Science in Practice
Meet your Mad Scientist - Professor Brett Neilan
1. What is your current position, and what do you do?
Professor and Global Innovation Chair in Biotechnology.
2. What interests did you have growing up?
A lot of beach time but when the weather was bad I built and detailed plastic models (planes, cars, etc).
3. Would you recommend pursuing a career in the sciences?
Definitely get qualified but don’t put too much importance on working in the type of science you might be thinking about today. By definition science and discovery change so quickly.
4. What advice would you give to kids who are interested in the sciences?
Get good training in quantitative sciences and apply yourself to a few different disciplines. It will keep things interesting and you will bump into and benefit some random opportunities and people. Explore the natural world, use science to understand it, and capitalise on what you learnt.
Professor Brett Neilan has high level scientific skills in the areas of molecular microbiology, genetic and genomic engineering and microbial chemistry.
Much of Brett’s previous work over the past 20 years has focused on the biochemistry of environmental microorganisms, including the genetics of complex biosynthesis and engineering of these pathways to optimise or modify production.
The discoveries and achievements from Brett’s previous research, as well as his expertise and standing in the field, will be leveraged for this research program which aims to discover, characterise and produce novel microbial pathways for the utilisation of farm waste and production of valuable organic compounds.
Specifically, Brett will coordinate the researchers in Australia and internationally in order to achieve the degradation of recalcitrant farm chemicals and waste and excess fertilizer recapture.