In a generous gesture, Emeritus Professor John de Jersey, AM, and his wife Jan have made a benefaction to UQ consisting of:Professor John de Jersey presents Mr Lachlan Casey with his award

  • a $1,000 annual prize to the best School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences third year student entering Biochemistry Honours; and
  • a $10,000 contribution to UQ’s Young Achievers Program. The focus of this program is on encouraging Year 10 school students in southern Qld who have been disadvantaged through financial hardship, rural isolation or their Indigenous background, as well as students who may be the first in their family, to consider a university education.

Professor de Jersey’s association with The University of Queensland goes back to 1962, when he started his undergraduate studies. He was awarded a BSc Hons I in Biochemistry in 1966 and a PhD, also in Biochemistry, in 1969.

After lecturing in biochemistry at The University of Sydney in 1969, Professor de Jersey became postdoctoral researcher at the Pennsylvania State University.

He returned to UQ in 1971 as a Senior Tutor in the Department of Biochemistry. Professor de Jersey was then appointed to a Lecturership in 1973, promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1978, Associate Professor in 1985 and Professor in 1996. He served as Head of the Department of Biochemistry from 1992–2000, and then became Head of the School of Molecular and Microbial Sciences (now The School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences).

After four years as Head of School, Professor de Jersey served for three years as Deputy Dean and Director of Research for the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences, before retiring.

Professor de Jersey has always been an active member of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and served as President in 2001-2002. He is the Secretary General of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists. In 2005, he was awarded Membership of the Order of Australia for services to biochemistry and academe. Professor de Jersey retired at the end of 2007.

Since his undergraduate studies, Professor de Jersey’s main research interest has been protein structure and function. His current research collaborations include a study of the components of Australian snake venoms with therapeutic potential, and attempts to develop  inhibitors of an essential enzyme in the malarial parasite Plasmodium falciparum, as antimalarial drugs. Recently, Professor de Jersey has been involved in several patents of products from Brown snake venom with potential as antibleeding agents.

Professor de Jersey hopes to maintain his involvement with the University, particularly in research, for some years to come.

Image: Professor John de Jersey presents UQ Honours student Mr Lachlan Casey with the inaugural John & Jan de Jersey Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Prize in April 2010 

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