Biochemist appointed new College leader

Professor Robert Pike has been appointed the new Pro Vice-Chancellor for the College of Science, Health and Engineering (SHE) at La Trobe University.

Vice Chancellor, Professor John Dewar said the role attracted significant interest from high-calibre candidates from Australia and overseas.

“Rob Pike is an outstanding researcher and a respected academic leader. I am delighted that he has agreed to take on the role of Pro Vice-Chancellor,” Professor Dewar said.

“Professor Pike has been the Director of the La Trobe Institute of Molecular Sciences (LIMS) since 2015. Under his leadership the institute has continued to achieve exceptional results in its key areas of research.

“His experience and academic achievement will provide the College with leadership that will be vital to the future growth, success and reputation of the College and the University.”

Professor Pike said he was looking forward to the new job.

“I am relishing the opportunity to help harness the breadth and depth of the multidisciplinary environment of the College to produce truly-innovative research and teaching approaches that will have an impact on the individuals, communities and industry that the University serves,” Professor Pike said.

Professor Pike is a biochemist specialising in the study of enzymes involved in innate immunity and host defence against bacteria and other pathogens. He obtained his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Natal in South Africa in 1991. He conducted post-doctoral fellowship work at the University of Georgia (USA) and University of Cambridge (UK), before moving to establish his own laboratory in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University in Melbourne in 1997. He subsequently progressed to being a Professor, was Head of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology from 2006-2011, Head of the School of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science at Monash University in 2012 and Deputy Dean (Academic Planning) in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences at Monash University from 2013-2014. In 2015, he took up the dual positions of Director of LIMS and head of the School of Molecular Science at La Trobe.

Professor Pike has published over 150 research papers and supervised over 20 PhD students to completion. He will take up the position on 1st December 2016.