Professor Mark von Itzstein is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, and the Australian Academy of Health & Medical Sciences, and a joint recipient of the prestigious Australia Prize (1996). He is one of the leading scientists responsible for the design and synthesis of the anti-influenza drug, Relenza®, which has been approved for the treatment of influenza worldwide since 1999. This discovery is considered to be a significant outcome and flagship in glycotherapeutic drug development in the last century and has further consolidated the world platform of using carbohydrates as drugs and carbohydrate-recognising proteins as drug discovery targets.
Professor von Itzstein is the Director of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics which is the only one of its kind in the southern hemisphere and only one of a few in the world. The Institute’s researchers collaborate with leading scientists around the globe to build a critical mass around carbohydrate-based research in areas of clinically significant diseases.
Professor von Itzstein has a major research effort in the area of drug discovery focused on influenza and other viruses, drug-resistant bacteria and cancer. He has international standing in glycoscience and drug discovery particularly in the area of anti-infective drug discovery.