Professor Prem Bhalla 

Professor Prem Bhalla is Head of Plant Molecular Biology and Biotechnology at the University of Melbourne. She also served as Associate Dean (Research), Head of BioScience and Head of Plant Science at FVAS. She led the Melbourne Node for the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence for Integrative Legume Research. She has a proven track record in diverse research leadership roles that have led to successful practical outputs from basic research, strong community outreach, effective communication with mass media, and rewarding industry collaborations. She established Agrifood-Biotechnology teaching courses at the University. Her distinguished professional standing is evident from her membership at the ARC Centres of Excellence Committee, and ARC College of Experts. Professor Bhalla is internationally renowned for her achievements in plant biotechnology. Her research focuses on the genetic engineering of pasture, vegetables, and field crops for future agricultural needs. She developed the world’s first hypoallergenic grass and led to the discovery of a genetic ‘switch’ that can be turned on or off to alter the development of male gametic cells in plants. Her work has been published in prestigious journals. She was awarded the Royal Society of Victoria Research Medal and the ISPP (Indian Society for Plant Physiology) International Fellowship.