Professor Peter Rathjen AO,
Vice-Chancellor and President
Professor Peter Rathjen AO commenced as the University of Adelaide’s 22nd Vice-Chancellor and President on 8 January 2018.
He is an Australian scientist and medical researcher internationally recognised in stem cell science.
Prior to his appointment, Professor Rathjen was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, where he was instrumental in creating vibrant new university precincts within the CBDs of Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
Professor Rathjen is an alumnus of the University of Adelaide, as are all of the members of his immediate family.
While at Adelaide as an undergraduate in the Department of Biochemistry, he was awarded the R A Fisher Prize for Genetics and the Morton Prize for Biochemistry, both in 1983. As a 1985 Rhodes Scholar, he undertook a DPhil at New College, University of Oxford, studying mobile genetic elements in yeast and mammals.
Professor Rathjen returned to South Australia and the University of Adelaide, where he worked as a Lecturer in Biochemistry from 1990 to 1995 and Professor of Biochemistry from 1995 to 2002. He became Head of the Department of Molecular Biosciences in 2000, and Foundation Executive Dean of the Faculty of Sciences in 2002, a role he held until 2006.
In 2005 he was awarded the Research Leadership Award in the South Australian Science Excellence Awards.
Professor Rathjen was appointed Dean of the Faculty of Science at the University of Melbourne in 2006; in 2008, he became Dean of the Graduate School of Science, and from 2008 to 2011 he served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research). In 2011, he took up the role of Vice-Chancellor of the University of Tasmania, a role he held until October 2017.
Professor Rathjen is a non-executive director of the Board of Universities Australia. He is on the Board of the Australian Science Media Centre and is a patron of the Australian Institute of Policy and Science Tall Poppy Campaign.
In June 2019 Professor Rathjen was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in the Queen's Birthday Honours for distinguished service to higher education through senior administrative roles, and as a scientist and medical researcher.