Professor Cory was director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute from 1996-2009 before she retired to lead a research laboratory in the institute's Molecular Genetics of Cancer division.
The director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, Professor Doug Hilton, said he was delighted Professor Cory had been elected as president.
"We at the institute are immensely proud of this latest of Suzanne's achievements," Professor Hilton said. "Suzanne has an international reputation for her contributions to our understanding of apoptosis, the process of cell death; and has led by example in demonstrating the valuable contribution women make to scientific endeavour.
"She is a terrific role model for everyone considering a career in science."
The presidency of the Australian Academy of Science has been dominated by male scientists since it began in 1954. Professor Cory is the first elected president of the academy and the second woman president. Professor Dorothy Hill became the first in 1970 when the serving president, Dr David Martyn, died.
Professor Cory, who has been a member of the academy since 1986, said she was honoured to have been elected president by her peers but was acutely aware of the enormous responsibility that came with the position.
'We live in an increasingly challenging global environment and I believe that Australia's future will in large measure be determined by its capability in the sciences and engineering," Professor Cory said. "The academy must therefore play a major leadership role.
"We must ensure that Australian science grows even stronger and is well-linked internationally. We must stand ready to provide our policy-makers with sound independent scientific advice. And we must nurture the next generation of scientific leaders, by fostering high quality science education in our schools and universities and by inspiring our communities with the heady excitement of scientific d
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Walter and Eliza Hall Institute