Leading neuroscientist brings big ideas and leadership

5 November 2020

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Byrne, one of the world's most respected academic health leaders.

World-leading neuroscientist and King's College President, Professor Sir Edward Byrne AC, will join The Australian National University in 2021 as Distinguished Vice-Chancellor's Fellow.

Based in the ANU College of Health and Medicine, Professor Byrne will also chair an expert advisory board to ensure ANU is a top global university, serving the nation, and distinguished by its impact on health, wellbeing and the future of healthcare.  

He will commence at ANU part-time in February 2021.

ANU Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt AC said Professor Byrne was not only "a proven leader at the very highest level of higher education and universities".

"He is also a distinguished and respected researcher, making significant contributions in the fields of mitochondrial medicine and neuromuscular disorders," he said.

"We are delighted to announce the appointment of Professor Byrne, one of the world's most respected academic health leaders."

From 2009 to 2014 Professor Byrne was President and Vice-Chancellor at Monash University, and since 2014 has been President and Principal at King's College London. He is also the Chairperson of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which encompasses 10 million students and more than one million academic and professional staff across 500 member universities in 50 countries.

A medical graduate of the University of Tasmania, he began his career in Adelaide, specialising in neurology. In 1983, he was appointed Director of Neurology at St Vincent's Hospital and Professor of Clinical Neurology at the University of Melbourne in 1992, founding director of the Melbourne Neuromuscular Research Unit and the Centre for Neuroscience in 1993, and Professor of Experimental Neurology at the University of Melbourne in 2001.

Professor Byrne was admitted as an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2006 and a Companion of the Order of Australia, Australia's highest honour, in 2014. He was awarded a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours in October 2020.

Dean of the ANU College of Health and Medicine, Professor Russell Gruen, said he welcomes Sir Ed's academic leadership at the intersection of health policy and higher education policy, and his expert guidance at this pivotal time for the ANU College of Health and Medicine.

"Sir Ed brings vast experience as we embark on a bold new strategy to strengthen education, research and clinical care, and build high-value partnerships with government and health services."