Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic and Professor of Molecular Biology, UNSW

I have been doing molecular biology since 1985 and been in academic administration since 2004. I continue to run a large laboratory and to teach at UNSW Sydney.

We work on DNA-binding proteins that facilitate epigenetic changes to turn genes on and off. We are interested in developing ways to artificially regulate the expression of particular genes.

We recently used CRISPR and other gene editing approaches to introduce beneficial mutations to boost the output of important genes.

Such technologies may be useful in treating particular genetic diseases of the blood, like sickle cell anemia, and of metabolism, such as diabetes and obesity.

I enjoy teaching and give lectures in the area of molecular biology, genomics, epigenetics, stem cells, genetic reprogramming and genome editing.

I have written extensively on modern molecular genetics and on science teaching and education policy.

My lab has a blog with posts every Friday

our lab website is


  • 2015–present
    Board Member, NewSouth Publishing
  • 2016–present
    Deputy National Secretary, Rhodes Scholarships Australia
  • 2017–present
    Advisory Committee, Australian Astronomical Obersvatory
  • 2016–present
    Editorial Board Member, BioEssays
  • 2016–present
    Editorial Board Member, The Conversation
  • 2017–present
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic, University of New South Wales
  • 2012–present
    Trust Member, Australian Museum
  • 2016–present
    Board Member, UNSW Global
  • 2010–present
    Professor of Molecular Biology, University of New South Wales
  • 2015–present
    Chair, Australian Research Council Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) Research Evaluation Committee for Biology and Biotechnology
  • 2013–present
    Deputy Chair , Australian Science Media Centre (AusSMC)
  • 2010–2017
    Board Member, Sydney Institute of Marine Science
  • 2016–2017
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor Education, University of New South Wales
  • 2011–2016
    Board Member, New South Innovations (now UNSW Innovations)
  • 2010–2015
    Dean of Science, University of New South Wales
  • 2011–2015
    Council Member, European Molecular Biology Laboratory Australia
  • 1995–2009
    Lecturer to Professor of Molecular Biology, University of Sydney
  • 2009–2009
    Associate Dean Research Strategy, University of Sydney
  • 2006–2008
    Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research, University of Sydney
  • 2005–2006
    Director of Research, College of Sciences and Technology, University of Sydney
  • 2004–2005
    Acting Dean of Science, University of Sydney
  • 1991–1995
    Post-doctoral Researcher, Harvard University
  • 1990–1991
    Post-doctoral Researcher, Oxford University
  • 1986–1987
    Tutor, Queen's College, University of Melbourne


  • 1991 
    Oxford University, D.Phil.
  • 1987 
    University of Melbourne, B.Sc. (Hons)


Rhodes Scholarship 1987 Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Roche Medal 1999 Royal Society of NSW Sir Edgeworth David Medal 2000 Australian Academy of Science Gottschalk Medal 2002 Julian Wells Medal, Lorne Genome Conference 2010, Fellow Queen's College University of Melbourne 2014, Fellow Royal Society of NSW 2014