I obtained my BSc from the University of Sydney and PhD from Monash University in Melbourne. I undertook postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and then joined the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology in Sydney, where I developed one of the first genetically engineered vaccines. From 1988 to 2011 I was the Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, as well as Foundation Director of the Australian Genome Research Facility and the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. During this period I spent 6 months at St John’s as a Visiting Senior Research Fellow. From 2012 until mid-2018 I was Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, where I established one of the world’s first clinically accredited genome analysis enterprises. I am now Chief Executive of Genomics England.
My major research interest is the 98.5% of the human genome that does not encode proteins. My work has shown that the non-protein-coding sequences expand with organismal complexity and are largely devoted to the production of a multi-layered RNA regulatory system that orchestrates the epigenetic trajectories of differentiation and development. An overview of my work may be found here.