Professor Frank Gannon - Biography#

Professor Frank Gannon was appointed to the position of Director of The Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR) in Brisbane Australia in January 2011 (since renamed the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute). He joined QIMR Berghofer having been Director General and board member of Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) since 2007. SFI is the major research funding agency in Ireland with an annual budget of almost 200 million Euro.

Prior to this, from 1994-2007 Professor Gannon was Executive Director of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO) and Senior Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), based in Heidelberg, Germany.

Previously, from 1981-1994 Frank was Director of the National Diagnostic Centre and Professor at the Department of Microbiology at University College Galway, Ireland, with particular responsibility for the development of a biotechnology program.

He obtained a Bachelor of Science from the National University of Ireland, Galway in 1970, a PhD from the University of Leicester, England in 1973, was a post-doctoral fellow with Jack Gorski at the University of Madison Wisconsin, USA from 1973 to 1975, and Chargé de Recherche in INSERM in the group of Pierre Chambon at the University of Strasbourg, France from 1975 to 1981, when he moved back to Galway.

His major research interest is the regulation of gene expression by the Estrogen Receptor in particular related to its role in breast cancer and osteoporosis. These studies have provided leads to therapeutic approaches to this and other cancers. More recently his research has extended to basic mechanisms in epigenetic controls, particularly at the level of DNA methylation and demethylation.

Frank Gannon has authored over 150 research articles published in international journals. In addition, he was founding editor of EMBO reports, to which he contributed over 100 editorials from 2000-2008. He also had editorial functions in The EMBO Journal and Molecular Systems Biology. He continues to write and contribute to discussions on diverse topics related in particular to science policy.

He is an elected member of EMBO, the Royal Irish Academy, Academia Europea, the European Clinical Cancer Organisation, and the Mexican Academy of Medicine. He has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by The University of Queensland, Queens University Belfast and the Josef Attila University Szeged, Hungary. Frank Gannon has seven patent applications, four of which are active at present, and was the founder of both Bimini Ltd. (1990) (Molecular Probes) and Elara Pharmaceuticals (2006) (Drug discovery).

Professor Gannon has served on a range of high-level scientific advisory boards at institutes throughout the world and was co-founder of the European Life Sciences Forum (ELSF) and the Initiative for Science Europe (ISE) that played significant roles in the establishment of the European Research Council (ERC). He was also a member of the European Research Advisory Board (ERAB) that advises the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation and was Vice–President of the European heads of Research Council (EUROHORCS).
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