‘Father of gene cloning’ to head Australian Academy of Science

Professor John Shine AC has been elected President of the Australian Academy of Science.
07 November 2017

This article is modified from content prepared by the Australian Academy of Science.

 Australian biochemist and molecular biologist Professor John Shine AC has been elected President of the Australian Academy of Science.

Professor Shine became world-renowned for a series of discoveries he made between 1975 and 1985 that furthered our understanding of genes.

He cloned the first human hormone genes, and in the process developed sophisticated gene cloning techniques that helped transform the world of biotechnology.

Professor Shine said he is both daunted and proud of his election.

“The role of President comes with great prestige and big footsteps to follow in. I want to ensure that the Academy continues to be the first place government, politicians and industry come to when they are looking for learned scientific advice,” Professor Shine said.

“Communicating the science behind immunisation is a great recent example of where the Academy has helped inform the public and addressed renewed concerns around this important health issue.”

In his earlier roles in the US biotechnology industry and as Chairman of CSL for the past six years, Professor Shine has a longstanding commitment to the translation of research discoveries into advances in health care for the social and economic benefit of the community.

“I’ve always had a strong interest in communicating the importance of science to the broader community which I will continue to do in this role,” Professor Shine said.

“The importance of science to Australia’s future cannot be emphasised enough. As Australian science undergraduates and postgraduates attend threspective graduation ceremonies over the coming weeks, I would say to them, you will be in high demand and we need you to put your bright minds to the many challenges facing society.”

Professor Shine was elected to the Academy in 1994. The Academy’s home, previously known as Becker House, was named the Shine Dome in 2000, in recognition of a $1 million donation made by Professor Shine to help restore the building, one of the most iconic and distinctive in Australia.

Professor Shine was also Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research from 1990 - 2012. He still runs his own lab at the institute, investigating the gene mutations responsible for inherited kidney disorders.

Professor John Mattick, who succeeded Prof Shine as Executive Director of Garvan, congratulated Prof Shine on his appointment.

Prof Mattick said, “We are delighted that one of Australia's most eminent scientists and one of Garvan's leading figures has been elected President of the AAS. We’re proud that John continues to call Garvan home, and we all, especially our younger researchers, benefit from his wisdom and his ongoing engagement with the research at Garvan.”

Related People