Professor Nigel Laing AO

Winthrop Research Professor at the UWA

WANomineeSenior Australian of the Year2022

Professor Nigel Laing is an exceptional advocate for health, research and teaching. He has made major contributions to the field of rare genetic disorders, identifying the genetic cause for more than 30 diseases. Nigel has also driven national initiatives such as the pre-conception screening program.

Nigel began his career as a PhD and developmental neurobiologist, researching how motor neurons and muscles interact in the developing embryo. He then re-trained in molecular genetics.

Nigel developed molecular neurogenetic research at the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute and molecular neurogenetic diagnostics at Royal Perth Hospital. His investigations into Australian families with dominantly inherited diseases saw him identify many genetic causes – including mutations in the SOD1 gene causing familial motor neuron disease.

In 2015, Nigel was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO). A wonderful teacher and mentor, Nigel’s unwavering desire is to improve the lives of people with genetic disorders.