Professor Michael Wallach has over 30 years of experience in basic and applied molecular parasitology with a background in both academic and industrial science. Professor Wallach was appointed (Sept. 2002) as the Inaugural Director of the Institute for the Biotechnology of Infectious Diseases (IBID) at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has spent periods of time working all over the world including in the USA at the Rockefeller University, New York, New York, in Israel at the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School, Jerusalem and in Europe at the University of Bern, Switzerland. Studies on malaria and Leishmania were ground breaking and led to publications in some very prestigious journals (Nature, PNAS).
Prof. Wallach's project on Eimeria in chickens (the causative agent of coccidiosis, which is the most economically important disease in the chicken industry), has led to the development, patenting, registration and marketing of a maternally based subunit vaccine against the disease called CoxAbic®. This vaccine was marketed by Abic Ltd. a subsidiary of Teva Israel. It demonstrates how to take a product from an idea all the way to the market.
Professor Wallach published over 60 papers in his field and has been invited to present his work at many international conferences. He has been awarded various prizes and grants including those from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, the Roche Foundation, Basel, Switzerland and in 2019 received the award from Accelerating Australia for Ecosystem Leadership to support Biomedical Innovators.
Since 2007, apart from his continuing work on Eimeria, Professor Wallach has also focused on the development of a new means of immunological control against seasonal and pandemic influenza in collaboration with groups in Europe (the Swedish National Veterinary Institute, Uppsala) and the USA (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee; WHO Center of Expertise for Flu Research). These three research institutions carried out the ground-breaking proof of principle work, which was completed in 2009.
In 2008, Professor Wallach established a new course in Bio-Innovation where Masters and PhD students work in small teams to come up with creative & innovative ideas for medical health products. This course has been successfully run over the past 12 years at UTS as well as the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology where Prof. Wallach is a Visiting Professor. More recently, Prof. Wallach has initiated an international course in Bio-Innovation in which PhD students from 23 countries work together in mixed teams to develop innovative ideas for medical health products. Each year the course is run in a different host country.
In 2018, Prof. Wallach was appointed as the inaugural regional director of the SPARK Oceania program, which was established to emulate the highly successful SPARK program developed at the Stanford University School of Medicine. The goal is to translate research carried out at the participating institutions (UTS, Univ of Sydney, Univ. of Melbourne and Monash) for the benefit of human health, to engage with the Australian based industry and professional community and also to improve our research capability and innovative culture.
Professor and Associate Head of School Strategic Development, School of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science