Scientific Steering Committee

The role of the Scientific Steering Committee is to provide strategic direction for the research that is done in the context of the Garvan-Weizmann collaboration.

Professor John Mattick AO FAA
Executive Director, Garvan Institute

John MattickProfessor John Mattick is the Garvan Institute’s Executive Director and Conjoint Professor at UNSW/St Vincent's Hospital Clinical School. Previously he was Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology and Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland.

His awards include the Australian Government’s Centenary Medal and the Human Genome Organisation’s Chen Award for Distinguished Contributions to Human Genomic and Genetic Research.

Over the past 20 years Professor Mattick has pioneered a new view of the genetic programming of humans and other complex organisms, by showing that the majority of the genome, previously considered ‘junk’, actually specifies a dynamic network of regulatory RNAs that guide differentiation and development.

Professor Michal Neeman
Vice President, Weizmann Institute

Michal NeemanProfessor Michal Neeman joined the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science in 1991. She served as the Dean of the Faculty of Biology from 2009 until being appointed Vice President of the Institute in 2014.

Professor Neeman’s research focuses on the mechanisms that regulate angiogenesis, using magnetic resonance and optical imaging.

Novel MRI tools, accompanied by advanced optical modalities, allow scientists to non-invasively obtain dynamic information on activity of multiple steps in the angiogenic process and understand the key regulatory elements and critical checkpoints of vascular remodelling.


Professor Chris Goodnow FAA FRS
Deputy Director, Garvan Institute and Head, Immunogenomics Laboratory

Chris GoodnowAfter a research career spent largely at Stanford University Medical School, the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute and the Australian National University, Professor Chris Goodnow joined Garvan in 2015 to translate genomic analysis of the human immune system into understanding the cause and treatment of immune disorders.

He is known particularly for research using mouse molecular genetics that has illuminated how the immune system learns to distinguish ‘self’ from ‘not-self’ so that it does not attack its own body or cause cancer while fighting off infections.

Professor Mordechai (Mudi) Sheves
Vice President for Technology Transfer, Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute

Mordechai ShevesProfessor Mudi Sheves studied chemistry at Bar-Ilan University for his BSc, and earned his MSc and PhD degrees from the Weizmann Institute of Science. He completed his postdoctoral work at Columbia University and in 1981 joined the Weizmann Institute.

He is currently Vice President for Technology Transfer, and is the incumbent of the Ephraim Katzir-Rao Makineni Professorial Chair in Chemistry. Professor Sheves studies the ‘chemistry of vision’ – how light energy is converted into chemical energy, or vision.

Using sophisticated technology such as ultrafast spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy, he focuses on the light-sensitive protein bacteriorhodopsin. He is also investigating the molecular mechanisms responsible for colour recognition in the eye.

Professor David Thomas
Head, Cancer Division, Garvan Institute, Director, The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head, Genomic Cancer Medicine Laboratory

David ThomasProfessor David Thomas is an NHMRC Principal Research Fellow, and a medical oncologist specialising in sarcomas. He is Director of The Kinghorn Cancer Centre and Head of the Cancer Division at the Garvan Institute.

Professor Thomas has a particular focus on the impact of genomics on cancer medicine, novel biomarker-guided therapeutic trials and management of genetic cancer risk.

His work has changed practice for both sarcoma and adolescent and young adult oncology.

Professor Ido Amit
Head, Amit Lab for Immuno-genomics, Department of Immunology, Weizmann Institute

Ido AmitProfessor Ido Amit worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Broad Institute of Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before joining the faculty of the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2011.

Professor Amit’s research aims to understand how humans encode complex regulatory functions in their genomes, with a particular focus on haematopoiesis – the formation of blood cells – and immune responses.

Using concepts from functional genomics, molecular biology, computer science, physics, and biotechnology, he studies fundamental principles of genome function and regulation, and how both affect blood development and immune homeostasis in health and disease.

Mr Rob Salomon
Technical Director, Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics

Rob SalomonMr Rob Salomon is the inaugural Technical Director of the Centre, and his background in biology and engineering ensures that the Centre will sit comfortably at the intersection of science and technology.

In 2014, he was named as a Shared Resource Laboratory Emerging Leader by the International Society for the Advancement of Cytometry. Since then Mr Salomon has played a major role in both the Australian and International Cytometry Societies.

Mr Salomon is responsible for the technology acquisition and continued technical development of the Centre as well as the implementation of its strategic operational plan.


Professor Amos Tanay
Head, Tanay Lab for Epigenomics and Evolution, Department of Computer Science and Applied Mathematics, Weizmann Institute

Amos TanayAfter co-founding an optical networks technology start-up and conducting postgraduate research at Rockefeller University, Professor Amos Tanay joined the Weizmann Institute in 2007.

Professor Tanay and his group develop single cell genomics techniques to characterise the molecular activity and epigenetics of cells within tissues. They then apply mathematical methods to understand how individual cells determine and maintain their proper role within the context of billions of other cells in the body.

Methods for profiling and modelling tissues at single cell resolution are particularly important in cancer, since tumours develop due to individual cells that rewrite their memory and suppress the tissue’s normal control mechanisms.