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Biographical entry Waterhouse, Peter Michael

Plant science


Peter Waterhouse is an expert in plant genetics, known for leading the CSIRO research group that discovered the role of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), in virus resistance and gene silencing of plants. This research was reported in 1998 the US Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science Waterhouse's research, demonstrated in rice and tobacco plants, opened up the possible applications of gene silencing as a way of tailoring plants for specific resistances and yields and has had a significant impact agricultural plant science. He collaborated closely with fellow Plant Industry research scientist Ming-Bo Wang on this research, and the two were awarded several prizes for their findings, including the 2007 Prime Minister's Prize for Science.


Waterhouse worked within various positions at CSIRO Plant Industry from 1981 to 2006, by which time he was Chief Research Scientist. In 2008 he was appointed a Professor at the School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences at the University of Sydney where he continued his research into the applications RNA silencing.


Education - Bachelor of Science, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
Education - PhD, Scottish Crop Research Institute, University of Dundee
Career event - Appointed Research Scientist, CSIRO Plant Industry
1989 - 1991
Career position - Leader of Virology sub-program, CSIRO Plant Industry
1991 - 1992
Career position - Acting program leader in Plant Defence, CSIRO Plant Industry
1992 - 1993
Career event - Research sabbatical Protein Engineering, Medical Research Council Centre, University of Cambridge
1993 - 1999
Career position - Leader of Virology sub-program, CSIRO Plant Industry
1995 - 1998
Career position - Program leader of Plant Defence for the CRC for Plant Sciences
1995 - 2008
Career position - Member of Prime Minister's Science and Engineering Council, for Keating, Howard and Rudd Governments
Career position - Leader of the Genomics sub-program, CRC for Plant Sciences
Award - Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute Medal
Award - CSIRO Chairman's Medal with Ming-Bo Wang
Award - Prime Minister's Prize for Science with Ming-Bo Wang
Award - The Bulletin's Smartest Scientists in Australia with Ming-Bo Wang
2008 -
Career position - Professor, School of Molecular and Microbial Biosciences at the University of Sydney
Award - Australian Research Council Federation Fellowship
Award - Fellow, Australian Academy of Science

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Rebecca Rigby