Dr Finkel, who holds a PhD in biochemistry, commences her appointment today, Wednesday 10 April 2013.
In her part-time role, Dr Finkel will contribute to various aspects of the University including by developing a book on food security drawing upon the expertise of academic collaborators at the University.
Dr Finkel will further provide strategic advice to a number of Faculties and Schools responsible for the implementation of Research Focus Areas (RFAs), and develop and implement a Science and Technology stream of the successful Ideas & Society.
La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Dewar, said Dr Finkel’s appointment would further enhance La Trobe’s standing as a leading research University.
'Dr Finkel brings to her new position an extraordinary level of practical experience as a research scientist and award winning journalist,' Professor Dewar said.
'It is through this experience that Dr Finkel will help ensure that La Trobe continues to drive research that helps solve global problems and improves the welfare of human societies.'
La Trobe University has been confirmed as one of the nation's leading research universities based on the Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) 2012 report. La Trobe is the top ranked institution for research in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Cell Biology and in Veterinary Science.
To support this research, the University officially opened the $94 million Institute of Molecular Sciences (LIMS) in February this year. The $288 million AgrioBio, Centre for AgriBiosciences, was officially opened this week.
Dr Finkel has spent the last 20 years as a science writer including serving as a correspondent for the American magazine Science and an associate editor for Cosmos magazine, a popular science magazine that she co-founded. In January 2013, she was appointed the next Cosmos Editor in Chief.
Dr Finkel is the winner of the National Press Club Universities Australia Higher Education Journalist of the Year Award for her publication 'The Trouble with Genes' published in Cosmos Magazine. She was further awarded the Bell Award for best Analytical Writer for 'The Trouble with Genes' and 'Black Harvest' also published in Cosmos Magazine.
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