Pond, Susan Margaret

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Dr Susan Pond AM is a senior leader in business & academia, recognised for her national & international contributions in medicine, science and technology. Most recently, Susan was Director of Sydney Nano, a multidisciplinary initiative at The University of Sydney. She has been Adjunct Professor at The University of Sydney since 1996.

After completing medical school Dr Pond trained at Royal Prince Alfred and St Vincent’s Hospitals, gaining Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1972. After adding research credentials, completing a Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of NSW in 1976, Susan began a 2-year postdoc in Clinical Pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco and joined the Faculty of Medicine there as Assistant Professor in 1978. Rapidly gaining an international reputation in therapeutics and toxicology, she was the first Australian to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and was a co-founder of the San Francisco Poison Control Centre, one of the first such centres in the USA. Working as a physician in the San Francisco General Hospital, she was also the physician for the surging number of patients with a new disease diagnosed in 1981 as “gay-related immune deficiency” (GRID), a name soon changed to AIDS.

Dr. Pond returned to Australia in 1985 to the University of Queensland where she held appointments as Associate Professor and Professor of Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology until 1996. For her contributions to medicine, therapeutics and toxicology, Susan was honoured with many awards, including: The Wellcome Australia Medal, 1992; Member of the Order of Australia,1994; The Michael Rand Medal, 1995; Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (FTSE), 1996; the Australian Centenary Medal, 2000; and Life Member, of Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT), 2009. During this time, she was also a member of many advisory committees for the Therapeutic Goods Administration and from 1994 -1996 was the first female chair of the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC). In 1998, Dr Pond received a Doctor of Science Degree for her original research on hepatic physiology and in 2008 the University of Queensland also awarded her the degree of Doctor of Medicine honoris causa. Dr Pond contributed 200 peer-reviewed publications and 20 chapters in books.

Between 1997-2009, Dr. Pond was deputy and then CEO of Johnson & Johnson Research, a Sydney-based company taking genomic discoveries to the clinic. She co-led the landmark study of cell delivered gene therapy, demonstrating the safety and efficacy of ribozyme gene therapy in patients infected with HIV, that was published in Nature Medicine in March 2009. She was the first-ever female CEO of a Johnson & Johnson Company in Australia & New Zealand and also elected as the first corporate board member of the biotechnology Industry organisation, AusBiotech Ltd, of which she became the first female Chair in 2007.

Between 2010-2016, increasingly concerned about well-being of our planet, Dr. Pond led the Renewable Transport Fuels Program at the United States Studies Centre at The University of Sydney, working to establish production of generic jet fuel (bio jet) made from renewable resources. She instigated the signing of the bilateral agreement between the USA and Australian governments to work collaboratively on renewable aviation fuels, founded the Australian Initiative for Sustainable Aviation Fuels and was inaugural Chair of the Australian Government’s Clean Technology Innovation Committee. In 2012, she was a passenger on the first commercial flight using renewable aviation fuel operated by Qantas – a return trip from Sydney to Adelaide.

Also, between 2010-2016, Dr. Pond was non-executive director of the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Vice President of the Academy of Technology & Engineering (ATSE) and member of the Commercialisation Australia and Innovation Australia Boards. She was also Chair of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology from 2015 -2018. She was recognized as one of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence in 2013 and as Fellow of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences in 2014. In October 2018, Susan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW. Currently, Dr Pond is Chair of the New South Wales Smart Sensing Network, Governor in Council Member of the Queensland University of Technology Council, Director of the Trusted Autonomous Systems for Defence Cooperative Research Centre, Biotron Limited, Vectus Biosystems Limited and the Australian Phenomics Network and member of the Royal Society of NSW’s Council.

Citation: Pond, Susan Margaret(2019).