Jim Penman

Jim Penman is CEO of Australia’s largest franchising family with 5,000 franchisees across more than 50 divisions. Before his successful business career, Jim completed a PhD in history in 1983. However, the PhD was more about biology than history, focusing on how biology influences human civilisations, a field Jim calls BioHistory. Jim has funded research for many years, particularly on how calorie restriction changes behaviour. The discovery of epigenetics, the process by which our genes are modified in real time, provides a mechanism to explain Jim’s ideas. His PhD was genuinely ahead of its time. Four years ago, Jim established Epigenes Australia to understand how epigenetics change behaviour in animal models; this information can then be used to understand human populations.