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QIMR appoints new Director and CEO

QIMR Council Chair Professor John Hay AC today announced Professor Frank Gannon has been appointed as the Institute’s seventh Director and CEO.

Professor Gannon is an internationally renowned expert in the field of molecular bioscience and is currently Director-General of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI).

He will re-locate to Brisbane from Dublin to commence as Director and CEO in January 2011.

Professor Hay said Professor Gannon had been selected following an extensive national and international search.

“Professor Gannon was the ideal candidate for the role. He has significant experience in managing science, widespread ties with the international scientific community and a passion for scientific excellence,” he said.

“Professor Gannon’s appointment comes at a particularly important juncture in QIMR’s history. The Institute is poised for a period of exponential growth and research achievements when our new 15 floor research facility, the Smart State Medical Research Centre, at Herston is completed in early 2012.”

Professor Gannon said he was very pleased to have the opportunity to take over the leadership of QIMR at this time.

“Growth brings with it new opportunities but also the need to adhere to the qualities of research for which QIMR is renowned. The decision to leave Ireland was difficult, but the challenge of contributing to increasing the scientific reputation of Brisbane worldwide is something that I look forward to eagerly,” he said.

Prior to his appointment at SFI in 2007, Professor Gannon was Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), based at Heidelberg, Germany.

His academic qualifications include a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Ireland in 1970 and a PhD from the University of Leicester in 1973. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Madison in Wisconsin, USA from 1973 to 1975 and Charge de Recherche in INSERM at the University of Strasbourg, France from 1975 to 1981. From 1981 to 1994 he was Professor at The National University Ireland (NUI) Galway.

Professor Hay said Professor Gannon’s appointment followed the resignation of former QIMR Director, Professor Michael Good, in June 2010.

Professor Hay paid tribute to QIMR’s Acting Director, Professor Adèle Green, who has stepped into the Director role until Professor Gannon commences.

“Professor Green is doing an excellent job of leading QIMR’s 700 scientists, students and staff during this transition period in addition to continuing her own cancer research studies,” he said.