Professor John Mattick AO

Distinguished Alumni Award 2015 - Biomedical and Psychological Sciences Professor John Mattick AO FAA FAHMS HonFRCPA is currently the Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in...

Distinguished Alumni Award 2015 - Biomedical and Psychological Sciences

Professor John Mattick AO FAA FAHMS HonFRCPA is currently the Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney. 

He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree with First Class Honours from the University of Sydney in 1972 and his Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry from Monash University in 1978. 

He then worked at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology in Sydney, and the University of Queensland from 1988 to 2011.  In this role he was the Foundation Chair of Molecular Biology, Foundation Director of the Australian Genome Research Facility, Foundation Co-Director and later Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. 

He has also been the Director of the ARC Special Research Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology, Director of the ARC Special Research Centre for Functional and Applied Genomics, ARC Federation Fellow and NHMRC Australia Fellow, before joining the Garvan Institute in 2012.  He also spent research periods at the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Cologne and Strasbourg.

Professor Mattick has published over 280 scientific papers, which have received over 24,000 citations.  His major contributions to science include delineation of the molecular architecture of the enzyme complex that makes fat (featured in all major biochemistry textbooks) and the development of one of the first genetically engineered vaccines in Australia. 

He is most well-known for showing that the majority of the human genome is not junk, but rather specifies an information system that oversees development.  He has also pioneered the introduction of genomic information into medicine and healthcare and has been a tireless and effective advocate for investment in research.  Among many other things, he has also been a member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee and chair of many national and international advisory bodies.

His honours and awards include Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, the inaugural Gutenberg Professorship of the University of Strasbourg, the Order of Australia and the Centenary Medal of the Australian Government, the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Medal, Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. 

He is also received Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organisation, the CSIRO Eureka Medal for Leadership in Science, the Human Genome Organisation’s Chen Award for Distinguished Achievement in Human Genetic and Genomic Research, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Bertner Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cancer Research.  He was recently named by NHMRC among the all-time high achievers in Australian health and medical research.