Professor Richard Alexander Gibbs, AC

Richard-GibbsBallarat and Queen’s 1973 – 1974

  • PhD (University of Melbourne)
  • Honorary Fellow RCPA
  • Leading Academic Medical Researcher
  • Established the Human Genome Centre, Houston

Richard was honoured as a Companion of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday list in 2014 for eminent service to science and academic medicine as a leading researcher, author and scholar, particularly in the field of genetics and human genome sequencing, and as a mentor of emerging scientists.

Richard completed his BSc (Hons) (Melb) in 1979, and PhD (Melb) in 1986 in genetics and radiation biology and subsequently moved to Houston, USA, as a Post-doctoral Fellow at the Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) to study the molecular basis of human-linked diseases and to develop technologies for rapid genetic analysis.

Currently, Richard is Director, Human Genome Centre, BCM, Houston. He established the Centre (HGSC) in 1996 and it was chosen to be one of five worldwide sites to complete the final phase of the Human Genome Project (HGP). The HGSC contributed approximately 10% of the HGP, which was completed in 2004. The HGSC now employs over 200 staff including 18 faculty members. Current research within the HGSC is focused upon the genomics of cancer, heart disease and autism. In 2011, Richard was elected to Membership in the Institute of Medicine.

In the 1960s, Richard’s two sisters, Sally and Penny, attended Queen’s and brother, John, was at Ballarat Grammar, following in the footsteps of his father, Alex, who was a student here from 1933 to 1941. Coming to Grammar as a boarder from Woolsthorpe, Richard was awarded a scholarship and he played Merlyn in the School’s excellent production of Camelot in 1974.

In December 2003, Professor Gibbs visited the School and the Chapel of St Mark, to admire the Gibbs Family St Matthew Window and to see the Paten, Ciborium and Chalice he had donated, all of which were dedicated on Founders’ Day in 2003.