B Science (Hons), PhD, AM
Professor Quinn obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales (1970), followed by postdoctoral work at Arizona State University, University of Hawaii and the Australian National University. He joined the Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology in Sydney (1974). The period with Roche included one year in Basel (1981). He joined Griffith University (1982) and was appointed Professor (1994).
He was elected Fellow of the Australia Academy of Technological Sciences & Engineering (2003) and received the RACI Adrien Albert Award (2004). In 2009 Prof Quinn was made a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to scientific research, particularly in the field of chemistry as a leader in the development of therapeutic compounds from marine organisms and plant materials.
Professor Quinn's research interests include:
- Biodiscovery involving high throughput screening against molecular targets, isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive natural products;
- Design and synthesis of receptor ligands and enzyme inhibitors;
- Understanding of natural product recognition for biosynthetic enzymes and correlation with therapeutic targets as a rational approach to drug discovery.
Professor Quinn initiated collaboration with AstraZeneca (1993) to explore natural products as potential drugs. This collaboration is one of the largest industry/university collaborations in Australia ($100 million in industry investment).
Professor Quinn was appointed Director, Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies (2003). The Eskitis Institute was formed via amalgamation of three existing Centres to create critical mass in the University's priority research area of drug discovery. In November 2007, the Eskitis Institute occupied a second state-of-the-art building on the Brisbane Innovation Park, adjacent to Griffith University's Nathan campus. The two buildings house 120 Eskitis staff and students.