Our Researchers


Ronald J Quinn AM

Professor Quinn is the author of over 250 publications and patents and the creator of Nature Bank. He obtained his PhD from the University of New South Wales (Australia) in 1970. Following posts at Arizona State University, University of Hawaii and ANU, Professor Quinn joined Roche Research Institute of Marine Pharmacology in Sydney (1974-1981); this period at Roche included one year in Basel (1981). Professor Quinn joined Griffith University in 1982, was appointed Professor in 1994 and is the Foundation Director of the Eskitis Institute for Drug Discovery at Griffith University.

Between 1993 and 2007 Professor Quinn initiated and directed a ground-breaking partnership between Pharma giant AstraZeneca and Griffith University which resulted in AUD$101m inward investment. The Eskitis Institute boasts an extensive state-of-the-art equipment base costing approximately $11M, as part of the AstraZeneca legacy, and Nature Bank, a biota collection with a replacement cost of approximately $7M. Nature Bank is a unique library of over 72,000 biota samples and 200,000 fractions containing drug-like molecules; it is a state-of-the-art resource for biodiscovery and a true Queensland treasure.

Professor Quinn was honoured in the Australia Day Awards 2010 as a recipient of a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for service to scientific research, in the field of chemistry as a leader in the development of therapeutic compounds from marine organisms and plant materials. He has also been awarded the 2012 Queensland Museum Medal for discovery of many new life forms as a consequence of biodiscovery. Furthermore, Professor Quinn was selected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences to serve on the Expert Diagnosis Assessment of Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), CAS August 31 – September 2, 2014 on-site.

Professor Quinn’s research focuses on the use of molecules as tools to understand interactions in biological systems, to build concepts around molecular recognition and to undertake drug discovery and development. The aim is to discover novel bio-active natural products, using high throughput screening (HTS) and high content phenotype screening (HCS), against molecular and cellular targets. To ensure these compounds are druggable, Professor Quinn has developed a front-loading of physicochemical properties of constituents of extracts.