Prof. Mark von Itzstein OA, Institute for Glycomics – Gold Coast biomed visionary
Episode description (43 mins)
Not many people in life get the opportunity to establish an institute from the ground up, let alone one which is now a world leader in the discovery and development of drugs and vaccines for globally significant diseases. After leading the team responsible for developing Relenza, the first ‘designer drug for flu’ (one of the most important antiviral advances of the last century), Professor Mark von Itzstein was offered the opportunity to establish and lead Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, the first (and only) biomedical research hub of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2000 he chose the Gold Coast as the Institute’s home - then a greenfield site for biomed – and his vision has had a profound impact on the Gold Coast economy, its maturity as a city and ability to attract world-class talent ever since.
After 23 years at the helm, Professor von Itzstein will soon be stepping down as the Institute's Director. In this podcast we’ll explore the career journey of one of our city’s most significant figures, the story of a flourishing research organisation, and why both are intertwined with the emergence of the Gold Coast’s fastest-growing industry.
Professor Mark von Itzstein OA is the Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, a world leader in the discovery and development of next-generation drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that fight diseases of global impact. He was a joint recipient of the prestigious Australia Prize in 1996, was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia (General Division) in 2019, and has won numerous other national and international awards during his career. Professor von Itzstein has international standing in glycol-science and drug discovery, particularly in the area of anti-infective drug discovery, has published over 240 papers and invited reviews, and extensively patented his research.