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Biographical entry Stocker, John Wilcox (1945 - )


23 April 1945
London, United Kingdom
Immunologist and Medical scientist


John Stocker was Australia's Chief Scientist in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 1996 to 1999. His early career as an immunologist was spent in Switzerland investigating opportunities for scientific and commercial development of biotechnology-based vaccines. He was involved in research on monoclonal antibodies, human interferon and the discovery of the antibiotic Rocephin. In 1987 Stocker returned to Melbourne as the first Managing Director of AMRAD (Australian Medical Research and Development Corporation), a Victorian Government initiative to promote the commercialisation and industrial application of Australian biomedical discoveries. As Chief Executive Officer of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation his priorities included improving teamwork across CSIRO through the Institute structure, identifying opportunities for returns on research expenditure especially in the minerals, electronics and water technology fields, and the establishment of leadership development program. Stocker was Chief Scientist for Australia between 1996 and 1999, a part-time position, during which time he led landmark reviews into science priorities for Australia and the Co-operative Research Centre program. In recent years Stocker has been involved with various research and development enterprises including as a founder of Foursight Associates, a company advising on R&D and science to companies, investment institutions, academics and government



Education - BMedSc, University of Melbourne
Education - MB BS, University of Melbourne
1970 - 1972
Career position - Resident Medical Officer at the Royal Melbourne Hospital
1974 - 1976
Career position - Research Scientist at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Education - PhD, University of Melbourne
1976 - 1979
Career position - Scientist at the Basel Institute of Immunology, Switzerland
1979 - 1984
Career position - Scientist at the Central Research Unit of Hoffman-La Roche & Co. in Basel
1986 - 1987
Career position - Director of Pharmaceutical Research at Hoffman-La Roche & Co.
1987 - 1990
Career position - Founding Managing Director of AMRAD (Australian Medical Research and Development Corporation)
1988 -
Career position - Director of the Victorian Government Strategic Research Foundation
1989 -
Career position - Fellow, Royal Australasian College of Physicians
1990 -
Career position - Fellow. Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
1990 - 1995
Career position - Chief Executive at CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)
1992 -
Career position - Director of Gene Shears Pty Ltd
Award - Australian of the Year
1995 -
Career position - Director of Research and Innovation at Pratt Industries
Career position - Foursight Associates established
1996 - 1997
Career position - Chairman, Australian Science and Technology Council
1996 - 1999
Career position - founding member, Prime Minister's Science, Engineering and Innovation Council
1996 - 1999
Career position - Chief Scientist, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
1996 - 2003
Career position - Chairman, Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation
1996 - 2006
Career position - Director, Cambridge Antibody Technology Plc
1997 - 1998
Career position - Chairman, Australian Science, Technology and Engineering Council
Award - Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for service to the advancement of Australian scientific and technological research and its application for economic, social and environmental benefit
2000 - 2006
Career position - Board Member, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Award - Centenary Medal for outstanding service to science policy, serving as Chief Scientist and Chair of ASTEC
2005 - 2010
Career position - Chairman, Sigma Pharmaceuticals
2007 - 2010
Career position - Chairman of the Board, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation
2013 -
Career position - Chairman, Science and Engineering Advisory Committee, Environment Protection Authority of Victoria
2015 -
Career position - Director, Menzies Foundation
Award - DMS honoris causa, University of Melbourne

Archival resources

National Library of Australia Oral History Collection

  • Interview with Dr John Stocker, scientist [sound recording] / interviewer, Diana Giese, 1 June 2000, TRC 4585; National Library of Australia Oral History Collection. Details

Published resources

Newspaper Articles

  • Grose, Simon, 'A scientist determined to have his voice heard', The Canberra Times (1996), 11. Details


Resource Sections

Rosanne Walker and Helen Cohn