John Mattick is the Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, which houses one of the most advanced clinical genomics facilities in the world. He obtained his BSc from the University of Sydney and his PhD from Monash University in Melbourne. He undertook his postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and then the CSIRO Division of Molecular Biology in Sydney. In 1988 he was appointed the Foundation Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Queensland, where he was also Director of the Institute for Molecular Bioscience and the Australian Genome Research Facility.
Professor Mattick is best known for showing that the majority of the human genome is not junk but rather specifies a regulatory RNA network that directs the epigenetic trajectories of development. His honours and awards include the inaugural Gutenberg Professorship of the University of Strasbourg, the Order of Australia and Australian Government Centenary Medal, Fellowship of the Australian Academy of Science, Associate Membership of the European Molecular Biology Organization, Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia, the International Union of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Medal, the Human Genome Organisation Chen Award for Distinguished Achievement in Human Genetic & Genomic Research, and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Bertner Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to Cancer Research.