The IMB Advisory Board is chaired by an independent person, and comprises external and university members.  The board provides guidance on the successful operation of the institute as a world class research organisation, with respect to its research, commercialisation and engagement activities. 


Dr Cherrell Hirst AO (Chair)

MBBS (Queensland), BEdSt (Queensland), Hon.DUniv (QUT, GU, SCU), FAICD, FTSE

During the past decade, Cherrell has played a significant role in Queensland’s growing biotechnology sector. From 2007 to 2014 she served as chief executive officer of QIC BioVentures, where she was a director of several investee companies. During this time she also served on several national and state government advisory boards. Cherrell was chancellor of the Queensland University of Technology from 1994 to 2004, and chair of the Brisbane Girls Grammar School Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2006. 

Cherrell is a qualified medical practitioner, gaining a national reputation in the field
 of breast cancer screening and diagnosis as director of the Wesley Breast Clinic. Cherrell has been awarded three honorary doctorates, an Australian Government Centenary Medal (2003), and the title of Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) (1998). She is also a former Queenslander of the Year (1995). 

Cherrell is currently chair of ImpediMed 
and Factor Therapeutics (formerly Tissue Therapies) and a director of Medibank Private, Gold Coast Health and Hospital Service, and RSL Care RDNS. She has previously served on the boards of Peplin, Hatchtech, the Avant Group and Suncorp, as well as various not-for-profit entities. Cherrell is an Adjunct Professor at UQ IMB.

Mr Bob Christiansen 

BEcon (Queensland), DipInfmProc (Queensland), DipFinServices (AFMA)

Bob is the founding managing director of Southern Cross Venture Partners, one of Australia’s largest technology venture capital firms. He is also a director of several early- and later-stage technology companies in Australia and the US. Bob has been a member of the former Queensland Government’s Science and Innovation Advisory Council, and its predecessor, The Smart State Council. He is also an advisory board member of the UQ-owned technology incubator, iLab, and in 2015 was selected by the Knowledge Society and the Office of the Australian Chief Scientist as a member of the “Knowledge Nation 100”.

Bob spent over 20 years in the US technology sector, where he founded two start-up companies. Prior to returning to Australia, he spent time as chief technology officer for the advisor services group of Fidelity Investments in Boston.

Previously, Bob was a general partner of venture capital firm Allen & Buckeridge. He brings over 40 years of experience in entrepreneurship and the international technology sector, with an emphasis on commercialisation and financing, business management and operations, and system design and development. Bob is an Adjunct Professor at UQ IMB.


Professor John W Funder AC

MD (Melbourne), PhD (Melbourne), LLD (Hon) (Monash), DMedSci (Hon) (Melbourne), MD (Hon) (Sydney), FRACP, FRCP

John is Professor of Medicine (Monash), Honorary Professor (UQ) and Professorial Associate (Melbourne). He is also a Distinguished Scholar at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne.

He has more than 50 years of experience working in medical research and significant leadership experience in the sector, having served as Director of the Baker Institute from 1990 to 2001, Director of Research Strategy at Southern Health (now Monash Health) from 2008 to 2011, and President of both the Australian Society for Medical Research and the Endocrine Society of Australia.

In 2014, he was awarded the International Society of Hypertension’s Robert Tigerstedt Lifetime Achievement Award. He has also received the Endocrine Society (USA) Sydney Ingbar award for Service to the Society in 2002, and the Society's Robert H. Williams Award for Distinguished Leadership (2013); Research Australia’s Leadership and Innovation Award (2010); and the American Heart Association’s prestigious Novartis Award (2008). Most recently, he has received the Ipsen Award 2016 for his contributions to cardiovascular endocrinology. During his career, John has published over 600 scientific papers, given over 200 international presentations, supervised 40 PhD students and has been a member of over 20 editorial boards.


Dr Anand Gautam

BSc (Meerut), MSc (Brunel), PhD (London)

Anand is Senior Director of R&D innovation sourcing at Novo Nordisk with responsibility for setting directions to innovation sourcing strategy to fill the company’s pipeline with novel therapeutics. Anand joins the board with a strong background in scientific and commercial management of research at various academic institutions and biotechnology companies around the world. In addition, he brings direct experience in drug discovery, drug development with late-stage clinical trials, and commercialisation of translatable science from academia.

Anand undertook postdoctoral training in immunology at Stanford University in California, US. He was then appointed as a research fellow, and later a leader, at John Curtin School of Medical Research, The Australian National University. He was also appointed as an associate professor at UQ’s former Diamantina Centre for Immunology and Cancer Research.

Prior to joining Novo Nordisk, Anand formed OmGenix BioSolutions, a consultancy company, and worked as a vice-president of research and development at Progen in Brisbane, where he managed and initiated Phase I to III clinical trials. He has also worked as a senior vice-president at Pharmexa, Denmark, where he headed research and external collaborations. 


Associate Professor Beverley Rowbotham

MBBS (Hons 1) (Queensland), MD (Queensland), FRACP, FRCPA, GAICD

Bev is a past president of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia (RCPA) and is the current chairman of the Federal Council of the Australian Medical Association. She chairs the National Pathology Accreditation Advisory Council (NPAAC) and is a member of the Minister’s Medical Benefits Schedule Taskforce She is a director of RCPA Quality Assurance Programs Pty Ltd, the Avant Mutual Group, Avant Insurance Ltd and the Doctors Health Fund.

Bev is Director of Haematology at Sullivan Nicolaides Pathology, part of the Sonic Healthcare group, and Associate Professor of Cellular and Molecular Pathology at The University of Queensland.

Bev was a board member and chairman of the Association for Childhood Language and Related Disorders and is now a director of AEIOU Foundation for children with autism. 


Professor Stephen Walker

BSc (Hons) (Sydney), PhD (Tasmania)

Stephen is executive dean of The University of Queensland’s Faculty of Science, where he is responsible for the leadership and governance of one of the largest science groupings in Australia, with approximately 1100 (equivalent full-time) staff, and about 7500 (equivalent full-time) students.

Previously, Stephen was executive dean of the former UQ Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture. Prior to UQ, he spent five years at the Australian Research Council (ARC) in Canberra, following a number of years as a senior scientist within CSIRO.

Stephen has a BSc (Hons) from The University of Sydney, and a PhD from The University of Tasmania. He has worked in a number of fields such as atmospheric pollution, remote sensing, coastal oceanography and water quality, and medical research (cardiology). He has extensive experience in conducting and overseeing collaborative research, funding schemes and policy, in conjunction with universities, government agencies, utilities, and private industry.


Professor Aidan Byrne

BSc MSc Auck. PhD ANU

Professor Aidan Byrne commenced as the Provost and Senior Vice-President of The University of Queensland on 4 October 2016. Prior to this appointment Professor Byrne was the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council from July 2012. Previously he was the Dean of Science and the Director of the Australian National University (ANU) College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

Professor Byrne completed a BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Auckland before commencing a PhD degree at the ANU in 1981. Following the completion of his degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics he held positions with the University of Melbourne and spent over two years in Bonn, Germany as a von Humboldt fellow. He returned to the ANU in 1989 as a Research Fellow and in 1991 commenced a joint appointment between the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2007.

His research interests involve the use of gamma-rays as probes to determine the structure of heavy nuclei and the examination of the atomic level structure of materials (especially semiconductors). He has published over 200 papers.