Distinguished Professor Nicholas Dixon

Emeritus Professor

Citation delivered by Senior Professor Eileen McLaughlin, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science Medicine and Health at the University of Wollongong on the occasion of the admission of Nicholas Edward Dixon as an Emeritus Professor of the University on 1 November 2023.

Chancellor, I present Distinguished Professor Nicholas Dixon.

A renowned international leader in structural biology and protein biochemistry, Nicholas Dixon is among the University’s most esteemed academics and a respected pioneer in his field.

Nick’s seminal achievements span research areas central to molecular biology, including – but not limited to – the molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, interactions between proteins, and the interactions between proteins and nucleic acids. His extensive output spans 195 publications in premier scientific journals, leading to an impressive H-index of 69.

Working as a postdoctoral Research Fellow at ANU, Nick was awarded concurrent CJ Martin and Fulbright Fellowships to study at Stanford University. He returned to ANU as a Queen Elizabeth II Fellow, subsequently gaining professorship. He joined UOW as a Professor and Australian Research Council (ARC) Professorial Fellow in 2006 and was among the inaugural cohort of Distinguished Professors appointed in 2014.

Over the last 17 years, Nick has played a central role in advancing biochemistry at the University. He has secured more than 20 ARC and National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) grants and provided sage advice and expertise to colleagues across the university that have led to many more. Nick has also served on several ARC College of Experts panels and led multiple Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) and Research Engagement and Impact (REI) submissions for UOW.

As its Transitional Head from 2018-2020, Nick led the formation of the new School of Chemistry and Molecular Bioscience and was instrumental in the ideation and realisation of Molecular Horizons, and the establishment of the world-class Cryo-EM facility at UOW.

This has placed the University firmly on the global map in the field, positioning UOW as a world leader in structural and molecular biology. He also served as Director of the Centre for Medical and Molecular Bioscience, the precursor to Molecular Horizons.

Nick was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of NSW in 2015 and has been a Visiting Professor at leading universities in Europe, the United States and Oceania. Though he retired in July 2023, he remains highly active and engaged, contributing to ongoing research projects and providing support and advocacy, particularly in the pursuit of grants and fellowships.

Chancellor, Nicholas Dixon’s legacy – both to our institution and to the field of structural and molecular biology – is immense and enduring.

It is a privilege to present Distinguished Professor Nicholas Dixon to be admitted as an Emeritus Professor of the University of Wollongong.