John Shine

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John Shine

Professor John Shine at the Garvan Institute.jpg
Shine, pictured at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2010.
Born (1946-07-03) 3 July 1946 (age 73)
Alma mater
Known forShine-Dalgarno sequence
Scientific career

Professor John Shine AC, FAA (born 3 July 1946) is an Australian biochemist and molecular biologist.[1] Shine discovered the nucleotide sequence, called the Shine-Dalgarno sequence, necessary for the initiation and termination of protein synthesis.[2] He directed the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney from 1990 to 2011. In May 2018 Shine was elected President of the Australian Academy of Science.[3]

Background and early career[edit]

The brother of scientist, Richard Shine,[4] John Shine was born in Brisbane in 1946 and completed his university studies at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra, graduating with a bachelor of science with honours in 1972 and completing his PhD in 1975. During the course of his studies he discovered the RNA sequence necessary for ribosome binding and the initiation of protein synthesis in the bacterium Escherichia coli. The sequence was named the Shine-Dalgarno sequence. This was a key discovery allowing further development of molecular biology, especially genetic engineering, and was an important discovery towards understanding gene expression and regulation.

Shine undertook post doctoral research at the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), during this period he was the first to clone a human hormone gene and was a central figure in the cloning of the insulin and growth hormone genes. He also determined the first sequence responsible for replication of a cancer causing virus.

Returning to Australia and the Australian National University in 1978, he cloned the human renin gene and cloned the endorphin gene, going on to demonstrate that human hormone genes cloned in bacteria could be expressed in a biologically active form. He also founded the Centre for Recombinant DNA Research at ANU. In 1982 he was awarded that Gottschalk Medal by the Australian Academy of Science.

Shine returned to the United States in 1984, taking a position at UCSF and directing a biotechnology company California Biotechnology Inc.[1] He was instrumental in the development and growth of the company, now Scios, and subsequently sold to Johnson and Johnson.

He returned to Australia again in 1987 to take a professorship in molecular biology at the UNSW Australia and became the deputy director of the Garvan Institute. He was Chairman of the National Health and Medical Research Council from 2003 - 2006. He is currently a Professor of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biology at Garvan Institute of Medical Research,[5] Chairman of CSL Limited, and President of the Board of Museum of Applied Arts and Science ( Powerhouse Museum, Sydney Observatory).


The Shine Dome of the Australian Academy of Science in Canberra.

In 1994 Shine was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. He donated A$1 million to the Academy in 2000 to assist with funding the restoration of the building; subsequently renamed the Shine Dome in his honour.[6]

Shine was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1996 for service to medical research, particularly in the field of molecular biology.[7] In 2001 he was awarded a Centenary Medal "For service to Australian society and science in molecular genetics".[8] In 2010, Shine was awarded the Prime Minister's Prize for Science, the nation's highest scientific award.[9] In 2017 he was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia.[10]


  1. ^ a b Walker, Rosanne (25 May 2006). "Shine, John (1946 - )". Encyclopedia of Australian Science. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  2. ^ Shine, J.; Dalgarno, L. (6 March 1975). "Determinant of cistron specificity in bacterial ribosomes". Nature. 254 (5495): 34–38. doi:10.1038/254034a0. PMID 803646.
  3. ^ "The President | Australian Academy of Science". Retrieved 25 August 2018.
  4. ^ Shine, John; Shine, Richard (1 March 2007). "Meeting the Shine brothers". Catalyst (Interview). Interviewed by Dr Jonica Newby. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  5. ^ "Professor John Shine". Research: Neuroscience Division: Neuronal Stem Cells. Garvan Institute of Medical Research. 2013. Archived from the original on 27 August 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  6. ^ "History of the Shine Dome". Australian Academy of Science. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  7. ^ "Shine, John: Officer of the Order of Australia". It's an Honour. Governor-General of Australia. 11 June 1996. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  8. ^ "Centenary Medal". 1 January 2001.
  9. ^ "John Shine: 2010 winner of the Prime Minister's Prize for Science". Science in public. Science in Public Pty Ltd. 17 November 2010. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
  10. ^ 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours, It's an Honour.

External links[edit]