Australian e-Health Research Centre, CSIRO's Digital Health Research Program and a joint venture between the CSIRO and Queensland Health. Dr Hansen leads a research program of over 80 scientists and engineers developing technologies for improving our health care system across health informatics, biomedical informatics and health services research. He worked at the European Bioinformatics Institute in 1998, before leaving to join LION Bioscience with the SRS technology team.


Bioplatforms Australia

mr Andrew Gilbert

Andrew is the General Manager of Bioplatforms Australia, overseer of a $150 million Commonwealth Government research infrastructure investment in the discovery sciences of genomics, proteomics and metabolomics. In addition to managing the national infrastructure network (which supports 4500 users per annum across the spectrum of pure research to commercial production), Bioplatforms Australia has catalysed the formation of a series of strategic national scientific collaborations – in the broad themes of wheat productivity and quality, Great Barrier Reef genomic surveying, wine characterisation and development, native fauna sequencing and melanoma biology. Prior to his current endeavours, Andrew was the Commercial Manager for Life Therapeutics and involved in a broad range of activities surrounding the commercialisation of cutting-edge biotechnology developments.



professor fabienne mackay

Professor Fabienne Mackay is the Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She obtained her PhD in 1994 at the Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg, before joining Biogen Idec Inc. in Boston, where she dissected the role of a TNF-like ligand lymphotoxin-alpha/beta in autoimmunity and cancer – work that resulted in many patents and the development of two new treatments. Following a successful stint at the Garvan Institute in Sydney, where Prof Mackay's lab discovered the role of a new molecule named BAFF, she was appointed Director of the Autoimmunity Research Unit and adjunct full Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales and University of Sydney in 2006 and, in 2009, Chair of the Department of Immunology at Monash University. Prof Mackay consults for several biotech and pharmaceutical groups, has held several leadership positions with professional research associations and is an associate editor and guest editor for a number of scientific journals.