Our Board

Mr Bruce Neill (Chairman)

Professor Alison Venn (Director)

Professor Alison Venn has been the Director of Menzies since January 2016 and prior to that was the Institute's Deputy Director, Associate Director (Research) and leader of the Public Health and Primary Care research theme. She began her career as a biomedical scientist specialising in immunology and biochemistry,   but an interest in public health and the social factors affecting health drew her into epidemiology, where she has focused on cardiovascular disease through the life course and cancer. She has more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles published, including in The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, British Medical Journal and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.  She has been awarded more than $35 million in research funding over her career. Professor Venn leads the NHMRC-funded Childhood Determinants of Adult Health Study, is the Director of the Tasmanian Cancer Registry and the Tasmanian Data Linkage Unit and contributes to numerous partnerships with the Tasmanian Government. As Director of Menzies Professor Venn is a member of the University's College of Health and Medicine Management Team.

Professor Moira Clay

Professor Clay is a well-respected and experienced leader in research management, strategy and policy in Australia. Her background is in laboratory-based cardiovascular research. In 2000, she moved into research management and has 15 years of senior executive leadership experience in the health and medical research sector. She was the national Research Manager for the Heart Foundation for five years and subsequently occupied executive level research strategy roles in three of Australia's premier Medical Research Institutes (including 7 months as the Acting Director of the Telethon Kids Institute in 2012). She was President of two peak professional societies - the Australian Society for Medical Research (2003) and the Australasian Research Management Society (2012/13) - and a Board Member of the Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (2013). She was named a "High Achiever in Australian Health and Medical Research by the NHMRC in 2013.

Professor Denise Fassett

Professor Fassett is the Dean of the Faculty of Health at the University of Tasmania. She is a Registered Nurse with a PhD and was Head of Nursing and Midwifery from 2006 until 2011. Denise was appointed a Governing Council Member to the Tasmanian Health Organisation (THO) North from its inception in 2012. Denise has a background in health regulation and she was Chair of the Nursing Board of Tasmania from 2006 until July 2010. She was appointed a member of the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia in 2009, a position she currently still holds. She was appointed Chair of the Advisory Committee for the Wicking Dementia, Research and Education Centre, in 2009.

Mr Bob Gozzi

Prior to his appointment as inaugural Commissioner of the Tasmanian Industrial Commission, Mr Gozzi was Head of Human Resources for Cadbury Schweppes in Tasmania. He has over 30 years’ business experience in the private and public sectors in the areas of management, consulting and directorships including previous involvement as a director of the UTAS Innovation Board (the Commercial Arm of the University of Tasmania) and President of the Tasmanian Chamber of Industries (TCI). He was Deputy Chairman of the Tasmania Chamber of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) and served on boards including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, WorkCover Tasmania and TasTAFE. He was Chairman for seven years of the Bell Bay Industry Group (Tasmania’s largest industrial precinct), a member of the Tasmanian Industry Advisory Committee and President of the Metal Industry Association Tasmania.Mr Gozzi’s business experience includes new business development activities for Blundstone Australia in SE Asia and Ecka Granules Australia in the USA, Japan and the Middle East. His special interests include fostering good corporate governance and commercial growth and activity in Tasmania. From a community perspective, Mr Gozzi was a board member and Chairman of the Hutchins Foundation, the fundraising arm of The Hutchins School; Member of the Tasmania Bicentenary Committee; Chief Commissioner of the Tasmania Football League and Member of the AFL Foundation Board.  He initiated the Cadbury Marathon in Tasmania, now in its 34th year, and was Co-Chairman of the AFL Task Force which was successful in bringing AFL football to Hobart.

Brigid Heywood

Professor Brigid Heywood

Professor Brigid Heywood (BSc) (PhD) is Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at theUniversity of Tasmania. Professor Heywood has responsibility for the research and innovation strategy of the University, the University research institutes, research students, research infrastructure and commercialisation services. Prior to taking up this position, Professor Heywood was the Assistant Vice-Chancellor Research, Academic and Enterprise at Massey University in New Zealand, where she led the development and implementation of strategies, policies and standards that underpin its research and teaching effort. Preceding this position Professor Heywood held the office of Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Enterprise at England's Open University. Professor Heywood holds a BSc (Hons) in Biological Sciences from Manchester University (UK) and received her PhD from Liverpool University (UK) where she specialised in studies of biomineralisation. Her subsequent research career developed out of the discipline transition from applied biological sciences to materials chemistry. A trail blazer in many respects, she the first woman in the United Kingdom to hold an established Chair in Inorganic Chemistry - a notable achievement given her founding disciplinary background.

Professor Bob Williamson

Professor Williamson became Professor of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at St Mary's Hospital Medical School, University of London, in 1976, where he remained until 1995 when he moved to Melbourne as Director of the Murdoch Institute and Professor of Medical Genetics. He retired in October 2004 and now is an Honorary Senior Principal Fellow (Professor) of the Murdoch Institute, the University of Melbourne and Monash University. Bob has over 400 refereed career publications, including about 40 in Nature, Nature Genetics, Cell and Lancet. He was involved in the identification and cloning of genes for thalassaemia, cystic fibrosis, craniofacial abnormalities, heart disease and Alzheimer's disease. More recently he has taken a major interest in national science policy and medical and scientific ethics, and has advised several Premiers, Health Ministers and Ministers for Innovation. Although he has retired, he still works with a small research group trying to coax cord blood stem cells to help treat cystic fibrosis in children. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (where he is Secretary, Science Policy), a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an Officer of the Order of Australia.