Scott Bowden – a Technical Assessor for the ages

A leading Technical Assessor (TA) for NATA for more than 30 years, Scott Bowden’s remarkable knowledge and scientific expertise saw him assess most major Australian laboratories – in a time of crisis – for COVID-19 PCR testing.

The retired Head of the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL) in the Molecular Microbiology Laboratory at The Doherty Institute and a former senior scientist in the WHO Regional Reference Laboratory for Hepatitis B, Scott has also held numerous academic positions and remains an adjunct Professor in the Department of Microbiology at Monash University.

He has experienced the change from growing viruses in cell culture to virus detection from specimens using PCR.

He has served on several Government committees, including the expert reference committee for the National Hepatitis C Testing Policy and chaired the expert reference committee developing the National Hepatitis B Testing Policy.

He has published over 180 papers in the international literature as well as several book chapters and is an expert on applications of molecular technology to the diagnosis of viruses.

More recently, due to the pandemic pressure on laboratories, it was difficult to recruit NATA assessors with expertise in viral molecular diagnostics. Coming out of retirement he conducted a remarkable 16 assessments. Moreover, a number of the central laboratories assessed had affiliations with regional laboratories which also required evaluation – bringing the total assessments to over 50!

NATA would, unreservedly, like to thank Scott for his dedication, acumen and remarkable dedication to NATA and indeed, the Australian scientific community.