Renowned researcher returns home to FNQ

One of Australia’s foremost researchers into Parkinson’s disease, Professor George Mellick from the Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery (GRIDD), returns home to North Queensland next week to encourage locals into future scientific study.

And it should come as no surprise that the former Mareeba boy will reinforce a strong belief that many jobs in the future will require employees to have related skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), during the inaugural ‘Future-proof your career, The Griffith STEM Roadshow’ in Cairns.

“I love Cairns and the Tablelands. It is always home to me, and I want our current crop of FNQ school leavers to have every opportunity to be the thought leaders and problem solvers of the future, confirmed Professor Mellick.

“A degree in STEM is a great start to an innovative career. We have the world’s best research and some of Australia’s top university teachers at Griffith University. It’s great to bring this to the attention of people in the North.”

As head of the Queensland Parkinson’s Project, Professor Mellick has been tireless in his pursuit of a cure for a disease that affects more than 80,000 Australians at a cost of more than $10 billion annually.

His research team relies heavily on gaining blood and tissue samples from a register of more than 4,000 participants living with the disease, in order to extract DNA for the insightful and ongoing study of genetics.

The project’s Bio Bank stores, combined with the resources of GRIDD’s Neuro Bank and NatureBank are pivotal towards a potential cure for Parkinson’s.

As the Deputy Director of GRIDD and a key member of Griffith University’s teaching staff, Professor Mellick understands the value of having such assets and facilities available, to further enhance the overall learning of future students.

“It’s wonderful that my research is using the NatureBank samples derived from Queensland’s unique biodiversity (much from the rainforest and reef in FNQ) to discover new medicines that can help us understand Parkinson’s,” added Professor Mellick.

“I’m also delighted that our Queensland Parkinson’s Project has enrolled many participants from the Cairns region and the Tablelands — this is a great connection between my current work and where I was born and bred.”

During ‘Future-proof your career, The Griffith STEM Roadshow’, research and teaching staff of Griffith University will be available to discuss the multitude of degree program study options available, and highlight some of the many achievements and milestones of Griffith Science students. Following the Cairns event to be held at Rydges Esplanade Resort on Wednesday 1 August, the STEM Roadshow will make its way to The Travelodge, Rockhampton on Wednesday 16 August before travelling to Mackay’s Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday 17 August.

The Roadshow is a free event running from 5pm and people must pre-register online at

New undergraduate degree programs at Griffith Sciences in 2018

Bachelor of Computer Science
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Electronics and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles engineering
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours), majoring in Civil and Architectural engineering
Bachelor of Engineering Technology in Electronic and Computer Engineering

New undergraduate double degrees

Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/ Bachelor of Computer Science
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) majoring in Mechanical Engineering/ Bachelor of Industrial Design
Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)/ Bachelor of Aviation
Bachelor of Environmental Sciences/ Bachelor of Business