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Professor Oliver Rackham

  • Vascular and metabolic disorders
  • Immune disorders
  • Neurological disorders
  • Cancer

Oliver is CHIRI’s synthetic biology expert whose seminal work in this newly established field of research earned him a place in the European Inventor Hall of fame in 2013.

Oliver’s research involves reprogramming the functions of molecules and cells using artificial DNA made in the lab. Using these synthetic biology approaches he produces new therapeutics to target cancer and diseases characterised by loss of metabolic function, for example heart failure, and new antibiotics to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Since joining CHIRI in mid-2019, Oliver’s been busy providing new tools to help us better understand age-associated diseases. Driving Oliver’s work is what he describes as a pressing need to discover the next generation of therapeutics for these and other debilitating diseases of ageing. Given Oliver’s long list of achievements, including earning several prestigious fellowships over the years, it may very well be his research that helps unlock them!

Oliver is currently a NHMRC Fellow and President of the Synthetic Biology Australasia scientific society. Originally from New Zealand, Oliver’s research career has seen him relocate across the globe to work at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK, in Sweden, Germany and now Australia.

Research interests – engineering and understanding mammalian gene expression; using synthetic biology and genomic technologies to develop new tools and therapeutics to target cancer, mitochondrial diseases and antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Contact and more about Oliver