New Director appointed to the UQDI

26 Sep 2011

Professor Matt Brown was recently announced as the new Director of The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Professor Brown has been acting as Interim Director of the UQDI since Professor Ian Frazer’s move to CEO of the Translational Research Institute in April.

For the last five months, Professor Brown has been leading the Institute and its 200-strong research and support staff, making it a role he feels he is well prepared for.

“I’m thrilled to be appointed as the new director of UQDI. I have inherited an Institute from the previous Director, Professor Ian Frazer, which has been soundly managed and has a very bright future. The position is a wonderful opportunity to grow and develop a research institute whose heart is in patient-orientated research, and where the prospects and opportunities for the future are so good.” Professor Brown said.

Brown has held position as Research Leader of the Autoimmunity Division at UQDI and Professor of Immunogenetics at The University of Queensland since 2005. He previously worked at The University of Oxford and is trained in rheumatology, with a particular interest in genomics and genetics, including diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis.

Professor Brown says his path to institute directorship has been a long one, and a position he has avoided in the past until now because he felt the time was not right.

“I did not want to move that way and miss out on the revolution that has occurred in human genetics over the past five years. Whilst that revolution is still ongoing, my group is now in a solid position that it will carry on making great discoveries without requiring as much direct management from me – I am blessed with a really motivated and skilled research team who are doing world class research. The opportunity as a clinician-scientist though to head up a translational biomedical research institute was too good to miss.”

UQDI is already well known for the development of the HPV vaccine by Professor Ian Frazer and his colleagues, but Professor Brown reiterates that the UQDI is much more than just that milestone.

He is confident of the Institute’s growing international reputation in immunological diseases such as arthritis and the development of what will be excellent programs in skin cancers and haematological malignancies.

“The proximity of and support from leading clinicians within Princess Alexandra Hospital gives us a strategic advantage in pursuing near-patient research in these areas, which are of global health significance."

"I’m looking forward to developing UQDI to a fully matured research institute over the next five years, and building its international reputation as a centre of excellence of translational research in cancer and immunological diseases.” Professor Brown said.