Professor Simon Foote was appointed as Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University in November 2014. His prime research interests are in the areas of infectious disease, specifically malaria, where his team is developing new antimalarials using a genetics approach. He has worked on the genetics of numerous diseases including Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer and leads a team who are trying to understand the genetics of indigenous glomerulonephropathy.
Professor Foote obtained his medical degree in 1984 at the University of Melbourne and in 1989 completed his PhD in Molecular Genetics studying the genetic basis of drug resistance of the malarial parasite. He worked at the Genome Center at the Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he produced the first physical map of a human chromosome and then a map of the entire human genome. He returned to Australia where he headed the Genetics and Bioinformatics Division at the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, was the Director of the Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, University of Tasmania from 2005 to 2011, and the Dean of the Australian School of Advanced Medicine at Macquarie University from 2012 – 2014.