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Doug Hilton named as new head of CSIRO

19 June 2023
By Kate McDonald
The CSIRO's new CEO, Doug Hilton. Image courtesy Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research.

Molecular and cellular biologist Doug Hilton has been named as the new chief executive of the CSIRO.

Professor Hilton has been the director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI) for the past 14 years and is head of the Department of Medical Biology in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

He will take over from Larry Marshall, who will complete his third and final term as CEO in June 2023.

Prof Hilton will be joined at CSIRO by former Victorian chief health officer Brett Sutton, who was appointed as the director of health and biosecurity at CSIRO, with responsibility for health and biosecurity preparedness and responsiveness, digital health, and health and wellbeing.

Both Professor Hilton and Professor Sutton will commence their new roles in September.

“CSIRO is a unique national treasure, there to deliver science for the benefit of the community,” Prof Hilton said in a statement. “The intent of CSIRO and my personal values are completely aligned, and I am looking forward to leading CSIRO as we work to solve our nation’s greatest challenges.

“I will join CSIRO, after leading WEHI where our staff and students strive to help people live healthier for longer. At CSIRO I know that same sentiment will be there and that’s incredibly important to me. I’m looking forward to meeting the researchers and those that support and enable them, and to hearing about the science.”

Prof Hilton’s speciality is investigating blood cell production and how cells communicate with each other. He and his team hold more than 20 patents and have translated their research through collaboration with venture capitalists and the biopharmaceutical industry.

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