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Laureate Prof Adrienne Clarke AC

Laureate Prof Adrienne Clarke AC

Born: 1938, Melbourne, Australia

Adrienne Clarke gained her Bachelor of Science and PhD from the University of Melbourne. In 1964 she became a research fellow at the Institute of Dental Research at the United Dental Hospital of Sydney, then moved to the Baylor University in Houston, Texas and the University of Michigan. She lectured in biochemistry at the University of Auckland, and was Research Fellow of the Asthma Foundation in the Department of Medicine, Director of the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre and Professor of Botany at the University of Melbourne.

From 1975 to 1977 Professor Clarke served on the Australian Research Grants Committee (ARGC).

Professor Clarke’s research achievements in the fields of plant molecular biology and complex carbohydrate chemistry have been recognised by her election to the National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of the Arts and Sciences in the US, as well as the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. She was President of the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology from 1997 to 1999.

She was the first woman to be appointed Laureate Professor of Botany at the Plant Cell Biology Research Centre at the University of Melbourne (1999-2005) and remains at the University in an honorary capacity.

Professor Clarke has made a substantial contribution to the development of Australian science and industry, notably as chair of the CSIRO Board from 1991 to 1996 and Lieutenant-Governor of Victoria from 1997 to 2000. She has served on the Boards of several public companies as well as small start-up technology companies.

Her team was the first to clone the gene that regulates self-compatibility in plants and the first to clone the DNA of an arabinogalactan protein (a class of plant proteoglycan).

Career highlights

1991: Order of Australia (AO)
1992: ANZAAS Mueller Medal
1993: Outstanding Achievers Award, National Australia Day Council
1997-1998: President of the International Society for Plant molecular Biology
2001-2003: Ambassador for Biotechnology for Victoria
2004: Companion of the Order of Australia (AC)
2004: President’s Medal, Australian and New Zealand Society for Cellular and Developmental Biology

More by and about Adrienne Clarke

Chemistry and biology of (1-3)-ß-glucans, B.A. Stone & A.E. Clarke, La Trobe University Press, 1992
Genetic control of self-incompatibility and reproductive development in flowering plants, EG Williams, AE Clarke, RB Knox, Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1994
Cell and developmental biology of arabinogalactan-proteins, EA Nothnagel, A Bacic, AE Clarke (eds), Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishing Corp, 2000
Australian Women’s Register, Professor Adrienne Clarke,
Women in Science Enquiry Network,
People Australia, National Library of Australia, Clarke, A. E. 2009,
University of Melbourne, School of Botany,
Victorian Endowment for Science, Knowledge and Innovation, VESKI Fellows, Adrienne Clarke,


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