S. Bruce Dowton

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S. Bruce Dowton
Born 1956
Ivanhoe, New South Wales
Nationality Australian
Citizenship Australian, United States
Education University of Sydney, Harvard Medical School
Occupation Vice-Chancellor
Years active 2012 - present
Organization Macquarie University
Title Professor
Predecessor Steven Schwartz
Website vc.mq.edu.au

S. Bruce Dowton (born 1956) is the fifth Vice-Chancellor and the President of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He is an Australian-born paediatrician, clinical geneticist, molecular biologist, researcher and academic, and has served as a senior medical executive at a range of universities, healthcare institutions and consulting organisations.[1][2]


Early life[edit]

Professor Dowton was born in the far Far West region of New South Wales in the town of Ivanhoe and raised in Dubbo.[3] Professor Dowton moved to Sydney in 1975 to commence tertiary studies. He was the first in his family to go to university.

Education and Postdoctoral Training[edit]

Professor Dowton was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (with Honours) in 1980 from the University of Sydney. He completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, Boston, where he held clinical and research fellowships in paediatrics and cell biology. He also holds a doctorate of medicine for his work in cell biology from the University of Sydney. His work as a laboratory scientist focused on regulation of the expression of genes for an important class of blood proteins.

Academic Appointments[edit]

He has published over 80 articles on a wide range of topics in peer-reviewed academic publications,[4][5] and has held Visiting Professorial and External Examiner appointments at several universities including the University of Edinburgh, Colombia University in New York City, the University of Tromsø in Norway, Hong Kong University, as well as institutions in the People’s Republic of China.

Professional career[edit]

Professor Dowton has also held a variety of leadership roles at Harvard Medical International and subsequently Partners Harvard Medical International, most recently as Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In these roles, his chief involvements led him to several emerging nations in order to guide the development of their medical education, strategy and governance.

In 2001, the NSW Minister of Health, the Hon. Craig Knowles, invited Dowton to establish a new ministerial council to oversee reorganisation of graduate medical education across the state health system: the Medical Education and Training Council. Dowton also served as chair of the Committee of Deans of Australia in Medical Schools (CDAMS) from 2002 to 2004. During this time, the organisation saw further consolidation and strengthening of the funding base for the Rural Clinical Schools Initiative. As part of a multi-pronged initiative as chair of CDAMS, with other decanal colleagues, he spearheaded the establishment and implementation of the Indigenous Health Project through a partnership with the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health in the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing implementation of the Indigenous Health Project.[6] With this platform, a nationwide indigenous Health Curriculum Framework was developed and ratified.

He remains the principal at Dowton Consulting International, and provides independent consultancy for healthcare and higher education around the world. While serving as Vice-Chancellor and President of Macquarie University, Dowton identifies colleagues and organisations around the world who can assist his many professional and institutional contacts that seek to draw upon his extensive experience in higher education and health care.

Macquarie University[edit]

Macquarie University announced the appointment of Dowton as their fifth Vice-Chancellor in July 2012,[7] and he assumed the role in September that year,[8] leaving his post as clinical professor of paediatrics at the Harvard Medical School, as well as his management consultancy for higher education and healthcare.[9] Dowton's appointment was seen as a clear reflection of the University's commercial ambitions,[10] with Macquarie Chancellor Michael Egan referring to him as "the complete package". In early 2013, Dowton began a highly consultative process to establish a long-term strategic framework for the university, re-focusing the organisation’s core activities of teaching and research around a concept of "a university of service and engagement."[11] In a very short time, Dowton’s highly engaging personal style has become a hallmark of his Vice-Chancellorship.


Alongside his role as Vice-Chancellor, Professor Dowton holds the following positions:

He was a member of the Board of the Maggie Beer Foundation from 2014 until 2016.[14]


External links[edit]