Professor Ross Coppel
Deputy Dean (Innovation and Strategy)
Ross graduated in medicine in 1976 later working as an intern and house officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and Bethnal Green Hospital, London. In 1980 he returned to Australia and commenced a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Postgraduate Scholarship at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). On completion of his PhD, Ross worked as a research fellow at the WEHI in the fields of malaria and primary biliary cirrhosis. In 1994, Ross accepted a position with Monash University and took up a position as Professor of Microbiology within the Medicine Faculty and was Department Head until 1998.
Ross is a recipient of the Glaxo Award for Advanced Research in Infectious Diseases and was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Fellow. He has authored or co-authored more than 420 scientific publications, including one book and multiple book chapters. This included a chapter in the definitive 1998 American Society of Microbiology volume on malaria. He serves on the editorial board of Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology, the top journal in the field of malaria and has reviewed for numerous journals including Nature, Science, Cell, J Cell Biol, Exp Parasitol and Acta Tropica. He is a named inventor on ten patents for inventions in malaria, primary biliary cirrhosis and novel antibiotics. In 1998, he became the first person to be appointed as an independent assessor to the Federal Court of Australia when he sat with the Justice in a major case involving a biotechnology patent.
He is an internationally recognised scientist for his work in the fields of malaria and primary biliary cirrhosis. He has received funding to support his research activities from both national and international agencies including the NHMRC, the ARC, the Wellcome Trust, the National Institutes of Health, the United States Agency for International Development, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the World Health Organization.
Ross was a member of the advisory committee that oversaw bioinformatics of the malaria genome project and he administered the malaria sequence database for the World Health Organization (WHO). He was a founder of the PlasmoDB consortium, a project to develop an organism-specific database that simplifies the analysis and exploitation of genomic sequence data by biologists.
Ross is currently Deputy Dean and Director of Research of the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University and his laboratory the Coppel Lab is involved in research into malaria and tuberculosis infection. In November 2000, Ross and colleagues in the Faculties of Medicine and Information Technology, along with Agriculture Victoria (Plant Biotechnology Centre) and CSIRO Division of Mathematical and Information Sciences established the Victorian Bioinformatics Consortium of which he remains the Director.