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Our People

Professor Michael Vitale

Professor Michael Vitale

Professor Michael Vitale is the Director at the Monash Asia Pacific Centre for Science and Wealth Creation. Michael focuses his teaching, research, and consulting on commercialisation of innovation, particularly in biotechnology.

Previously Michael had a joint professorial appointment at the Melbourne Business School and the Australia New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). At MBS, he was the director of the innovation research program.

Michael was Dean and Director of the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) in 2001-2002 and was formerly a Professor in the Centre for Management of IT at the Melbourne Business School and the Foundation Professor of Information Systems and Head of the Information Systems Department at the University of Melbourne.

Prior to coming to Australia, he was a Fellow at the Ernst & Young Center for Business Innovation in Boston and an Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. His industry experience includes four years as Vice President of Technology and Corporate Services at the Prudential Insurance Company of America.

Michael holds a PhD (Dartmouth), MBA (Harvard), and BA (Oakland University).

His responsibilities include:

  • Supervising commercialisation projects in the Master of Business(Science and Technology) course
  • Supervising PhD students, in collaboration with the Faculty of Business and Economics
  • Locating, creating, and supervising commercialisation projects for the MBus(Science and Technology) course
  • Teaching the unit "Research Commercialisation Planning" (GSB9100) in the Grad Cert(Commercialising Reserach) course
  • Managing the Centre's involvement in recruiting students for the MBus(Science and Technology) course
  • Organising and managing the weekly seminar series that is part of the MBus(Science and Technology) course

Professor Ian Cooke

Professor Ian Cooke joined the Asia Pacific Centre for Science and Wealth Creation as a Professorial Fellow in November 2009 and now works as an Adjunct Professor for the Centre. Previously he was the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of CNSBio Pty Ltd, a clinical-stage venture capital-backed company spun out of Monash University in 2005 to commercialise novel therapies for the treatment of severe pain. CNSBio has been successful in advancing the original Monash technology to completion of two positive Phase II studies in patients with severe neuropathic pain and the lead product is now positioned to enter pivotal clinical studies in Europe in 2010.

Professor Cooke is also the Chief Executive Officer of Foursight Associates Pty Ltd, an influential science and technology consulting company based in Melbourne, and is a non-executive director of the biotechnology companies Select Vaccines Ltd and Human Genome Sciences Pacific Pty Ltd.

Professor Cooke was previously Associate Director (R&D) of the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medial Research and Public Health in Melbourne where he was responsible for commercialisation of emerging technologies developed by the Institute’s scientists through participation in two major commercial R&D syndicates and the establishment of two spin-off companies. Prior to joining the Burnet Institute he was an Associate Professor of Biology at Deakin University, following postdoctoral research fellowships in neuroscience at Princeton University, AT&T Bell Laboratories in the USA and a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship at Monash University. Professor Cooke holds BSc (Hons), PhD and M IP Law degrees from the University of Melbourne and an MBA degree from Monash University.

His responsibilities for 2012 include:

  • Teaching the key unit – Pathways from Science to Wealth – in the Master of Business (Science & Technology)
  • Supervision Commercialisation Projects in the Master of Business (Science & Technology)

Professor Nick Birrell

Professor Nick Birrell

Professor Nick Birrell is an Adjunct Professor and Founding Director of the Monash Asia Pacific Centre for Science and Wealth Creation and maintains an ongoing involvement with the Centre as well as dealing with his venture capital activities.

He has over 20 years' experience in the finance industry, and is a part-time Venture Executive with venture capital company Innovation Capital. Until July 2005 he was Regional Director Asia Pacific of INVESCO, a major global asset management company.

He founded and was Chief Executive of what is now Credit Suisse Asset Management Australia and was the second Chief Executive of County Investment Management, a Melbourne headquartered asset management company. As Chief Executive of County Investment Management, Nick was very active in the promotion of medical research funding and biotechnology commercialisation as an opportunity for Australia and Melbourne in particular.

Earlier in his career he was a consultant and project manager involved in advanced information technology projects. Nick holds a PhD in mathematical physics from London University and is the author of numerous research papers and two books.

Bernadette O'Grady

Berni O'Grady

Executive Assistant to Michael Vitale, Director

Berni has had a variety of work experiences including Nursing, working with Telstra in Sales, Accounts and Faults Management and time with the Commonwealth Bank. She joined the University in 2002 and has been working in areas such as Student Services, Human Resources for Bus Eco and has joined the Centre from Southern Synergy where she held an Executive Assistant role for a period of four and a half years.