Jan Maree Tennent

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Jan Tennent
Tennent J 1 cc
Born Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Nationality Australian
Awards Board Diversity Scholarship
Scientific career
Fields Biomedical Research and Innovation
Institutions Biomedical Research Victoria

Jan Maree Tennent (born January 1, 1960) is an Australian scientist in the biomedical and animal health research sectors.

Early life and education[edit]

Tennent was born in Footscray, Melbourne, Victoria on January 1, 1960. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Honours (Class 1) in microbiology from the Monash University in Melbourne in 1981. She completed her PhD in 1986 at Monash University. Her PhD thesis was entitled 'Molecular Analysis of Plasmids in Multi-resistant Staphylococci'. In 1999, Tennent completed a Graduate Certificate in Management (Technology Management) at the Deakin University.[citation needed]


Tennent left Australia in 1986 to do a four-year postdoctoral fellowship with Prof Staffan Normark at Umeå University in Sweden. Her research into the genetic mechanism and control of host attachment by uropathogenic Escherichia coli was an important part of the Normark laboratory's ground-breaking body of research.[1][2][3][4][5]

Returning to Australia, she joined the CSIRO as a Senior Research Scientist. She became the Program Manager of the Vaccines and Immunology Group in 1997. Tennent was also the Acting Director of the Cooperative Research Centre for Vaccine Technology for several months in mid-2000.

In 2000, Tennent joined the global biotherapy organisation CSL Limited, in its Animal Health division, as the Head of Project Evaluation and Management and became a member of the CSL Animal Health executive team two years later. Tennent joined the international pharmaceutical company Pfizer in 2004 as Director of Business Development and Global Alliances for Pfizer Animal Health in the Asia Pacific Region. In 2009, Tennent established ConnectBio Pty Ltd, her own consulting company.

In 2011, Tennent was appointed as the Chief Executive Officer of Biomedical Research Victoria, a body that represents Australia's biomedical research. Jan Tennent is a respected executive leader in the science sector, with global experience in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and agribiotechnology. Tennent has expertise in the governance and management of non-profit organisations and organisations including CSIRO, CSL and Pfizer. In 2017, Tennent was elected to the AusBiotech Board.

Tennent has published 35 contributions in international peer-reviewed scientific journals (1984-2006) and 8 reviews, theses and book chapters on microbial pathogenesis. She has served on numerous research-related committees including the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee (now the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator) between 1995 and 2001, and has examined several theses and served as a peer reviewer of original articles submitted for publication as well as competitive grant applications to the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. Tennent has also organised two national Australian Society of Microbiology conferences. Tennent was a member of the AusBiotech Advisory Committee that wrote the Guide for Life Science Company Directors in 2013.

Tennent has also been a sessional lecturer from 1998 to 2006 at both RMIT University and the University of Melbourne. She was also a Guest Lecturer in Business and Economics at the Monash University in 2011.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

Tennent is married to David Curnow and they live in Hawthorn East, Melbourne with their two sons.


  1. ^ Marklund BI, Tennent JM, Garcia E, Hamers A, Båga M, Lindberg F, Gaastra W, Normark S. Horizontal gene transfer of the Escherichia coli pap and prs pili operons as a mechanism for the development of tissue-specific adhesive properties. Mol Microbiol. 1992 Aug;6(16):2225-42.
  2. ^ Tennent JM, Lindberg F, Normark S. Integrity of Escherichia coli P pili during biogenesis: properties and role of PapJ. Mol Microbiol. 1990 May;4(5):747-58.
  3. ^ Lindberg F, Tennent JM, Hultgren SJ, Lund B, Normark S. PapD, a periplasmic transport protein in P-pilus biogenesis. J Bacteriol. 1989 Nov;171(11):6052-8.
  4. ^ Hultgren SJ, Lindberg F, Magnusson G, Kihlberg J, Tennent JM, Normark S. The PapG adhesin of uropathogenic Escherichia coli contains separate regions for receptor binding and for the incorporation into the pilus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Jun;86(12):4357-61.
  5. ^ Norgren M, Båga M, Tennent JM, Normark S. Nucleotide sequence, regulation and functional analysis of the papC gene required for cell surface localization of Pap pili of uropathogenic Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 1987 Sep;1(2):169-78.

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