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UQ Science Dean to ignite passion for science

The University of Queensland’s newly appointed Faculty of Science Executive Dean, Professor Melissa Brown, plans to reimagine science to be more engaging, impactful and relevant.

Professor Melissa Brown, a molecular biologist, university teacher and experienced academic leader, will be the Faculty’s first female Executive Dean.

“This is a very exciting time for science, with attention focused on preparing graduates for next generation careers, driving research innovation and impact, and addressing gender equity,” she said.

“I am looking forward to developing and implementing strategies to provide science students with a range of experiences to broaden the opportunities available to them.

“I also want to excite school teachers and the broader community about the importance of science, and to support cross-disciplinary research that will address and impact significant societal problems.

“Building strong relationships with key stakeholders in government, industry and our international partners will be crucial to the success of this vision and will be an exciting part of my new role.”

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj and Provost and Senior Vice-President Professor Aidan Byrne issued a joint statement congratulating Professor Brown on her appointment.

The statement said that in her current role as UQ’s Faculty of Medicine’s Deputy Executive Dean and Associate Dean (Research), Professor Brown had contributed to the success of major enterprises, as well as led initiatives to build cross-disciplinary research collaborations.

Other leadership roles include Head of the UQ School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, and Deputy Director (Research) in the UQ Diamantina Institute.

In these roles, Professor Brown led initiatives that improved teaching quality and the student experience, supported the career development of research higher degree students and early career researchers, and strengthened relationships with external stakeholders, including secondary schools.

Professor Brown has taught molecular biology to more than 10,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students and coordinated multiple courses, including a first year Biology course with over 1000 students.

That statement said that through her research Professor Brown had contributed to attracting more than $25M in competitive research funding, published over 90 papers, and supervised 16 research higher degree and 23 honours students to completion.

Professor Høj and Professor Byrne also thanked former Executive Dean of Science, Professor Stephen Walker, for his 11 years of outstanding leadership at UQ.

Professor Brown’s appointment will commence on 13 March 2017.

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