Ryszard Maleszka is an Emeritus Professor at the ANU Research School of Biology.
Profesor Maleszka has pioneered insect genomics in Australia and conducted seminal research into epigenetic regulation of phenotypic and behavioural polymorphisms using the social honeybee model. He discovered that chemical decoration of DNA, known as methylation, controls developmental fates via nutritional inputs to generate different characteristics from one genotype.
His research has advanced our understanding of the role non-genetic factors play in linking environment with gene expression and opened up a new field of research on invertebrate epigenetics and put Australia at the forefront of the field. Professor Maleszka is also recognised internationally for his work on genes involved in brain plasticity. His genome-inspired efforts have stimulated new collaborations and opened whole new areas of inquiry in comparative genomics, immunogenetics, vision science, development, behaviour, and circadian rhythms.
Professor Maleszka received his MSc and a PhD from the Department of Genetics, University of Warsaw, and has done postdoctoral work at the National Research Council in Canada. He came to Australia in 1987 after receiving a scholarship from ANU. He has published more than 150 papers including several breakthrough articles in Science, Nature and the EMBO Journal.
Other indicators of his international standing and his reputation as a biologist include collaboration with high profile international researchers, invitations to international meetings, requests from universities to act as an independent reviewer for promotion or tenure applications, requests for assessments from major funding agencies, expert advice and consultancies from biotech companies and requests for review articles. His research has been highlighted in international media and was displayed in the Science Museum in London.