Robert G Gilbert Australian Diabetes Society and the Australian Diabetes Educators Association Annual Scientific Meeting 2014

Robert G Gilbert

Professor Robert G (Bob) Gilbert is Research Professor at the Centre for Nutrition and Food Science, University of Queensland, and also at the Biolake hi-tech campus in Wuhan, China, under the Chinese Government Foreign Experts program. He received his undergraduate training at Sydney University, graduating in 1966, and his PhD from the Australian National University, graduating in 1970. He carried out postdoctoral work at MIT in the US from 1970 to 1972, and then returned to the University of Sydney, where he held a personal chair in polymer chemistry and was Director of the Key Centre for Polymer Colloids. In 2006, he took up a position in the Centre for Nutrition and Food Sciences at the University of Queensland to pursue his interests in the relations between human health and the polymeric structures of glucose polymers (starch and glycogen). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, is author of about 400 papers, 5 patents, and 2 books (on unimolecular reactions and on emulsion polymerization). With 12500 citations and an h-index of 58, he is one of Australia’s most cited chemists. In emulsion polymerization (the commonest means of making a wide variety of industrial polymers such as paints and adhesives, and a complex process involving many simultaneous steps), he developed a full understanding of all of the fundamental mechanisms, many of which were previously unsuspected or misunderstood. He obtained this qualitative knowledge by developing novel quantitative mathematical and laboratory tools. With these advances, it is now possible to polymerize simple systems and to predict the molecular architecture that will be formed under chosen conditions, while for more complex systems, trends can now be semiquantitatively predicted and understood. His mechanistic insights are used worldwide by industry. More recently, he has extended this knowledge of synthetic polymers to the understanding and characterizing of branched biopolymers, particularly starch and glycogen. This has led to unique combined experiment and theoretical methods for characterizing the complex molecular architecture of these biopolymers; the target is biosynthesis-structure-property relations important for human health (especially control and mitigation of obesity and diabetes) and industrial uses. He was President of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) Macromolecular Division (1998-2001), Elected Member of the IUPAC Bureau (2002-5), was Chair (1988-95) of the IUPAC Working Party on polymerization modelling and mechanisms, and was one of eight members of the IUPAC Strategy Development and Implementation Committee which carried out a major reorganization of that body. He was Secretary of the International Polymer Colloids Group until 2001, and former Chair of both the Polymer and Physical Chemistry Divisions of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. He is a winner of a Sydney University Excellence in Teaching Award, was awarded the Smith Medal of the RACI in 1992 in recognition of outstanding research achievements in chemistry over the past decade, the Institute’s Polymer Medal in 1995, shared the Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering Medal in 1993 for his work in understanding polymerization mechanisms, the RACI Olle Prize in 1996 for his book on emulsion polymerization, the RACI Physical Chemistry Medal in 1998, the RACI Applied Research Medal in 2005, the RACI Leighton Memorial Medal in 2007 and the Australian Academy of Science Craig Prize (2010). His membership of editorial boards incoudes Carbohydrate Polymers, Biomacromolecules, Journal of Polymer Science and Polymer, and was Chair of the Gordon Research Conference on Polymer Colloids, 2003. He is fluent in French and German as well as his native English. He has chaired many conferences, including the IUPAC World Chemistry Congress and General Assembly (Brisbane, 2001) and IUPAC World Polymer Congress (Gold Coast, 1998), both of which had more than 1000 registrants

Abstracts this author is presenting: