Professor Graeme Hanson 16th July 1955 - 25th February 2015

15 Mar 2015

Vale: Professor Graeme Hanson
16th July 1955- 25th February 2015

The Centre for Advanced Imaging acknowledges the passing of Professor Graeme Hanson on 25th February 2015. His family, colleagues and the science community have lost a passionate researcher who is internationally recognised for excellence in his chosen field.

Graeme was born on 16th July 1955 in Melbourne and grew up in Box Hill with his parents Mavis Jean and Richard Wallace Hanson and younger brother John. Graeme’s primary and secondary schooling was at local state schools after which he attended La Trobe University Bundoora, Victoria, completing BSc with Honours. He continued his PhD under the supervision of Professor Wedd (Bioinorganic Chemistry), with additional supervisors Prof. John R. Pilbrow (EPR Spectroscopy) and Dr. Robert Scopes (Enzymology).

It was during these formative years that Graeme was introduced to the technique which was to dominate his professional area of expertise and to establish his scientific reputation. That technique was EPR, Electron Paramagnetic Resonance. After La Trobe, Graeme moved to Harvard University with Bert Vallee for two years, to Monash University and then commenced lecturing in the School of Chemistry at UQ in 1987.

After 2 years in the Chemistry Department at UQ Graeme joined the Centre for Magnetic Resonance to establish the EPR facility. Over the next 25 years, that EPR facility was expanded, equipped and reequipped to become ultimately the best EPR facility in Australia and recognised internationally. He was promoted to Professorial Research Fellow in 2003 and continued to lead the EPR Group at the Centre for Advanced Imaging from 2010. Graeme’s extensive collaborations were acknowledged by others, being appointed Honorary Professor at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute and treasurer of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry.

His distinguished career focused on utilising synergistic approaches of both theoretical and experimental continuous wave and pulsed EPR spectroscopy to address important scientific challenges in the biological and chemical arenas. A successful collaboration between the EPR Division of Bruker Biospin, Germany resulted in the development and commercialisation of the computer simulation software suites (XSophe-Sophe- XeprView, Molecular Sophe and iResonanz) which were pivotal in his scientific endeavours and ensured that UQ and Australian researchers were at the forefront in the application of EPR within their research programs. Application of the software suites to the characterisation of organic free radicals, active sites in metalloenzymes, model transition metal ion complexes, dinuclear copper cyclic peptide complexes capable of fixing carbon dioxide and metallo-drugs has provided many ground-breaking and novel insights.

Graeme contributed to the wider scientific endeavour as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute; German Chemical Society Lecturer (University of Kaiserslautern); RACI Schools Lecturer, Vice President of the International EPR Society (2015-2017), Treasurer of the Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, 2007-2015; Board member and Treasurer of ANZMAG,1995-2004; Vice President of the Asia Pacific EPR Society, 2006-2010; Fellow of the RACI; Member of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance, Australian Society of Biophysics, Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, ANZMAG, the American Chemical Society (ACS), Royal Society of Chemistry and the RACI.

Graeme’s personal passions were many and varied. He loved travel, fireworks, camping in the Australian bush and sports. Growing up he loved bike riding and playing cricket, badminton, table tennis and tennis, which he played at club level into his early 20s. His love of sports grew with his sons’ successful involvement in soccer, with Graeme volunteering many hours to coaching, managing and running local teams and clubs. He had a long involvement in the Scouting Movement, beginning as a Cub and progressing through Scouts to Rovers, becoming Queen Scout.

Graeme was a proud father and devoted husband, he passed away after a brief illness and is survived by his wife Lyn and children Jeff, Harry, Johanna and Adrian.