Professor Frank Gannon has a robust reputation for strategic leadership and an unrelenting drive to make a difference in the world of research. Given his vast knowledge of research and scientific management, his street cred as a preeminent researcher and his commitment to the industry, Frank is an invaluable strategic advisor to BDHP.
Frank’s remit with BDHP includes drawing on his career experience and knowledge to assess the bigger picture for this collaborative health network, drive analytical work around Queensland’s research funding performance, and identify greater opportunities for collaboration to improve translational research outcomes.
“BDHP is maturing as a collaborative health network, but there are still so many possibilities to explore and so much potential to continue advancing Queensland translational research. We must keep prioritising and resourcing the collective ways that make our research endeavours easier. Encouragingly, there is a great willingness for this to happen,” Frank said.
Originally from Galway in Ireland, Frank has travelled, worked and lived all over the world. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Frank has also led a diverse range of research organisations and projects.
After completing a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Ireland in Galway, in 1973, Frank earned his PhD at the University of Leicester, England. Later, he was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Madison Wisconsin in the USA. There, he researched the oestrogen receptor in breast cancer, which became a research topic for the rest of his life. As Chargé de Recherche in INSERM, at the University of Strasbourg, France, Frank worked on ground-breaking genetic engineering and DNA techniques.
Later, back in Ireland, Frank became the Director of the National Diagnostic Centre and Associate Professor in the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway. At that time, funding was scarce, and Frank became adept at sourcing funding from the European Union. As the Irish representative on various EU committees, Frank had a diverse portfolio of work that involved many different stakeholders.
His next role was as the Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) based in Germany. One of Frank’s highlights was advocating for funding and mentorship for early career and female researchers and a range of programs to support researchers in their career development.
After 13 years in Germany, Frank returned home and led the Science Foundation Ireland as its Director-General. He moved to Australia in 2011 to be the Director and CEO of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute.
Around the same time, discussions had started in Australia about advanced health alliances and their role in improving translational research. When BDHP was established in 2014, Frank became one of its founding board members. In 2020, after leaving the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Frank began to provide strategic advice to BDHP and continues to champion opportunities for Queensland translational research within existing and emerging national and international networks.
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