The development of an anti-infective agent and also an analgesic pain relief from an Aboriginal plant remedy are just two of the potential drugs that Professor Quinn has discovered by extracting compounds from native species such as sponges and plants.

Professor Quinn, director of Griffith’s Eskitis Institute, began his program of biodiscovery work at Griffith in 1993 when he started building up samples in partnership with the Queensland Museum and Queensland Herbarium. This has now culminated in a storehouse of marine invertebrates and plants known as Nature Bank.

Professor Quinn has also achieved significant success in identifying therapeutic targets from biosynthetic pathways as a rational approach to drug discovery, as well as in the discovery of many new life forms as a consequence of his biodiscovery research program.

“My hope is that our work in establishing Nature Bank will continue to explore how chemically diverse our state is with its massive potential to yield new medicines, as well as new foods, materials and agricultural and industrial tools,” said Professor Quinn. “And now more than ever, knowledge is a renewable resource.

“I am looking forward to continue working with the Queensland Museum and all our collaborators on this journey. The award of this medal is truly humbling and very much appreciated.”