DairyFeedbase’s Co-Director Professor Ben Cocks
About DairyFeedbase
Professor Ben Cocks

Professor Ben Cocks is a co-Director of key dairy industry programs DairyBio and DairyFeedbase.

Ben has a track record in innovation and the practical application of biotechnology in agribusiness and drug discovery. Bens’ teams use genetics and new technologies for the improvement of plants and animals, and are very focussed on research to improve profit on farm. The research delivers improved pasture seed and animal semen, in addition to improved management solutions.

Ben’s career experience includes Drug Discovery Biology at Incyte Inc in the US and scientist at DNAX (now Merck Inc) in California, where he pioneered the application of molecular tools and genomics for development of drugs and diagnostics. Discoveries include IL-13 as a key pathway determining the development of inflammatory diseases; SLAM as a key immune signalling receptor; new genetics applications in cattle; insights into pasture grass performance and symbiosis; and novel factors in cows’ milk and wallaby milk e.g. new antimicrobials. Ben with colleagues also synthetically made genes to recreate powerful antimicrobials that existed on earth about 60 million years ago.

Ben’s interest in biology started from experiments in his PhD to understand the minimal requirement for life studying the earths smallest free-living organisms. These organisms have since been recreated using synthetic biology.

Today he is pursuing genomics and systems biology research with genuine economic benefit, enjoying the role to manage and enable brilliant minds to work together for significant achievement.

Ben’s direct management role is Research Director, Genomics and Cellular Sciences, Agriculture Victoria Research and has a joint appointment as Professor, Applied Systems Biology at La Trobe University.