Orators/Invited Speakers/Guests

Firkin Orator



Distinguished Professor Dame Jane Harding is a University Distinguished Professor, and a researcher in the LiFEPATH research group of the University’s Liggins Institute.  Her training included a medical degree at the University of Auckland, a D Phil at the University of Oxford, and a postdoctoral Fogarty Fellowship at the University of California at San Francisco.

Professor Harding has undertaken teaching and research at the University of Auckland for much of her career. She is a paediatrician and practised as specialist neonatologist caring for newborn babies at National Women’s Hospital.  She was also Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research), with overall responsibility for the University’s research activities.

Her on-going research concerns the role of nutrition and growth factors in the regulation of growth before and after birth, blood glucose regulation in the newborn, and the longterm consequences of treatments given around the time of birth.

Amongst her many awards are the Howard Williams Medal from the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Beaven Medal from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, the Norman J Siegel Outstanding Science Award from the American Pediatric Society, and the Rutherford Medal from the Royal Society of New Zealand.

AWT Edwards Orator

Professor David Craik, UQ Laureate Fellow

David Craik obtained his PhD in organic chemistry from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia and undertook postdoctoral studies at Florida State and Syracuse Universities before taking up a lectureship at the Victorian College of Pharmacy in 1983. He was appointed Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Head of School in 1988. He moved to University of Queensland in 1995 to set up a new biomolecular NMR laboratory and is currently an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow.

Professor Craik is in the Division of Chemistry and Structural Biology at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, The University of Queensland, Australia. He discovered the cyclotide family of circular proteins and has characterized the structures of many animal toxins including conotoxins from cone snail venoms. He heads a research team of 35 researchers whose current work focuses on applications of circular proteins, toxins and NMR in drug design.

He is author of over 600 scientific papers, including 6 in Nature/Nature Communications/Nature Neoroscience/Nature Structural Biology/Nature Chemical Biology/Nature Chemistry, 1 in Science, 9 in PNAS and 8 in Angewandte Chemie. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and has received numerous awards for his research, including the Ralph F. Hirschmann Award from the American Chemical Society (2011), Ramaciotti Medal for Excellence in Biomedical Research (2014), GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence (2014), the Vincent du Vigneaud Award from the American Peptide Society (2015) and the FAOBMB Award for Research Excellence (2015). He is an Honorary Professor of Jinan University, Guangzhou and has an Honorary Doctorate from Kalmar University in Sweden.