Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 10, Num. 6, 2000, pp. 25-26
Untitled Document

 Australasian Biotechnology, Vol. 10 No. 6, 2000, pp. 25-26


Code Number: au00067


The Australian Biotechnology Association (ABA) has announced a new Council of Directors, President and Vice-President to serve for the next two-year period.

The Association is planning to appoint an Interim Executive Director who will work in conjunction with the directors on the restructuring of the ABA.

The new council members are Shanny Dyer (AVAX Australia), Elane Zelcer (Thrombogenix), Simon Carroll (CSIRO), David Irving (Human Therapeutics), Lyndal Thorburn (Advance Consulting & Evaluation), David Tribe (Melbourne University), Scott Carpenter (Aventis CropScience) with Peter Riddles (IMBcom) as President of the Association and John Ballard (GroPep) as Vice-President. Members of the ABA have elected a board that consists primarily of members from biotechnology companies.

Council members are based in all states except Western Australia, which will have its own representative from early 2001.

The majority of council members are also closely involved in the ABA’s State Branches and represent many of the aspect of biotechnology from agriculture to medicine.

The council will help to focus the organisation towards providing a greater emphasis on the needs of the Australian biotechnology industry, thus implementing the recommendations prepared by a Steering Group commissioned by the previous Council.

These are both challenging and exciting times with Australia well positioned as a nation to capture the benefits of a growing knowledge based industry sector. However, it is vital that governments, industry and the community work together to achieve these goals.

The ABA will be playing an increasing role in securing the outstanding range of benefits that biotechnology is able to provide for all its stakeholders in Australia.

The Australian Biotechnology Association is a national body of companies, institutes and individuals dedicated to the development and prosperity of the Australian biotechnology industry. It is the peak body for the Australian Biotechnology industry, and provides a ‘platform’ that brings together all the relevant players involved in Australian bioindustry. Its mission is to facilitate the commercialisation of Australian bioscience in the international marketplace.


Peter RIDDLES (President)

BSc PhD Grad Dip Bus FCDA

Peter is currently the General Manager, Corporate Development for IMBcom Pty Ltd, the commercial arm of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience in Brisbane.

Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the Bioactive Molecules Initiative, a multi-divisional pharmaceutical discovery program of CSIRO and has been a Program Manager of several CSIRO research programs involving agricultural biotechnology. He was trained at the University of Queensland (PhD) and the Stanford University School of Medicine (Visiting fellow).

He currently serves on the advisory panels of several start-up biotechnology companies and holds an adjunct professorship at the University of Queensland.


(Vice-President) BSc Hons (UWA), PhD (UWA), DSc (UWA), FTSE

John is Managing Director and previously CEO of GroPep Ltd, positions he has held since the inception of the company in 1988. He has recently guided the company to a successful initial public offering and listing on the ASX. He is also Chairman of PrimeGRO Pty Ltd.

From 1991 until 1999 he held a concurrent appointment as Director of the CRC for Tissue Growth and Repair. He is a member of the Commonwealth Government’s Biotechnology Consultative Group and the SA Government’s Biotechnology Advisory Council as well as being on Flinders University’s Biotechnology Advisory Board and a Professor in Biotechnology at the University of Adelaide.

John is a biochemist by training whose research career has focused on growth factors, especially their isolation, characterisation, and roles in protein accretion and metabolic regulation. He is an inventor on many of GroPep’s patents and is a recipient of several research awards including the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology’s Boehringer-Mannheim, LKB and Lemberg medals. He has served as Secretary and President of ASBMB and President of the Australian Perinatal Society.


Assoc Dip Appl Sci (Resource Mgmt) (RMIT), B Appl Sci (Hons Ecotoxicology) (RMIT)

Scott is a Regulatory Affairs Specialist, Seeds/Crop Improvement for Aventis CropScience Australia. Scott joined AgrEvo in 1998, which merged with Rhone Poulenc Rural to form Aventis CropScience in January 2000.

Prior to joining Aventis CropScience, Scott worked as a plant biotechnologist/ laboratory manager, examining gene flow from virus-resistant white clover with Agriculture Victoria. Earlier volunteer and paid work with the Department of Natural Resources included research and management of endangered flora and fauna such as Little Terns, Brush-Tailed Rock Wallabies and the promotion of Responsible Pet Ownership to primary schools.


BApp Sci (WAIT), PhD (UWA), MBA (UWA)

Simon is currently a commercial adviser to CSIRO based in their Melbourne corporate office. His previous professional appointments with CSIRO involved commercial development activities in the area of biotechnology, and also included co-ordinating CSIRO’s pharmaceutical and health research, representing CSIRO on various CRC boards of management and committees, as a director of various companies, as well as key account management with the major Australian pharmaceutical development companies.

Since graduating, Simon worked as a clinical microbiologist before undertaking graduate studies in parasitology leading to a postdoctoral position in the US investigating developmental biology of parasites at the genetic level, along with other aspects of RNA control and metabolism. On returning to Australia in 1988, Simon took up a position at WEHI before joining AMRAD in 1991 where he worked in project evaluation, product development and manufacture, primarily in the biotech area. In 1994, Simon joined CSIRO where he has participated in biotech R&D management activities.

Shanny L. DYER

BSc PhD (Macquarie University)

Shanny is currently the Scientific Director of Avax Australia P/L, a newly established biotech company involved in the development of autologous cell cancer vaccines in Australia and New Zealand. Her previous position was at Biotech Australia as the Business Development Manager. She has over 20 years experience working in R&D in the biotechnology area, mainly in Australia, as well as the UK, Europe and Canada.

Shanny has been keenly interested in building the biotechnology sector. She has established and chairs an industry networking group in NSW (BIOCOM Group) that meets regularly to discuss issues affecting the industry. She has also been involved in establishing a working group that has set up a Roadshow for Australian companies to showcase their technology in the USA.


BSc Hons (James Cook), MSc PhD (ANU)

David is director and chief executive officer of Biotech Australia Pty Ltd. The company is a member of the Human Therapeutics Limited group of companies. Located in Roseville, Sydney and specialising in biopharmaceutical research, development and GMP manufacture, the group is one of Australia’s longest established commercial biotechnology organisations. David joined Biotech Australia as a research scientist heading a gene expression group following post-doctoral positions with the CSIRO and the Rockefeller University, New York.

He is an Honorary Associate, School of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University where he is also a member of the Science and Technology Programs Advisory Council. He has similar links with the University of Technology, Sydney and other universities providing input into course design and teaching programs.


BSc (Hons) (Univ Sydney), Grad. Dip. Legal Stud (Univ Canberra), Grad. Dip. Ed. (CSU), PhD (Macquarie Univ).

Dr Thorburn is Managing Director of Advance Consulting & Evaluation, a consultancy specialising in technology commercialisation and industry policy, particularly in bioscience. Advance has clients in both the public and private sectors and has advised several federal and State government departments and agencies on biotechnology strategy and industry development. Lyndal has also published a number of articles on the Australian biotechnology industry and on technology transfer and commercialisation, particularly the contribution of spinoffs to technology clusters in Australia. The latter have included invited presentations to both the OECD and APEC.

Lyndal has been a member of the ABA since 1994 and has been a Board member since March 1998. She has worked on a number of ABA submissions to parliamentary inquiries and aims to ensure that the ABA is closely linked in with its members through local activities. She established the Canberra Region Branch of the ABA in November 1999 and is currently its chair.


BSc (Bacterial Genetics), PhD (Univ Melbourne)

David Tribe has served for one term as a director of the ABA and has been also been active working with the Victorian Branch of the ABA during the last year. He has also served on the national steering group seeking to ensure that Australia has a strong industry body for the Bioscience/Biotechnology sector. He is generally supportive of the ABA evolving to take on that role, provided regular members of the ABA are suitably acknowledged and consulted.


BSc (Hons) (Monash), PhD (Monash), Grad Dip Mktg (Monash), MAICD

Elane is Chief Executive Officer and a co-founder of Thrombogenix Pty Ltd, a privately owned, development-stage biotechnology company developing products for prevention, treatment and diagnosis of thrombosis. Her responsibilities include strategic management of the company including R&D programs, building on a valuable strategic alliance with the Australian Centre for Blood Diseases, and securing additional investment.

Elane’s career path has progressed from basic medical research, through business management, to the management and commercialisation of university technologies, and the initiation and development of Thrombogenix. She undertook post-doctoral studies in Canada and the United States, returning to Australia to work in business with multi-national pharmaceutical and diagnostics companies. Prior to joining Thrombogenix, she was CEO of Montech, Monash University’s commercialisation company, where she worked with researchers to improve their linkages with business.


The following new members are welcomed to the Association:

  • Dr Julie Stanton, Qld Dept Primary Industries
  • Mr Justin Birchmore, Biomedical Investments Ltd (Corporate)
  • Mr Geoff Lambert, Benitec Ltd (Corporate)
  • Dr Peter Devine, Uni of Queensland
  • Mrs Penny Ashby, Aston Manam
  • Mr Pang Meng, Vita Life Sciences, Singapore (Corporate)
  • Dr David Quigley , Wesley Hospital
  • A/Prof Ross Barnard, University of Queensland
  • Mr Peter Chaffey, City of Melbourne (Corporate)
  • Dr Nikolai Petrovsky, National Health Sciences Centre
  • Dr Liane Kemp, Spencer Stuart & Associates (Corporate)
  • Ms Anne Cronin, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
  • Mr David Ogg, David Ogg & Associates Pty Ltd
  • Mr Daniel Michael, Wondu Holdings
  • Dr Paul Cotterill, Gene Technics Pty Ltd
  • Mr Nigel Smythe, Pricewaterhouse Coopers

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