IMB’s Strategic Management Committee advises on strategic actions and monitors the implementation of strategic goals.
Professor Brandon Wainwright
BSc (Hons) PhD (Adelaide)
As director, Brandon is responsible for advancing the institute’s research initiatives, strengthening the institute’s global connections and leading IMB’s scientists in their work to improve quality of life for all.
Brandon completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies
at the University of Adelaide, after which he secured a postdoctoral fellowship at St Mary’s Hospital at Imperial College London (ICL). During his six years at ICL, he worked on the first human genome project, and made significant discoveries in the field of human molecular genetics as a Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow. He returned to Australia in 1990 to join UQ’s Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology (now IMB).
Brandon leads his own IMB laboratory, which focuses on understanding the genetic pathways behind skin cancer and medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour that occurs predominantly in children.
He serves on the board of Life Sciences Queensland, the Australian Genome Research Facility, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Australia, and a number of national and international scientific review committees. In 2015, Brandon chaired the Queensland Institutes of Health.
Professor Jennifer L Stow
Deputy Director (Research)
BSc (Hons) (Monash), PhD (Monash)
Jenny is IMB’s deputy director (research). In this role she manages the scientific and competitive funding performance of the institute, as well as IMB’s postgraduate program.
Jenny completed her undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Monash University in Melbourne, after which she undertook postdoctoral training at Yale University’s School of Medicine as a Fogarty International Fellow. She was soon appointed as assistant professor in Massachusetts General Hospital’s renal unit, where she established an independent research group in cell biology. She returned to Australia in 1994 as a Wellcome Trust Senior International Fellow to join UQ’s Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology (now IMB).
Jenny is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow. Her IMB research team studies inflammation and infection at the molecular and cellular levels, to determine the role they play in a range of diseases, and find new ways to combat and control them.
Dr Ian Taylor
Deputy Director (Operations)
BSc (Hons) (Strathclyde), PhD (London), MBA (Queensland)
Ian is IMB’s founding deputy director (operations). In this role he is responsible for the administration and operations of the institute, including management of institute finances, infrastructure, safety, and support services and staff.
Ian completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry and postgraduate studies in radiation biology in the UK, working as a research officer for several years. In the late 1970s, he relocated to Australia to take up positions as a research fellow at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and a lecturer at the University of Sydney. In 1984, Ian moved to Brisbane to join the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (now QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute) as its first scientific manager.
Ian has more than a decade of experience in research, and 30 years of experience in scientific management and laboratory design and construction.
Director of Advancement
BEc (UNE), PGC Social Impact (UNSW)
As IMB’s director of advancement, Maureen is responsible for the institute’s philanthropy, communications and community engagement.
Maureen’s postgraduate studies in social impact at the UNSW Business School were focused on social impact investing, philanthropy, social enterprises and demonstrating social impact, with a particular interest in global health. She is currently completing postgraduate study at Harvard University in management, organisational behavior, communications and philanthropy.
Prior to joining IMB, Maureen was development manager at UNSW’s Faculty of Medicine, where she was responsible for securing significant philanthropic funding for medical research to deliver positive outcomes for patients. In this role Maureen focused on neurosciences, women’s and children’s health, and public health, particularly global responses to HIV.
Maureen has extensive experience in entrepreneurial, consulting and marketing roles in the IT and ecommerce sectors. She now combines her business experience and passion for social impact to drive philanthropic investment in life sciences that promise to deliver significant health, social and environmental benefits.
Dr Mark Ashton
Executive Director, Intellectual Property Commercialisation, UniQuest
BSc (Hons) (Bath), PhD (Bath)
Mark is UniQuest’s executive director, intellectual property commercialisation. He leads a team responsible for commercialising UQ’s intellectual property.
Mark completed his undergraduate studies in chemistry, postgraduate studies in medicinal chemistry sponsored by the pharma company Organon (now Merck), and postdoctoral studies in the discovery of novel calcium channel antagonists in the UK.
Mark was previously senior director, commercial engagement – health, and before that manager of innovation and commercial development for IMB. Before joining UniQuest, he held positions as executive vice-president (business development) of the European-based biotech company Evotec, and president of the drug discovery operations division of Evotec, responsible for some 200 scientists.
Mark currently serves as a director of the Australian biotech company, Vaxxas Pty Ltd and was previously a board director of Dimerix Bioscience Pty Ltd and a board observer of Spinifex Inc.
Professor David Fairlie
Head, Chemistry and Structural Biology
BSc (Hons) (Adelaide), PhD (UNSW)
David is head of IMB’s Chemistry and Structural Biology division, and an IMB research group leader.
David conducted his undergraduate studies at the University of Adelaide, postgraduate studies at the Australian National University and the University of
New South Wales, and postdoctoral studies at Stanford University and the University of Toronto.
David has held ARC Federation and ARC Professorial fellowships, chief scientific officer and scientific director company roles, and has collaborated with and consulted to some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. His research team works at the interface of chemistry and biology to better understand the detailed processes of life, ageing and disease.
David is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Principal Research Fellow.
Professor Alpha Yap
Head, Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine
MBBS (Queensland), PhD (Queensland), FRACP
Alpha is head of IMB’s Cell Biology and Molecular Medicine division, and an IMB research group leader.
Alpha trained as a physician and endocrinologist at UQ and the Royal Brisbane Hospital, after which he completed a PhD in epithelial physiology at UQ. Before joining IMB, Alpha was a CJ Martin Fellow at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, and a Wellcome Trust International Senior Medical Research Fellow, UQ. Alpha is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow. He is an associate editor for Molecular Biology of the Cell, and a member of nine other editorial boards, including Current Biology and Developmental Cell.
With Professor Rob Parton, Alpha leads IMB’s Breakthrough Science Program in Mechanobiology, which is an exciting new field that brings together biologists, mathematicians, physicists and engineers to investigate how mechanical forces generated and sensed by the body contribute to fundamental processes in health and disease, such as organ development, stress, and inflammation.
Professor Mark Ragan
Co-Head, Genomics of Development and Disease
BA (Hons) (Chicago), PhD (Dalhousie)
Mark is co-head of IMB’s Genomics of Development and Disease division, and an IMB research group leader.
Mark completed his undergraduate studies in biochemistry at the University of Chicago, and postgraduate studies in biology at Dalhousie University in Canada. Before joining IMB, he worked for more than 20 years as a research scientist for National Research Council Canada, and for six years as a fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research’s program in evolutionary biology.
Mark’s current research applies genome-scale data to solve challenges in biotechnology, human disease and costal ecology.
Mark has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers, is director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Bioinformatics, and a co-founder of QFAB Bioinformatics. He is also involved in national and international infrastructure initiatives in genomics, computing, data and bioinformatics services.
Associate Professor Ben Hogan
Co-Head, Genomics of Development and Disease
BSc (Hons) (Melbourne), PhD (Melbourne)
Ben is co-head of IMB’s Genomics of Development and Disease division, and an IMB research group leader.
Ben completed his PhD and a Cancer Council postdoctoral fellowship at The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Melbourne. He continued his postdoctoral training at the Hubrecht Institute in the Netherlands, where he applied large-scale zebrafish forward genetic screening to study lymphatic vascular development in the embryo.
In 2010, Ben established his group at IMB as a CJ Martin Fellow. Today, his lab is a global leader in forward genetics, genome editing, molecular imaging, in vivo cell biology and embryology, all with a focus on vascular biology and development.
Ben is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Heart Foundation Career Development Fellow. He is also co-director of the UQ Centre for Cardiac and Vascular Biology and a member of IMB’s Centre for Rare Diseases Research.
Professor Richard Lewis
Director, Centre for Pain Research
BSc (James Cook), PhD (Queensland)
Richard is director of the IMB Centre for Pain Research, and an IMB research group leader.
Richard completed his undergraduate studies in zoology and chemistry at James Cook University, and a PhD in zoology at UQ. Before joining IMB, he worked at the Queensland Department of Primary Industries, where he continued his PhD research on the toxins responsible for ciguatera fish poisoning.
During his 20 years back at UQ, Richard has pioneered the discovery of a new class of peptide-based painkillers inspired by the pharmacology of animal venoms.
Richard is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow and currently on the editorial boards of Frontiers in Pharmacology, Toxicon, Toxins and Current Molecular Pharmacology.
Associate Professor Carol Wicking
Director, Centre for Rare Diseases Research
BSc (Melbourne), MSc (Melbourne), PhD (London)
Carol is director of the IMB Centre for Rare Diseases Research, and an IMB research group leader.
Carol obtained her PhD from The University of London, working on one of the earliest disease gene mapping projects—the hunt for the cystic fibrosis gene. As a postdoctoral fellow at UQ, she was involved in the successful isolation of the gene for the inherited cancer predisposition syndrome, Gorlin’s syndrome.
With more than 25 years of research experience in human genetics and cell and developmental biology, Carol’s research is now focused on understanding a class of rare diseases known as ciliopathies.
Carol is a UQ Vice-Chancellor’s Senior Research Fellow and a member of the Rare Voices Australia Scientific Medical Advisory Committee.
Associate Professor Matt Sweet
Director, Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research
BSc (Hons) (Queensland), PhD (Queensland)
Matt is director of the IMB Centre for Inflammation and Disease Research, and an IMB research group leader.
Matt undertook his degrees in biochemistry at The University of Queensland. As a postdoctoral CJ Martin Fellow at The University of Glasgow (Scotland, UK), he studied the role of molecular pathways involved in innate immune cell activation and inflammation. These studies led to the identification of a new experimental approach to suppress pathological inflammation in sepsis and other inflammatory conditions.
Matt moved to IMB in 2001, and established his own group in 2007. His group works to understand the innate immune system, with a focus on revealing the roles of specific genes and molecular pathways in a range of infectious and inflammation- driven diseases.
Matt is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow, and the national coordinator and Queensland representative for the Australasian Society for Immunology Infection and Immunity Special Interest Group. He is also an editorial board member for the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
Professor Matt Cooper
Director, Centre for Superbug Solutions
BSc (Hons) (Adelaide), PhD (Adelaide)
Matt is director of IMB’s Centre for Superbug Solutions, director of the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, and an IMB research group leader.
Matt trained in organic chemistry in Adelaide, before moving to the UK for the next decade where he continued his research at the University of Cambridge and in start-ups and biotechnology companies.
Matt is a scientific entrepreneur with a track record of innovation, industry engagement, intellectual property generation, and business development. His lab is working to design and develop new diagnostics and treatments for drug-resistant bacteria, tuberculosis and dengue fever.
Matt is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Principal Research Fellow, and a member of the NHMRC Health Innovation Advisory Committee and Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences.