The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS) brings together La Trobe University’s leading researchers to work on some of the world’s most critical problems in the areas of cancer, infection and immunity, molecular design and nanoscience.
In 2022 LIMS has appointed a new Director, Professor Patrick Humbert, and will be appointing a new leadership team shortly.
Senior Leadership Group
Professor Patrick Humbert
Professor Patrick Humbert is the Director of La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science (LIMS).
Following a successful PhD studying the role of transcription factors in immune cells at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (Melbourne, Australia), Professor Humbert undertook postdoctoral training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (Boston, USA) where he made seminal contributions to understanding the transcriptional control of tumour cell proliferation. In 2000, Patrick returned to Australia and set up an independent laboratory at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne. The major focus of his laboratory was the study of the genetic program that governs the asymmetry of cells and how this in turns regulates stem cell function, the architecture of organs, and cancer progression and metastasis.
In 2001, Patrick was awarded a Special Fellowship from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America. He has since been a multiple recipient of Career Development Fellowships, has had continuous federal, national and international funding for his laboratory's research program, and is currently a Senior Fellow of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia. In June 2016, Patrick moved his laboratory to the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Sciences (LIMS) at La Trobe University where he is now Professor of Cancer Biology, the University Theme Lead for ‘Understanding and Preventing Disease’ and from 2022, the Director of LIMS.
LIMS Advisory Board
The LIMS Advisory Board provides strategic advice on the Institute’s research agenda.
Dr Fiona Cameron (Chair)
Professor Cameron is a molecular geneticist with a PhD from Macquarie University.
A 20 year career with the CSIRO encompassed gene regulation, gene delivery, drug formulation and gene therapy. Professor Cameron has held management roles with the CSIRO Nanotechnology and the National Flagship for Food Futures, as well running the Innovation and Consulting unit at the University of Western Sydney. Her subsequent role was Executive Director for Biological Sciences and Biotechnology at the Australian Research Council.
Professor Marilyn Anderson AO
Professor Anderson AO is Professor of Biochemistry at La Trobe University and the Chief Scientist of Hexima Ltd.
She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She was awarded the Lemberg Medal from the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2014.
Professor Susan Dodds
Professor Dodds is the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Industry Engagement) and Professor of Philosophy at La Trobe University.
She has held senior roles at multiple institutions including the University of New South Wales. She is recognised internationally for her leadership in research ethics and public policy development related to emerging medical technologies, and is an active researcher in applied ethics and political philosophy.
Professor Matthias Ernst
Professor Ernst is the Head of the School of Cancer Medicine at La Trobe University and Director of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.
He obtained his PhD from the ETH Zurich (Switzerland), is a member of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and a Principal Research Fellow of the NHMRC.
Dr Megan Fisher
Megan Fisher is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Industry Engagement) at La Trobe University. Megan has over 20 years’ experience in executive management and leadership positions in higher education and research-based organisations in the public and private sector, most recently as Director of Research, Innovation and Commercial Engagement at The University of Melbourne.
Dr Fisher has a PhD in Organic Chemistry and a Bachelor of Science (First Class Honours) from the University of Sydney, as well as qualifications in business and executive management. Megan has extensive experience in leading and advising on a broad range of commercial transactions.
Professor Andrew Hill
Professor Hill was Director of LIMS in 2019 before moving to Associate Provost Research and Industry Engagement for the College of Science Health and Engineering. He obtained his PhD at Imperial College London in 1998. He joined La Trobe University in 2015 as Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Genetics. His research specialises in molecular studies of neurodegenerative diseases and in the application of extracellular vesicles for diagnostics and therapeutics. He has published over 200 research papers and edited three books.
Professor Helen Irving
Professor Helen Irving is the Director of the Understanding Disease Research Focus Area at La Trobe University.
Professor Irving obtained her PhD in Biochemistry from The University of Melbourne and conducted post-doctoral work at Vanderbilt University (USA) and The University of Kentucky (USA) before returning to Australia to take up an ARC Post-Doctoral Fellowship at La Trobe University. For most of her career she has been a teaching/research academic based at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at Monash University. Helen moved to the La Trobe Institute for Molecular Sciences at La Trobe University in 2017.
Stephen has more than 20 years’ experience working in strategic marketing and development roles across the higher education, not for profit and healthcare sectors. He has an MBA from Mt Eliza/Melbourne Business School and a Bachelor of Education from Deakin University and brings extensive expertise and knowledge around philanthropy and international alumni programs. Stephen is currently the Chief Advancement Office at La Trobe University where he is responsible for delivering the $100M Make the Difference Campaign.
Professor Andrew Peele
Professor Peele is Director of ANSTO's Australian Synchrotron.
He is an adjunct Professor of Physics at La Trobe University and was seconded to the Australian Synchrotron from La Trobe University in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and a past president of the Australian Institute of Physics. His research improves the versatility and quality of x-ray imaging and he has published over 100 research papers with applications ranging from improving advanced materials to cellular imaging.
Professor Robert Pike
Professor Pike is the Provost of the College of Science, Health and Engineering.
He has over 10 years’ experience in academic and research leadership roles. Professor Pike is a biochemist specialising in enzymes. He has published over 100 research papers and supervised over 20 PhD students to completion.
Dr Tony Radford AO
Dr Radford AO is a Director of Ellume Ltd and ASX listed Genetic Signatures Ltd.
He was previously Director of Nucleus Networks and CEO of ASX listed Cellestis, from its founding until its acquisition by QIAGEN NV in 2011. For his contributions to tuberculosis diagnosis and enterprise he received the Clunies Ross Award for application of technology and is a Distinguished Alumnus of La Trobe University.
Professor Brian Smith
Professor Brian Smith is Director of LIMS and Head of the School of Molecular Sciences. After completing his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne, Professor Smith held various research positions in Canberra and Melbourne before being appointed as La Trobe’s inaugural LIMS Principal Research Fellow in 2011.
Professor Smith is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He is skilled in the determination of protein structure by X-ray crystallography and has published over 150 research papers.