Message from the Head of School
Professor Paul Young

Welcome to this final School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) e-newsletter for 2017. SCMB has had an exciting and successful year in all three pillars of our activities; research, teaching and engagement.

We have had a total of 9,314 enrolments across 161 courses at undergraduate and postgraduate level and supported 135 Higher Degree Research (HDR) students throughout the year. 276 undergraduate and postgraduate students and 37 HDR students graduated this year and it was, as it always is, wonderful to see many of them at the Graduation ceremony on Saturday 9 December. I was particularly impressed with the turn-out to our pre-graduation celebration. The graduation ceremony was scheduled earlier than usual this year and so our celebration event started at the somewhat inhospitable time of 7:45am on a Saturday! However we had over 160 graduands, family and friends in attendance – always a marvellous and uplifting event.

On the research front, 2017 saw the School secure more than $17.6M in grant funding from the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and the Australian Research Council (ARC). In the most recent round of the NHMRC Project scheme, SCMB were awarded 12 grants (worth more than $9M) for projects involving SCMB staff. Of these grants six will be led by SCMB ($4.4 M). Congratulations in particular, to Luke Guddat who received two CIA grants – a rare accomplishment in these days of 12-14% success rates. Read more about the outstanding grant success of SCMB researchers.

Our ARC awarded grants in 2017 secured more than $7.8M. These include:

  • ARC Discovery Projects: 10 projects awarded $4M - 7 lead by the School.
  • DECRA: 1 - $365,058 
  • LIEF: successful bids totalling $3.5M. SCMB lead (Prof. Bostjan Kobe) one grant awarded $3.19M, the largest single award in the history of the LIEF scheme.

There have been many other successes in securing research funding through other schemes and foundations as well as an ever increasing engagement with industry, one of our medium to longer term strategic goals. This year sees the highest number of industry research contracts in the School’s history.

In other recognition, I wish to congratulate all staff who received awards at the recent SCMB Staff Awards, and SCMB students, Imogen Bermingham, Fong Yi Chung, and Joanna Koh, who received awards at the Faculty of Science Scholarship and Prizes Ceremony.

I would also like to congratulate two members of staff who were successful in the latest round of promotions – Drs Ben Schulz and Graham Leggatt, both of whom have been promoted to Associate Professor, effective January 1, 2018.

In the second half of 2017 the School had a busy calendar of events (listed below). These events were attended by our wonderful alumni, industry partners, graduating students, staff and current students. I would like to thank all our wonderful speakers and participants and look forward to yet more successful events in 2018.

  • July - TGH Jones Memorial Lecture in July
  • September – Bertram Dillon Steele Lecture
  • October - SCMB Alumni Reunion in October, and
  • November - Annual Biochemistry Alumni Lecture; Skerman Lecture; Industry Breakfast
  • December – SCMB Graduand Celebration.

I hope that you all manage to have a relaxing end-of-year period and I look forward to working with you in 2018.

Paul Young

Professor and Head of School
School of Chemistry & Molecular Bioscience
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