|Professor Gary Williamson|
A highly cited author (ISI h-index of 80), Professor Williamson joins the School of Clinical Sciences at Monash Health (SCS) from the University of Leeds, UK, where he was Professor and Chair of Functional Food, School of Food Science and Nutrition.
Professor Williamson has extensive experience in international research in academic, institute and industrial environments. His research focuses on the link between dietary components (especially polyphenols) and carbohydrate/energy metabolism. He has made major advances in understanding polyphenol bioavailability, and more recently has shown that certain polyphenols influence cellular energy metabolism and appearance of glucose in the blood after a meal, important risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Of his reason to take up the new position at Monash University, Professor Williamson said it was the opportunity of building collaborations with clinicians, cell biologists, biochemists, food scientists and chemists, and making new scientific discoveries.
“I look forward to growing and building the Department, enhancing its international reputation, and giving food and nutrition research at Monash a major global presence,” he said.
At Leeds, Professor Williamson was the holder of a prestigious 5-year European Research Council Advanced Grant entitled “What is the mechanism of the true chronic effect of dietary polyphenols?”, the only one awarded in food and nutrition. Professor Williamson is also the recipient of current and past research funding from BBSRC (UK research council), EU Framework projects, industry, government agencies and Marie Curie international fellowships.
Professor Williamson has presented at more than 200 research seminars at international scientific conferences and research centres, and has supervised 46 PhD students, many of whom now hold senior positions. He has been involved in over 30 human intervention studies.
On moving to Melbourne from Leeds, Professor Williamson said it’s a long way from many of the people he cares about, and there is so much work to do to move one’s whole life to the other side of the world. “But I’m looking forward to better weather and experiencing the world’s most liveable city, exploring new places in this part of the world, and making new friends,” he said.
Professor Williamson will start as Head of Department in October.