Researcher biography

Professor Brandon Wainwright AM is Co-Director of the Children's Brain Cancer Centre and leads a laboratory within the UQ Diamantina Institute focused on understanding the genetic pathways behind medulloblastoma, a type of brain tumour that occurs predominantly in children. He is Chair of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) Australia, Chair of the Advisory Board of the Robinson Research Institute and Chair of the Board of the South Australian Immunogenomics Cancer Institute (SAIGENCI), and serves on the boards the Australian Genome Research Facility as well as several national and international scientific review committees, including the MRFF Brain Tumour Roadmap Committee.

Professor Wainwright completed his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at The University of Adelaide, after which he secured a postdoctoral fellowship with St Mary's Hospital at Imperial College London. During his six years at Imperial he worked on the first human genome project and also became a Medical Research Council Senior Research Fellow. He returned to Australia in 1990 to join UQ's Centre for Molecular and Cellular Biology (now IMB) and led the Institute for Molecular Biology until 2019.

Professor Wainwright is a geneticist, renowned for discovering the genetic pathway that causes most human cancer. He is skilled in molecular genetics, where he is using genetic approaches to dig through DNA and find the genes that cause disease. He commenced using these skills to locate the cystic fibrosis gene, but it was when isolating a gene responsible for a rare form of brain cancer called Medulloblastoma, that he discovered the role of the 'Hedgehog Pathway' in common human cancer.