1 December 2008

Students graduating at The University of Queensland today will have the added honour as the last cohort to come under the Faculty of Biological and Chemical Sciences (BACS) banner.

Today's ceremonies will be the final to come under the umbrella of the BACS Faculty as the University’s recently created Faculty of Science will usher in a new era of science teaching at UQ from next year.

The new faculty will bring together areas including the Centre for Marine Studies; the School of Integrative Biology; the School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management; the School of Earth Sciences; and the School of Mathematics and Physics, with the aim of giving broader student career options and better links between enabling and applied sciences.

Two honorary doctorates will also be presented at today’s two ceremonies.

Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) Board Member Dr Frank Gannon, who is also the current Director General of Science Foundation Ireland, will be presented with a Doctor of Science honoris causa at 2pm.

Dr Gannon’s major research interest has been on the expression of the functional regulation of estrogen receptor which plays a major role in breast cancer and osteoporosis. This has resulted in more than 200 research articles, and seven patent applications. Read his full citation here.

Also receiving an honorary doctorate at this ceremony will be Dr Susan Pond, AM. Dr Pond, who will receive a Doctor of Medicine honoris causa, is the Chair and Managing Director of Johnson & Johnson Research Pty Limited, a position she has held since 2003. She is also a member of UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology's Scientific and Commercialisation Committee

Dr Pond was the first woman to be nominated to a personal chair in medicine at UQ. Her areas of research interest include the physiology of the hepatic uptake and disposition of drugs and nutrients, novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of poisoned patients, and the mechanisms of the neurotoxicity of the antipsychotic drug, haloperidol. Read her full citation here.

Honorary doctorates are awarded by the University based on factors including community service, career distinction and contribution to UQ.

The 11am ceremony will feature students graduating from all programs from the School of Integrative Biology and the Centre for Marine Studies, while the 2pm ceremony will feature students from all programs from the Schools of Biomedical Science, Molecular & Microbial Sciences and the IMB, Queensland Brain Institute and Diamantina Institute. Both ceremonies will be held at the UQ Centre at UQ’s St Lucia campus.

The BACS ceremonies will be the first of 18 ceremonies in December that make up UQ’s main annual graduation ceremonies running from today to Monday, December 15.

Media: Andrew Dunne at UQ Communications (07 3365 2802, 0433 364 181).