Scientific Steering Committee

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 Michal Neeman 

Vice President, Weizmann Institute

Professor Michal Neeman served as the Dean of the Faculty of Biology from 2009 until being appointed Vice President of the Weizmann Institute in 2014.

Her 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 

Executive Director, Garvan Institute and Head, Immunogenomics Laboratory

After 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.


Joseph Powell  

Head, Garvan-Weizmann Centre for Cellular Genomics

Joseph Powell has a strong background in statistical genetics, cellular genomics and quantitative trait analysis.

His research is focused on understanding the functional mechanisms by which genetic variants contribute to disease susceptibility at a cellular level, and ultimately achieve therapeutic and diagnostic outcomes.

He currently holds a NHMRC Career Development Fellow, was awarded an NHMRC Research Excellence Award (2015), and the prestigious 2016 Commonwealth Health Minister’s Medal for Excellence in Medical Research. He is also a Principal Research Fellow in the Faculty of Medicine, UNSW.

Professor Mordechai (Mudi) Sheves 

Vice President for Technology Transfer, Department of Organic Chemistry, Weizmann Institute

Professor Mudi Sheves 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

Professor 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

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

Mr 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

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.