Dr Leslie Burnett

Chief Medical Officer

Conjoint/Adjunct Role(s)

Conjoint Professor, St Vincent’s Clinical School, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia
Honorary Professor in Pathology and Genetic Medicine in the Faculty of Medicine, Sydney Medical School
Honorary Associate of the School of Information Technologies, University of Sydney

Professor Leslie Burnett is Chief Medical Officer of Genome.One, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He is a passionate teacher and communicator about the genetics and genomics revolution.

Leslie pioneered the development of many pathology and genetics initiatives, including founding Australia’s first Community Genetics program, and being a Medical Director for the accreditation of Australasia’s first Whole Genome Sequencing clinical service. 

His past key organisational roles as a Clinical Pathologist have been within both the public and private health sectors. He has served as Ministerial appointee, Chairman, or President of several national and international bodies in pathology and genetics. He has received many awards for business and technical excellence, service excellence and community service.

Leslie’s current interests are in the areas of genomic pathology, genetic screening, bioinformatic modelling of population genetics and cell biology processes, and quality assurance.

Research Interests

Community and population genetics
Bioinformatic modelling of eukaryote cell regulation
Quality management in pathology

Awards and Honours

2016 - Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW
2012 - Meritorious Service Award, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia
2010 – FFSc, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Australia
2005 – FACB, National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry, USA
2005 – MACS(Snr), Australian Computer Society, Australia
2004 - Management Science Award, American Society of Clinical Chemistry
2004 – FAICD, Australian Institute of Company Directors, Australia
2004 – FCHSE, Australian College of Health Service Executives, Australia
2002 – FHGSA, Human Genetics Society of Australasia, Australia
1991 – FAIM, Australian Institute of Management
1991 – FQSA, Quality Society of Australasia
1988 – FASCP, American Society of Clinical Pathologists, USA
1987 – FCAP, College of American Pathologists, USA
1984 – FRCPA, Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, Australia


2013 - MSc(Bioinf), University of Sydney – Australia
2002 – DBA, Southern Cross – Australia
1986 – PhD (Medicine), University of Sydney – Australia
1980 – MB, BS, University of Sydney – Australia
1978 – BSc(Med), University of Sydney – Australia

Selected Publications

  1. Ding L-E, Burnett L, Chesher D. The impact of reporting incidental findings from exome and whole genome sequencing: Predicted frequencies based on modelling. Genetics in Medicine 2015; 17(3):197-204. (advance online publication 31 July 2014) DOI:10.1038/gim.2014.94.
  2. Lew RM, Burnett L, Proos, AL, Barlow-Stewart K, Delatycki M, Bankier A, Aizenberg H, Field MJ, Berman, Y, Fleischer R, Fietz M. Ashkenazi Jewish population screening for Tay Sachs disease (TSD): the Australian experience and a systematic review of the literature. J Paediatr. Child Health 2015; DOI:10.1111/jpc.12632. PMID: 24923490

 Books in press:

  1. Burnett D, Burnett L, Mackay M (2017) Chapter 3: Quality Management in the Medical Laboratory, in “Tietz Textbook of Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics, 6th Edn” (Ed. Rifai N, Horvath R, Wittwer C, Elsevier Publishers (in press).
  2. Mathers A, Burnett L, Sullivan D & Stewart PM (2018) Chapter 16: Biochemical Disorders, in “Davidson’s Principles and Practice of Medicine, 23rd Edn” (Ed SH Ralston, I Penman, M Strachan, R Hobson) Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier Publishers (in press).

Dr Leslie Burnett