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Dr Bruce Stillman AO

Advance Awards Global Impact Winner 2021                                               

Dr Bruce Stillman is a visionary biochemist revolutionising cancer research through molecular biology and genetics. Dr Stillman’s research focuses on the mechanism and regulation of duplication of DNA and chromatin in eukaryotic cells, a process that ensures that the genome is replicated completely and only once before cell division. His ground-breaking research explores the way DNA replicates itself, a crucial component to understand how the inheritance of chromosomes is a lead indicator revealing the instance of cancer through the generations. As President and CEO of Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory, Dr Stillman oversees biochemistry research renowned for offering new perspectives, achieving breakthroughs, and opening up new avenues for others. During his leadership, the Laboratory has been ranked as the No. 1 institution in molecular biology and genetics research by Thomson Reuters.

Dr Stillman obtained a Bachelor of Science degree with honours at The University of Sydney and a Ph.D. from the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University. He moved to CSHL as a Postdoctoral Fellow in 1979 and has been at the Laboratory ever since and is currently the Oliver R. Grace Professor. Dr. Stillman was Director of the CSHL Cancer Center from 1992-2016. In 1994, he succeeded Nobel laureate James D. Watson as the Director of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and was appointed President in 2003. Dr Stillman was awarded the Julian Wells Medal (Australia) and in 1999 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to scientific research in the field of molecular biology. Dr Stillman has also been awarded the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize, and has been elected to the Royal Society, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Australian Academy of Science. He has received the Gairdner Award, the Basic Science award from the Society of Surgical Oncology, the Herbert Tabor Research Award, the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize, and been named an American Association for Cancer Research Fellow. Dr Stillman is driven by the joy of pursuing cutting-edge research, and experiencing the thrill of discovery, while overseeing an institution that nurtures the careers of young scientists. He says this is the best of both worlds and a source of constant intellectual exhilaration.

‘Experiencing the thrill of discovery, while overseeing an institution that nurtures the careers of young scientists, is the best of both worlds in high level science that I still find intellectually exhilarating.’