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QIMR Berghofer’s Director and CEO prepares to bow out

QIMR Berghofer is farewelling its seventh Director and CEO, Professor Frank Gannon, who will finish in the role in January.

Professor Gannon is retiring after nine years at the helm of the Institute and a decades-long international career.

He said it was the right time to hand over the reins.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to serve as the Director and CEO of this great Queensland institution for nearly 10 years,” Professor Gannon said.

“Queensland is an internationally significant hub for medical research, and I’m pleased to have played a part in that.

“I would like to thank the many scientists, support staff and students I’ve worked with for their service and support. I am extremely proud of what they have helped the Institute to achieve over the last nine years.

“I would also like to acknowledge the members of the QIMR Berghofer Council, who give their time and expertise to lead the Institute.

“Moving on from the position of leading QIMR Berghofer is an important transition for me and the Institute, and I do so knowing that I am leaving QIMR Berghofer in a strong position.”

During Professor Gannon’s nine-year term, QIMR Berghofer has become one of Australia’s biggest and most successful medical research institutes. It has also become a world leader in the fields of immunology, genomics and cancer prevention.

The Chair of the QIMR Berghofer Council, Professor Arun Sharma, has thanked Professor Gannon for his contribution to the Institute and Queensland.

“Under Frank’s leadership, the Institute has grown to 68 research groups. We now have expertise in cardiac research, allergies and a wide range of mental health conditions,” Professor Sharma said.

“Frank has promoted moving research from the laboratory bench to the hospital bedside. His success is evidenced by the fact there are 22 clinical trials underway arising from QIMR Berghofer’s research.

“Under Frank’s leadership, there has also been a significant increase in commercial collaborations with the biopharma sector, which are crucial in moving our discoveries closer towards new treatments.

“At the same time, he has tirelessly promoted and advanced the medical research sector in Queensland and across Australia.

“On behalf of the Council and all staff, I would like to thank Frank for his contribution and congratulate him on a lifetime of achievements.”

Professor Gannon joined QIMR Berghofer in early 2011 from the Science Foundation Ireland, where he was the Director-General. Prior to that, he was the Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organization in Germany.

His research focused on the regulation of gene expression by the oestrogen receptor, which plays a major role in breast and endometrial cancers.

Professor Gannon’s term will finish on 3 January 2020. After that, he will hold the appointment of Emeritus Fellow at the Institute.

QIMR Berghofer’s Deputy Director, Professor David Whiteman AM, will act as Director and CEO until a permanent appointment is made.