Teatulohi (Lohi) Matainaho is chairman of the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Science and Technology Council and head of the Science and Technology Secretariat. As the Chief Science Advisor to the government of Papua New Guinea, he is responsible for advising the Government in setting policies on science and technology, advising on research priorities and funding requirements, and coordination of scientific and technological programmes in the country. This role also includes the development of collaboration and co-operation in science and technology; promotion of research translation, innovation, and application; management of public research funds; and communication of research findings and outcomes to the government and stakeholders.
Professor Matainaho has a PhD in pharmacology from the University of Queensland, and previously held positions as professor of basic medical sciences and pharmacology, head of pharmacology, and dean of research at the University of Papua New Guinea. He currently holds adjunct professorial appointment at the University of Utah, USA, and at James Cook University, Australia. He also has had visiting appointments at the NCI/ NIH, QIMR (Brisbane), Griffith University, University of British Columbia, and University of Michigan. His research interest has been primarily focused on natural products drugs discovery as the basis for finding biological therapeutics to treat human diseases (especially malaria, TB, HIV/ AIDS and cancer), and thereby support economic evaluation and conservation of PNG’s biodiversity. Furthermore, his research was able to develop an access benefit sharing approach to support international collaboration, training of PNG scientists, and building of scientific capacity in PNG. In early 2019, he was appointed by the Australia government as a member of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Policy Advisory Council, that advises the Australian Foreign Minister and Australian government on their global agricultural research program.