Prof Tony Bacic is a plant biologist with a decades-long research career leading multidisciplinary team research projects and programs. He employs the key platform technologies of functional genomics and cell biology with an emphasis on glycobiology of carbohydrate matrices, including cell walls and extracellular matrices. Prof Bacic’s achievements include projects on cereal biology, food quality and crop productivity. He has extensive leadership experience in basic and strategic research, with involvement in several Australian Research Council Centres of Excellence and Corporative Research Centres, and as the Director of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food and the Bio21 Institute. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and on the board of several organisations, including the Royal Botanic Gardens, where he is chair of the finance and audit committee.
Dr Veronica Borrett has 30 years’ experience in senior research and leadership roles specialising in national security. In 2015 she was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW, The Hague). She is the former Director of BAI Scientific, providing strategic advice in the science, technology and IT industries and a Principal Research Scientist with the Defence Science and Technology Dr Borrett held roles in management at the National Institute of Forensic Science, and Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute of the University of Melbourne before commencing her role at La Trobe University as Senior Director of the ARC MedAg Hub.
Dr. Monika Doblin is an expert in Plant Cell Walls, whose work in beta-glucans made important contributions to the understanding on biosynthesis of cellulose and cellulose like polymers in plants. Dr Doblin was a Research Fellow and Deputy Node Leader at the School of BioSciences at the University of Melbourne before taking on the role of Senior Research Fellow at La Trobe University and joining the ARC MedAg Hub as a Co-Director.
Dr Mathew Lewsey completed his PhD in Molecular Virology at the University of Cambridge with John Carr. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Salk Institute (La Jolla, USA) with Joe Ecker and at the Centro Nacional de Biotecnología (Madrid, Spain) with Roberto Solano. Dr Lewsey commenced working at La Trobe University in 2016 to further his interests in genomics, systems biology and plant science and take on the Directorship of the La Trobe Genomics Platform before being instated as Co-Director of the ARC MedAg Hub in 2019.
Prof. James Whelan is world-leading for his research on plant mitochondria. He is currently Research Director for the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food, the ARC MedAg Hub and Chief Investigator for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology. In March 2019 was elected as a fellow to the Australian Academy of Science. His lab has 25 years of expertise in the field of mitochondrial function and mitochondrial signalling of plant’s energy and stress status, evidenced by close to 250 papers in high-impact journals (Plant Cell, Plant Physiology, The Plant Journal).