Distinguished scientist and angel investor Dr Jay Hetzel has been appointed chairman of UniQuest, The University of Queensland’s commercialisation company.

UniQuest chief executive Dr Dean Moss said Dr Hetzel brought a wealth of experience in life sciences research, product development and commercialisation.

“With a distinguished career in animal genetics and genomics research at the CSIRO for more than 20 years, Dr Hetzel is well-placed to set the agenda for UniQuest,” he said.

“He co-founded Genetic Solutions in 1998 to commercialise genomics technology in livestock. The company was sold to Pfizer Animal Health in 2008.”

Dr Hetzel has since worked on commercialising a range of bio-based products in early-stage ventures, and is currently chairman of ASX-listed Leaf Resources and a director of Anatara Lifesciences.

He has also been an angel investor, mentor and/or advisor to more than 20 early-stage ventures which have set out to commercialise Australian technology. Everything from start-ups to second-round investments.

“UniQuest is already setting the benchmark for university-based technology transfer in Australia and is among the top 10 per cent of university-based technology transfer offices in the world,” Dr Hetzel said.

“Our goal over the coming years is to accelerate the translation of research discoveries into useful technologies and to build on the current impressive list of industry partnerships.”

Outgoing chairman Mary Boydell served on the board for six years and recently retired.

“Ms Boydell had made a significant contribution to the governance and strategic framework underpinning UniQuest’s ongoing commercial success,” Dr Moss said.

Dr Hetzel is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

UQ owns UniQuest through UQ Holdings Pty Ltd.

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