Dr. Katherine Locock

By Helen WolffJune 28th, 2023

Dr Katherine Locock leads the Drug Discovery Chemistry team in the Manufacturing Business Unit of the CSIRO in Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on how chemistry can deliver solutions to industry challenges across the manufacturing, medtech and agricultural sectors.

Katherine has also worked extensively with First Nations groups over the past 10 years. This includes partnerships with First Nations businesses to unlock the economic potential of Traditional Knowledge, STEM education outreach work with regional and remote First Nations schools and the building of strong relationships with Traditional Owner groups. As a non-Indigenous researcher, she places an emphasis on engagement that is First Nations initiated and/or co-developed, so that it is respectful and derives relevant benefit for their communities.

Prior to the CSIRO, Katherine held a position as an Associate Lecturer in Pharmacology at the University of Sydney, where she focused on the development of analogues to target memory and mood. She also held a part-time role in 2016 as an advisor to Senator Kim Carr, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research as part of the BioMedVic Researcher in Residence Program.

In recognition of her contributions to the field Katherine was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (2021) and as AIPS Victorian Young Tall Poppy of the Year (2016). She has also received Ruby Payne-Scott (2021) and Julius Career Development (2016).


2010 Doctor of Philosophy in Pharmacology (Medicinal Chemistry), University of Sydney Thesis: The synthesis and testing of substituted cyclopentane GABA analogues
2004 Bachelor of Science with Honours (Class 1A, Medal), University of Sydney Majors in Pharmacology and Chemistry

Honours and awards

2023 Graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course
2021 Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute
2021 Ruby Payne‐Scott Career Development Award
2016 CSIRO Julius Career Development Award
2016 Australian Institute of Policy & Science (Victoria) Young Tall Poppy of the Year Award
2013 CSIRO Staff Association Women in Science Award