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Dr Leanna Read, Chief Scientist of South Australia. “Innovate or Perish – which will it be for South Australia?”At the Adelaide Oval
November 24, 2015
Dr Leanna Read is South Australia’s fourth Chief Scientist and the first woman to hold the position. A renowned biotechnologist, she brings a wealth of executive, board and investment experience in technology-based businesses.
In addition to her Chief Scientist role, Leanna chairs the Cooperative Research Centre for Cell Therapy Manufacturing and is a member of the SA Economic Development Board, as well as the Council of the University of South Australia. She is also a member of BioAngels which supports early-stage life sciences businesses, and a Board Director of Biosensis Pty Ltd.
A biochemist by training, Leanna has led a number of successful research and commercial ventures, including the Cooperative Research Centre for Tissue Growth and Repair, a successful commercially focused CRC. She was also the founding Managing Director and CEO of Adelaide biotechnology company, TGR BioSciences Pty Ltd from 2001 – 2012.
Leanna is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, and of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. She has also received a number of awards, including the 2006 South Australian of the Year (Science and Technology) and the 2011 Central Region winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in the Technology Category. Dr Read has published over 90 scientific papers and has received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of South Australia.
As Chief Scientist, Leanna provides independent advice on science strategy and policy to the State Government, as well as to the research and industry sectors. In particular, she plans to foster science excellence, help link the State’s researchers with industry, and improve the quality and uptake of STEM education.
Given that 70% of our research is done in the public sector, Leanna puts high priority on developing a more entrepreneurial culture in researchers, as well as transforming the State’s economy to more high value-add enterprises.