Professor Peter Visscher
Professor Peter Visscher
15 May 2018

A University of Queensland geneticist has joined the ranks of eminent scientists around the world with his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society of London.

Professor Peter Visscher, from UQ’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience and Queensland Brain Institute, said he was “incredibly honoured” to be elected a Fellow of such an esteemed society.

“Scientists are driven by making discoveries and the sense of achievement when getting peer recognition for them,” he said.

“Being elected as a Fellow in the oldest learned society in the world, founded in 1660, is such a humbling honour.

“I have been fortunate to have stood on the shoulders of giants in my field of research, but I also benefitted greatly from crowd surfing on a sea of wonderful students, postdocs and collaborators.”

UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Peter Høj said Professor Visscher was an outstanding scientist who had made key advances in understanding quantitative genetics.

“Professor Visscher has developed and applied statistical methods aimed at understanding how the differences in our genetic sequence contribute to variation between individuals, including our risk of disease,” Professor Høj said.

“His research can be applied to medicine, evolutionary biology and agriculture, and I warmly congratulate and commend Professor Visscher on achieving this singular honour in world science.”

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists from the UK and the Commonwealth.

Past Fellows elected include Sir Isaac Newton, Sir Stephen Hawking and about 80 Nobel Laureates, including UQ alumnus Professor Peter Doherty, and Australia’s Professor Elizabeth Blackburn and Professor Barry Marshall.

UQ scientists elected in past years include Professor Ian Frazer and Emeritus Professor Gerard Milburn.

Professor Visscher was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2010, and a Fellow of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2018.

Media: Bronwyn Adams,, +61 7 3346 2134.