The La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science is led by an experienced team who understand the importance of scientific innovation and translatable research outcomes.
Senior Leadership Group
Professor Brian Smith, an expert on computational chemistry, is Acting Director of LIMS and Head of the School of Molecular Sciences.
Professor Brian Abbey is LIMS Research Director; Dr Michael Angove is Head of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences; Dr Narelle Brack is Head of Chemistry and Physics, and Professor Mark Hulett is Head of Biochemistry and Genetics.
Professor Brian Smith
Professor Brian Smith is Acting Director of LIMS and Head of the School of Molecular Sciences.
Professor Smith obtained his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Melbourne. He held a postdoctoral position at the Research School of Chemistry in Canberra before returning to Melbourne in 1991 to join the Biomolecular Research Institute (BRI) as a research scientist. After the demise of the BRI in 2000, he moved to the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research as a founding member of the Structural Biology division. In 2011, he moved to La Trobe University, where he was appointed the inaugural LIMS Principal Research Fellow. In 2015, he became Head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics, and then Head of the School of Molecular Sciences in 2017. Professor Smith was appointed Acting Director of LIMS in 2019.
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, in the analysis of protein structure, and in the design of protein mimetics and small-molecule inhibitors of protein function. He has published over 150 research papers.
For further information on Professor Brian Smith's research, visit his lab page.
Dr Michael Angove
Dr Michael Angove is Head of the Department of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, and Academic Director of Transnational Education for PSB Academy, a partner institution delivering La Trobe University courses in Singapore. Dr Angove specialises in environmental chemistry, with a particular focus on soils impacted by human activity and bushfires.
For further information on Dr Michael Angove's research, visit his lab page.
Dr Narelle Brack
Dr Narelle Brack is Head of the Department of Chemistry and Physics. She specialises in materials and surface chemistry. Dr Brack has developed surface modification strategies for a range of material systems including next generation aircraft materials, carbon nanomaterials and electrospun nanofibres.
For further information on Dr Narelle Brack's research, visit her lab page.
Professor Mark Hulett
Professor Mark Hulett is Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Genetics. Professor Hulett is a past Research Director and the immediate past-Deputy Director of LIMS. He currently serves on the Executive Committee of La Trobe University’s Understanding Disease Research Focus Area. He is a former national president of the Australian Society for Medical Research. Professor Hulett’s research interests include mechanisms of innate immunity and the tumour microenvironment.
For further information on Professor Mark Hulett's research, visit his lab page.
LIMS Advisory Board
The LIMS Advisory Board provides strategic advice on the Institute’s research agenda.
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 the Scientific 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.
Professor Andrew Hill
Professor Hill is Acting Associate Pro-Vice Chancellor of Research (College of Science, Health and Engineering).
He is currently serving a second term as elected president of the International Society of Extracellular Vesicles (2018-2020). He was awarded the Merck Research Excellence Medal from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2010.
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.
Dr Nick Samaras
Dr Samaras is Director of AGRF Pty Ltd and MuriGen Therapeutics, Chairman of ASX listed Genetic Signatures Ltd and Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University.
He has over 25 years’ experience in the science industry, and has worked in senior roles with global life science companies including Applied Biosystems and Perkin Elmer.