Professor Frank Gannon
QIMR Berghofer Director and CEO
Professor Frank Gannon is the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute’s seventh Director and CEO. In this role he is responsible for strategy, research work undertaken by the Institute and management of employees, under the overall control of the Council. Professor Frank Gannon joined QIMR Berghofer as Director and CEO in January 2011. Previously, he was Director-General at the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) from 2007.
Between 1994-2007, Professor Gannon was the Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), based in Germany. He was Director of the National Diagnostic Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway, Ireland from 1981-1994.
He obtained a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1970, a PhD from the University of Leicester, England in 1973, was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Madison Wisconsin, USA from 1973 to 1975, and Chargé de Recherche in INSERM at the University of Strasbourg, France from 1975 to 1981, after which he returned to Galway.
His major research interest is the regulation of gene expression by the oestrogen receptor, which plays a major role in breast and endometrial cancer. These studies have provided leads to novel treatments or therapeutic approaches to these and other cancers.
Professor Gannon has authored more than 200 research articles published in international journals. In addition, between 2000-2008, he contributed to a monthly editorial on topics that connect science and society in EMBO Reports of which he was founding Senior Editor. He continues to engage extensively to the examination of diverse topics related to science policy.
Professor Gannon has seven patent applications, four of which are active at present and was the founder of both Bimini Ltd (1990) and Elara Pharmaceuticals (2006). He was a member of the interim Board of Science Foundation Ireland from 2002 to 2004 and was elected as a Member EMBO in 1989, Academia Europea in 2004, of the Royal Irish Academy in 2007, the Mexican Academy of Medicine in 2008 and The European Academy of Cancer Sciences in 2009. In 2012, Professor Gannon was appointed as a Queensland Academy of Arts and Science Fellow.
He has been awarded honorary doctorates by the University of Jozsef Attila, Szeged (Hungary), The University of Queensland (Australia) and Queens University Belfast (Northern Ireland).
He has served on a range of high-level scientific advisory boards at institutes throughout the world and was co-founder of the European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF) and the Initiative for Science Europe (ISE) that played significant roles in the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC). He was Vice President of the European Heads of Research Council and an advisor to the European Union Commissioner for Research and Innovation prior to his move to Brisbane.
Currently he is a board member of the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes and member of the Advance Queensland Expert Panel.
LISTEN: Richard Triggs from Arete Executive chats to Professor Frank Gannon about his life and career so far.
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