Professor John Bekkers is a group leader in the Eccles Institute of Neuroscience and the Deputy Director of the John Curtin School of Medical Research, ANU. He has an MSc in science policy (University of Manchester) and a PhD in biophysics (University of Cambridge). He is a cellular neuroscientist who studies the electrical properties of rodent brains, with a particular focus on the sense of smell. This kind of fundamental research is important for an eventual understanding of how brain circuits become dysfunctional in mental disorders like schizophrenia and autism.
In addition to his standing as a researcher, Bekkers is known for his achievements in graduate training. His contributions were recognised by the 2016 Award for Education in Neuroscience from the U.S. Society for Neuroscience. He also has significant experience in science administration. He is a member of the steering committee of the Australian Brain Alliance of the Australian Academy of Science (2016-), the former Director of the Australian Course in Advanced Neuroscience (2007-2015), a member of the Council of the Australasian Neuroscience Society (2011-), and the current or former Chair of a number of College- and institute-level committees at ANU.
Professor Bekkers has been the Deputy Director of The John Curtin School of Medical Research since 2014.