Professor Sakkie Pretorius

Professor Sakkie Pretorius


Professor Pretorius began his career in South Africa. At Stellenbosch University he was appointed Professor of Microbiology, then became the founding Director of the Institute for Wine Biotechnology. In the US and Europe, he conducted research into molecular yeast genetics. He relocated to Adelaide with his family to become the Managing Director and CEO at the Australian Wine Research Institute Ltd. He was also appointed Affiliate Professor, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, University of Adelaide, then Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President: Research and Innovation, University of South Australia — a position he held until 2013 when he took up his role as Deputy Vice-Chancellor Research at Macquarie University.

His commitment to research excellence drove the creation of the Research Strategy 2025 to shape and enhance Macquarie University’s research priorities into the future. As a synthetic biologist, he leads the Australian node of the international Synthetic Yeast Genome (Yeast 2.0) project and represents Australia on the International Advisory Board of the Genome Project Write (GP-write) initiative.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research)

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) is responsible for the development and strategic enhancement of the University's research, research training, and innovation profile as well as the creation, support and advancement of local, national and international research collaborations and partnerships.


  • Identifying, exploring and promoting research as an integral part of the University's culture.
  • Overseeing the development and implementation of:
    • strategies aimed at improving research quality, capacity and capability across the University
    • strategies aimed at maximising research funding streams and collaborations
    • strategies aimed at increasing Higher Degree Research enrolment and completions
    • policies and systems to promote and monitor the ethical conduct of research across the University
    • strategies relating to engagement, research and development, research innovation, research translation and commercialisation.
  • Building and managing relationships with internal and external research stakeholders.
  • Managing, coaching and setting the direction for senior management teams within the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) portfolio.

Portfolio areas:

  • Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Graduate Research)
  • Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research, Innovation and Enterprise)
    • Corporate Engagement
    • Research Partnerships
    • Commercialisation and Innovation
    • Incubation and Entrepreneurship
  • Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Performance and Development)
  • Office of the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research Services)
    • Research Grants and Awards
    • Research Ethics and Integrity
    • Macquarie Animal Research Services
    • National Security and Defence
    • Shared Research Infrastructure
  • Office of the DVC (Research)