CAREER DEVELOPMENT SPEAKERS

Dr. Andi Horvath
Melbourne University, Australia

1. Andi won an international award for her podcast series Access All Areas made for Museum Victoria where she was a Senior Curator.

2. Known as Dr Andi, she was a science producer and broadcaster on 3RRR for over 20 years and has also worked for ABC and SBSTV.

3. She has produced exhibitions, videos, audio, public programs, training programs, blogs and articles for organizations including the University of Melbourne and CSIRO.

4. She is a seasoned public speaker and has lectured and tutored in Science Education, Science Communication and Science in Society.

5. As a former member of a Science Circus she is prone to exploding into interpretive dance when explaining the actions of molecules.

6. Andi trains scientists in communication skills and mind-sets through her program Science Communication Gym ©.

7. Andi has a PhD in Medicine, an MBA and qualifications in Media and Science Communication.



INDUSTRY SPEAKERS

Prof. Hakim Djaballah
Qurient, Inc., University of Science and Technology of Korea, Korea and Windeer Consulting, USA

Hakim Djaballah is an Algerian-born American molecular pharmacologist and technologist, and the former CEO of Institut Pasteur Korea. Prior to his move to Korea, Djaballah was affiliated for 11 years with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, USA; where he was the director of the high throughput drug screening laboratory. He received his BSc degree (Hon) in biochemistry with biotechnology from the University of Birmingham (England) and a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Leicester (England). After completing a short postdoctoral training at the University of Leicester, he joined the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Johnson & Johnson, in La Jolla, Southern California (USA). After a short time spent as a non-clinical research scientist learning cellular immunology at the MRC Unit at the Hammersmith Hospital in London (England), he then joined the molecular screening technologies department at SmithKline Beecham. He returned to California as the head of screening sciences for Anadys Pharmaceuticals. In 2002, he was recruited by Triad Therapeutics as their associate director of HTS & enzymology. Prior to his move to New York, he spent a short period at Medarex in Northern California (USA). To date, Djaballah has published more than 87 peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and reviews. He is an inventor on a number of patents and a founder of one Biotechnology Company. He is the recipient of the 2007 Robots and Vision User Recognition Award.



Prof. Darren Kelly
OccuRx, Australia

Darren is the Company’s CEO and Managing Director bringing over 25 years of management and research expertise in the life sciences and biotech sector. Concurrent to his role with OccuRx, Darren is Professor & Director of Biomedical Research at The University of Melbourne, Department of Medicine, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, where his research expertise lies in progressing pre-clinical novel interventions and developing experimental models of cardiovascular disease. He has published over 200 manuscripts in the field of translational research and novel interventions many of which have had a direct impact on human disease. In 2009, Darren was a recipient of the prestigious TJ Neale award for outstanding contribution to nephrology. In 2015 Darren joined the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund as Venture Partner.

Darren has proven history in translational research. He was previously Founder, CEO and Director of Fibrotech Therapeutics, a company that developed orally active anti-fibrotic inhibitors to treat underlying pathological fibrosis in kidney and heart failure, which was ultimately acquired by Shire Plc for a record 75 million USD upfront including milestone payments up to 600 million USD.

Darren has a PhD in Translational Medicine from the University of Melbourne, and an Executive Diploma Business Administration. He is a current member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, AusBiotech, BioMelbourne Network and a Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology.



Prof. Tim Hirst
Gamma Vaccines, Australia

Professor Tim Hirst is the Executive Chairman of Gamma Vaccines. He is an entrepreneurial academic with wide-ranging experience in establishing new venture-backed companies. Prior to forming Gamma Vaccines in July 2009 he was the CEO of ANU Connect Ventures - a $30M pre-seed investment fund established by the Australian National University and MTAA Super. Tim was a Non-Executive Director of all of the companies established and funded by ANU Connect Ventures, including Cryptopharma Pty Ltd, Dosimetry & Imaging Pty Ltd, Savine Therapeutics Pty Ltd and Warm Contact Pty Ltd as well as both Director and Chairman of Mylexa Pty Ltd and Synergetic Services Pty Ltd. Prior to joining ANU Connect Ventures, Tim acted as an advisor in the establishment of respiratory- vaccine developer Hunter Immunology Ltd, and became a non-executive director of the company in 2004 and Executive Chairman from 2006 to 2007.

Before migrating to Australia Tim was also a Director of Hunter-Fleming Ltd from 2001 - 2004, a UK drug discovery company developing immunotherapeutic products based on Tim’s research at the University of Bristol. Hunter-Fleming was acquired in 2008 by the Italian-based company Newron (SIX:NWRN). Prior to the Newron transaction Tim’s proprietary immunotherapeutic technology was spun-out of Hunter-Fleming into a special purpose vehicle, Trident Pharmaceuticals Inc., based in Boston, MA. Trident has received US$20m of investment from Advent Venture Partners.

Tim has also held Senior Executive positions in universities in the United Kingdom and Australia. From 2003 to 2006 he was Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Innovation) at the University of Sydney, with overall responsibility for research and innovation strategy. Prior to migrating to Australia in 2003 he was the Professor of Microbiology at the University of Bristol for 7 years and Lecturer/Snr Lecturer/Reader in Molecular Microbiology at University of Kent at Canterbury. In addition to his current role in Gamma Vaccines, Tim is the Non-Executive Chairman of OzStar Therapeutics Pty Ltd. He is also an Honorary Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide, Australia and in the School of Life Sciences and Technology at the Institute of Technology, Bandung, Indonesia.



Dr. Joanne Alcindor
MecRx, Australia

Dr. Joanne Alcindor is a Founder, Director and Chief Operations Officer of MecRx. MecRx was founded in 2013 by an ex-pharma/biotech team. MecRx is run as a virtual company based in Melbourne, Australia and its shareholders and service providers include the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute and CSIRO. The company secured $5m Series A investment from the MRCF (www.mrcf.com.au) and CSIRO in 2015. MecRx is identifying and developing small molecule drugs for highly validated but historically hard to hit targets. Using MecRx proprietary technology the company has identified hits for cMyc, KRas2B and other valuable targets.



PLENARY SPEAKERS

Prof. Yogeshvar N. Kalia
University of Geneva, Switzerland

Yogeshvar N. Kalia is a professor in the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Geneva. Since 1994, he works in biopharmaceutics (speciality: transdermal drug delivery), first at the University of California - San Francisco and since 1997 at the University of Geneva. He holds a Ph.D. & DIC (Diploma of Imperial College) Department of Chemistry; Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine; University of London. He carried out postdoctoral research at Cambridge Centre for Molecular Recognition, Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge between 1990 and 1993 and Departments of Biopharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California – San Francisco between 1994-96.

The his research is to develop drug delivery technologies that provide alternatives to existing routes of administration. In order to achieve this goal, his group first understands the role of molecular properties in controlling drug transport. Currently, work in his laboratory is focused on transdermal drug delivery. Although the skin is a convenient portal for the administration of drugs that are susceptible to degradation in the GI tract or suffer extensive first-pass metabolism, it provides a formidable barrier to drug transport and several techniques have been investigated in order to improve drug permeation. His team has focused on iontophoresis, a controlled non-invasive technology that employs a small electric potential to increase drug mobility across the skin (Kalia et al., Adv Drug Del Rev 2004;56:619-658). They could demonstrated the iontophoretic transport of Cytochrome c (MW 12.4 kDa) across intact porcine skin - confirming that iontophoresis can be used for the non-invasive transdermal delivery of macromolecules. More recently, his team demonstrated using Ribonuclease A (MW 13.6 kDa) that biological activity was also retained post-iontophoresis.



Prof. Melissa Little
Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital and University of Melbourne, Australia

Professor Melissa Little heads the Kidney Development, Disease and Regeneration Laboratory at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne and is a Professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne, Australia. For more than 20 years her research has focussed on the molecular basis of kidney development, renal disease and repair. She is internationally recognised for her work on the systems biology of kidney development and also her pioneering studies into potential regenerative therapies in the kidney. Her work on the developing kidney has driven studies into the recreation of nephron stem cell populations via transcriptional reprogramming and directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. As a result, her research now focuses on the generation of mini-kidneys from stem cells for use in drug screening and disease modelling and bioengineering. A Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, Professor Little’s work has been recognised by many awards, including the GlaxoSmithKline Award for Research Excellence (2005), AAS Gottschalk Medal in Medical Sciences (2004), Eisenhower Fellowship (2006), ANZSCDB Presidents Medal (2015) and a Boorhaave Professorship, Leiden University (2015). A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, she founded Nephrogenix Pty Ltd and from 2007-2008, she served as the Chief Scientific Officer at the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Melissa is Vice President of the Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research and a member of Stem Cells Australia. She currently serves as a Special Editor for Development and on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology, Kidney International and Developmental Biology.



Prof. Thomas Davis
Monash University, Australia

Prof. Thomas P. Davis is the Monash-Warwick Professor of Medical Nanotechnology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. Additionally, he holds an appointment as Professor of Polymer Nanotechnology at the Department of Chemistry at Warwick University, U.K. Prof. Davis is currently the Director of the Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio- Nano Science and Technology and holds a prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship from the ARC. Prior to his appointment at Monash he spent 21 years as a senior academic at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, where he founded and directed two research centres: the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD) and the Australian Centre for Nanomedicine (ACN). Prof. Davis’ research focuses on the application of polymer science and nanotechnology to therapeutic applications, and enhancing the fundamental understanding of how nanomaterials interact with biological systems. He is an author on 400+ peer-reviewed papers, and his work has been cited in excess of 26 000 times.



Prof. Peter Duggan
CSIRO, Australia

Peter Duggan is a Senior Principal Research Scientist at CSIRO. Peter gained his PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry - Free Radicals from The Australian National University. Originally trained in physical organic chemistry, free radical chemistry and organic synthesis, Peter gained experience in molecular recognition, enzymology and enzyme mimicry in his post doctoral studies at Columbia (NYC) and Cambridge Universities. He spent over ten years as a teaching and research academic before moving to CSIRO in 2004. He continues to be involved in the higher education sector through guest lecturing and co-supervision of Honours and Post Graduate students, and a Professorship at Flinders University.

Currently he is focussed of the application of organic chemistry to challenges in industry and new technology development. Peter’s research specialities include the applications of organoboron compounds [molecular recognition, membrane transport, boronolectins, benign wood preservatives, synthetic applications], the stereoselective synthesis of non-natural amino acids, modified peptides and peptidomimetics [conotoxin mimics and N-type calcium channel blockers]. At CSIRO he leads projects with industrial partners associated with the production of botanical extracts. Since 2011, he has been leading a series of projects with Botanical Resources Australia, a leading manufacturer of the natural insecticide pyrethrum.

Peter has three years experience in research management, having led the Functional Small Molecules and Organic Chemistry Research Groups at CSIRO. The latter group consisted of approximately forty career scientists engaged in a broad spectrum of research projects with national and international clients - from organic electronics to drug discovery. Their work involved the design and synthesis of organic small molecules and polymers and chemical process development, including a significant emphasis on flow chemistry. Peter is an associate editor for the Australian Journal of Chemistry.



Prof. Maria Kavallaris
University of New South Wales, Australia

Professor Maria Kavallaris is Head of the Tumour Biology and Targeting Program at Children's Cancer Institute, Lowy Cancer Research Centre; co-Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Australia and a Chief Investigator of the ARC Centre of Excellence in Convergent Bio-Nano Science and Technology. Her research contributions are internationally regarded and include identifying the mechanisms of action and resistance to anticancer drugs, discovering new protein interactions in cancer and the development of less toxic cancer therapies using nanotechnology.

Maria has held numerous competitive fellowships and is a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Senior Research Fellow. Her research contributions have been recognised by international and national awards and prizes including an International Agency for Research on Cancer Fellowship, an American Association for Cancer Research Women in Cancer Research Award, NHMRC Career Development Award, a Young Tall Poppy Award and an Australian Museum Eureka Prize. In 2015 she was a winner in the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence and was also honoured in the Knowledge Nation 100. She has given numerous invited lectures internationally and nationally and served convenor and chair of meetings.

She has served on committees including the Program Committee for the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research and the International NanoMedicine conference, and on funding review panels. Maria is a member of the NHMRC Research committee where she contributes to high level funding policy and funding directions. Maria is co-Chair of the Board of the Australian Institute for Policy and Science and has played a major role in advocating medical research through public outreach. She was President of the Australian Society for Medical Research and was recognised by the NHMRC in 2014 as an Australian ‘high achiever’ in health and medical research.



Prof. Daniel Hoyer
University of Melbourne, Australia

Daniel Hoyer is Professor, Chair and Head of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at University of Melbourne. He holds a PhD in Pharmacology 1981, DSc 1986 in Strasbourg on [125I]cyanopindolol and [125I]HEAT. Post doc: University of Pennsylvania. Joined cardiovascular at Sandoz in 1983: discovery of new serotonin receptors, by biochemical, transductional and imaging approaches, CNS in 1989. 1992: switch to somatostatin: development drug candidates for GPCRs and ligand-gated channels. Lead drug development projects and basic research, e.g. genomics of depression and schizophrenia with MPRC, Baltimore; Scripps & GNF, San Diego, or somatostatin receptor European Consortium. > 300 papers in journals / textbooks, member of British and German Pharmacological Societies, European College of Neuropsychopharmacology, Society for Neurosciences. Scientific council of Institut Pasteur, council of the British Pharmacological Society. Editorial boards of the British J Pharmacology, European J Pharmacology, Neuropharmacology, Current Opinions Pharmacology, Current Drugs, Drug Discovery Today, J of Receptors and Signal Transduction. Executive editor Psychopharmacology, Naunyn Schmiedeberg’s Archives of Pharmacology, Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, Pharmacology & Therapeutics. International Union of Pharmacology (IUPHAR): member of the Nomenclature Committee, chaired the somatostatin and 5-HT receptor subcommittees and founding member of the 5-HT receptor and technical subcommittees. I was President of the European Neuropeptide Club and Serotonin Club. Organization of conferences dedicated to Peptide or Serotonin receptors, Nomenclature and Receptor mechanisms. In the Top 10 most cited researchers in Pharmacology (http://www.in-cites.com/scientists/pha-10-aug2003.html). Novartis leading scientist 1998, Manfred Zimmerman Award 2003, Adjunct Professor at the Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department at Scripps La Jolla 2004 and Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society 2005. Since December 2012, he is a Professor at The University of Melbourne.



Prof. Alan Mark
University of Queensland, Australia

After my PhD I held postdoctoral positions at the RSC (ANU) (1987-1988) and at the University of Groningen (1989-1990). In 1990 I moved with W.F. van Gunsteren to ETH Zurich becoming Oberassistant in 1996. In 1998 I was appointed Professor of Biophysical Chemistry, University of Groningen. In 1998 I was awarded the Swiss Ruzicka Prize for research in Chemistry. In 2004 I was awarded an Australian Research Council (ARC) Federation Fellowship and joined The University of Queensland in 2005. In 2011 I was awarded a University of Queensland Vice Chancellor's Senior Research Fellow. I am also an affiliate of the Institute of Molecular Biosciences at UQ and the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre.



Scientia Prof. Justin Gooding
University of New South Wales , Australia

Scientia Professor Justin Gooding graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) from Melbourne University before spending two years working for ICI Research. He then returned to University obtaining a D.Phil. from the University of Oxford and received post-doctoral training at the Institute of Biotechnology in Cambridge University.

He returned to Australia in 1997 as a Vice-Chancellor’s Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) before commencing a lectureship at Flinders University in 1998 and then UNSW in 1999. He was promoted to full professor in 2006 and in 2011 he was promoted to Scientia Professor, the highest award for research performance given by UNSW.

He was one of the recipients of a 2004 NSW Young Tall Poppy award, a 2005 Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, the 2007 RACI Lloyd Smythe Medal for Analytical Chemistry and the 2009 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research. He is currently an ARC Professorial Fellow in the School of Chemistry at UNSW where he leads a research team of 23 people interested in surface modification and nanotechnology for biosensors, biomaterials, electron transfer and medical applications.



Prof. Dave Winkler
CSIRO, Australia

David A. Winkler is a Senior Principal Research Scientist with CSIRO and an Adjunct Professor at Monash, Latrobe and Flinders Universities. His research interests have mainly involved computational molecular design and complex systems. He employs computational methods developed for small molecule research and applies them to regenerative medicine, materials, and nanoparticle research. Dave was awarded traveling fellowships to Kyoto and Oxford, and CSIRO Business Excellence Medal, Newton Turner Fellowship, Adrien Albert Award for Medicinal Chemistry from the RACI, and Royal Academy of Engineering Distinguished Visiting Professorship Imperial College London. He is a past Board Chairman of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, past President of Asian Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, Board member of Science & Technology Australia (STA), and member of the Australian Academy of Science National Committee for Chemistry. He has published over 200 scientific papers and book chapters, and is an inventor in over 20 patents. Dave is on the Editorial Board of the journals ChemMedChem, Perspectives in Drug Discovery, and BMC Biophysics.



Prof. Enzo Palombo
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Enzo Palombo is Professor and Chair of Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology at Swinburne University of Technology. Enzo Palombo received his PhD in molecular microbiology from La Trobe University and has worked as a research microbiologist in the public hospital and university sectors for over 20 years. He is currently the Director of the Environment and Biotechnology Centre at Swinburne University and combines his research activities on gastrointestinal microbiota, food microbiology, environmental microbiology and bioactive compound discovery with his academic responsibilities in the areas of microbiology, virology, food safety and public health. He has numerous peer-reviewed publications and has acted as a reviewer for several international journals and national and international funding bodies.
He has supervised 21 PhD and 43 Honours students to completion and has established links with food regulators (Dairy Food Safety Victoria) and food manufacturers who have funded a number of research projects in the areas of diary microbiology and food safety.
He is an active member of the Australian Society for Microbiology and has been a member of the Victorian Branch Committee for over 15 years. In 2011, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Australian Society for Microbiology.
He is also a member of the Dairy Industry Association of Australia and was recently appointed to the AusFoodtech National Advisory Group of AusBiotech.



Dr. Charles Lindall
CSIRO, Australia

Charles Lindall is currently Commercialisation Lead - Medical, Health and Biosecutity at CSIRO. He holds a PhD from the University of Sydney. Charles Lindall has a background in Medical products and specialty chemicals. Previously he was Director of Business Development and Commercial at CSIRO Manufacturing including leading the Medical business development. He also worked for Johnson Matthey (Pharma/Chemicals), ICI and BP. At CSIRO we have about 200 people involved in medical product and technology development across therapeutics, devices, diagnostics and underpinning areas, and about 300 people in manufacturing and materials.

Charles Lindall played a key role in the Commercialisation and launch of the following classes of Products: ColoVantage Plasma (Molecular diagnostic); Surgical Simulation products with Surgical Science; Gastro-intestinal catheters; Cardiovascular implant materials with a variety of companies; Catalysts for Polyester production; and Adhesion promoters for Industry.

Charles Lindall was involved in CSIRO also in project related to: Myelofibrosis/Haematology drug; Stem cell mobilisation agents; Conditioning agents to replace chemotherapy prior to bone marrow cell transplants; Exolon medical coatings; Novel Ultrasound and PhotoAcoustics imaging modalities; Vaximiser - new technology for vaccine production; Cardihab - cardiac rehabilitation; Diagnostic tests - a range of protein and DNA tests at Clinical stages; Chemiresistor point of care diagnostics - clinical stage; Heatwave - 3D Thermography system; Recombinant Collagen; Medical materials - antimicrobials, polysiloxanes and polyurethanes; and MedTex.



KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Prof. Leann Tilley
University of Melbourne, Australia

Professor Leann Tilley is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Melbourne, and an Associate Director of the Bio21 Molecular Science and Biotechnology Institute. Leann holds a Georgina Sweet Australian Laureate Fellowship, which recognizes her world leading research on malaria pathogenesis and drug resistance. Her work has been recognised by the award of the Bancroft-Mackerras Medal from the Australian Society for Parasitology (2010), by the Beckman Coulter Discovery Award of the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2011) and by the Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research (2016).



Prof. Magdalena Plebanski
Monash University, Australia

Professor Magdalena Plebanski (BScHon, MA, MBA, PhD) is an internationally recognized leader in Immunology, NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, and directs the Vaccines and Infectious Diseases Unit at the Department of Immunology and Pathology, Monash University, Australia. She is also the inaugural co-head of the Therapeutics Division at the recently established Monash Institute of Medical Engineering (MIME), leveraging exciting interdisciplinary collaborations with Monash engineers and clinicians to develop new approaches to promote human health. Prof. Plebanski’s primary interest is to develop practical and affordable vaccines against complex diseases, specifically malaria and cancer, and to this end she pioneered the use of synthetic size-defined non-inflammatory nanoparticles. Her nanoparticle studies also opened to door to new nanotechnology applications to prevent allergic airways disease. She has 130 peer-reviewed publications (plus books and abstracts), including field changing findings on vaccines, and on mechanisms used by parasites and cancer cells that can interfere with vaccine efficacy, including papers in the top world-class journals, Nature Biotechnology, Lancet, Science, Nature, Immunity, Nature Medicine, Plos Pathogens, Nature Communications to name a few. She has 100 patents in 14 patent families and has successfully progressed findings into human trials and commercialization in diverse roles as CSO, CEO and Director in successful biotechnology companies nationally and internationally. Her current interests further involve the optimised application of vaccines and chemotherapy to vulnerable populations such as the elderly, as well as to patients with cancer.



Prof. Vipul Bansal
RMIT University, Australia

Vipul Bansal is Director, Ian Potter NanoBioSensing Facility; Group Leader, RMIT NanoBiotechnology Research Laboratory (NBRL); Professor, Materials Chemistry and Nanobiotechnology at the , RMIT University, Australia; Core member, RMIT (PTRI); Core member, RMIT (HIRI); Steering Committee Member, Nanotechnology Research Advisory Group of the Australian Technology Network (ATN) / International Strategic Technology Alliance (ISTA) i.e. ATN NanoNetwork.
His core activities are to: Lead, develop and support a multidisciplinary research team that collaboratively works across the interface of chemistry, biology, physics and engineering to provide nanotechnology solutions for health, environment and energy problems; Provide teaching & learning leadership in interdisciplinary areas of nanoscience and nanobiotechnology; Achieve real-world translation of nanotechnologies for societal, biomedical and industrial impact
Prof. Vipul Bansal received numerous awards including: RMIT Media Star of the Year Research Award, 2014; Australian Academy of Sciences “Science Star of Tomorrow” Public Speaker, 2014; Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) HOPE Fellow, 2013; Australian Academy of Sciences (AAS) Travel Award, 2013; International Association for Colloid and Interface Science (IACIS) Young Investigator Award, 2012; Scopus Young Researcher of the Year Physical Sciences Finalist, 2011; John A Brodie Medal for Best Paper Award in Chemeca, 2010
Professor Bansal has contributed to over 100 media interviews to radio, newspapers and other professional bodies nationally and internationally. He has provided expert commentary on role of nanotechnology in developing new strategic international partnerships for Australia, and the importance of sustained research funding by the Australian Government to harvest the full potential of nanotechnology. He also regularly comments on upcoming applications of nanotechnology, such as those in smart electronics, flexible semiconducting devices, malaria detection in resource-poor settings, and nano-textiles for infection control and fast healing of chronic wounds. He is providing leadership in developing a nano-diagnostic hub in Australia that will play a critical role in early diagnosis of a variety of diseases including cancer, cardio-vascular disorders and nasty infectious agents.



Prof. Ben Boyd
Monash University, Australia

Ben is a professor of colloid and physical chemistry with industry experience in the explosives and pharmaceutical industries. His research focuses on colloids and lipid self-assembly and his group is active in developing new synchrotron-based characterization approaches for lipid and solid state systems. His research interests are in colloidal and structural aspects of lipids; lipid self-assembly and pharmaceutical systems and controlling materials at the colloidal scale for drug delivery



Prof. Andrew Scholey
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Andrew Scholey is director of the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology and Professor of Behavioural and Brain Sciences. He is also co-director of the NICM Centre for the Study of Natural Medicines and Neurocognition. Andrew was at Northumbria University in the UK for fifteen years, in 1998 he established the Human Cognitive Neuroscience Unit (now the Brain Performance and Nutrition Research Centre) where he was director until taking up his present post in late 2007. He was also co-director of the Medicinal Plant Research Centre in the UK and remains as honorary director of their neurocognitive trials section. Andrew has been lead investigator on a series of groundbreaking studies into natural substances and neurocognition. These have ranged from 'metabolic' interventions (notably glucose and oxygen), to low doses of alcohol and even drinking water (in thirsty individuals) and chewing gum. He was also Principal Investigator on the intial studies into the neurocognitive effects of numerous plant extracts including ginkgo biloba, ginseng, lemon balm, caffeine, sage, valerian, guarana, cocoa polyphenols, theanine and curcumin. Andrew has published around 190 journal articles and 20 book chapters and books focusing on the potential mood and cognition enhancing effects of natural products. Andrew's current research uses state-of the-art methodology, including neurocognitive assessment, brain imaging and various physiological analyses to disentangle the neurocognitive effects of specific nutritional interventions (focussing on plant extracts) to enhance cognitive performance. The aim is to understand the mechanisms and apply natural medicines as safe treatments for conditions where cognition becomes fragile, including ageing and dementia. Andrew has served on various scientific committees and is committed to the public dissemination of science which has led to many appearances in the print, radio and television media.



Prof. Nikolai Petrovsky
Flinders University, Australia

Nikolai Petrovsky is director of endocrinology at flinders medical centre with a conjoint position as professor of medicine at Flinders University, nikolai petrovsky is also vice-president and secretary-general of the international immunomics society. active in diabetes, endocrinology and vaccine research, he is the founder of vaxine, a company funded by the us national institutes of health to develop novel vaccine technologies. in 2009 vaxine won the amp innovation award at the telstra business awards and australia's coolest company award from australian anthill magazine. nikolai petrovsky has developed vaccines against influenza, hepatitis b, sting allergy, malaria, japanese encephalitis, rabies and hiv, has authored over 90 papers and chapters and is a regular invited speaker at international vaccine conferences.



INVITED SPEAKERS

Professor Richard Tilley
University of New South Wales, Australia

Professor Richard Tilley is the Director of Electron Microscope Unit at UNSW. His research is focused on the solution synthesis of nanoparticles and quantum dots for applications ranging from catalysis to biomedical imaging. He did his PhD in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK, after which he was a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years at the Toshiba basic R&D Center, Japan. A native of the UK, he graduated with a Masters of Chemistry from Oxford University, UK.
His research revolves around the synthesis, characterisation and applications of nanoparticles and nanomaterials. Nanoparticles hold a great fascination because they have different fundamental physical properties compared to bulk solids due to the very small size. Unique properties of nanoparticles include particle size dependent luminescence from semiconductor materials, superparamagnetism in magnetic materials and new and unusual crystal structures. The aim of the Tilley research team is to synthesize and characterize novel, cutting edge nanoparticle materials. His team approachs this problem using solution phase chemical techniques which allow for the synthesis of very uniform nanoparticles with superb control over their size and shape. The nanoparticles are characterized using a wide range of techniques with particular focus on high resolution transmission electron microscopy (HRTEM).



Professor Jagat R Kanwar
Deakin University, Australia

Professor Jagat R Kanwar is the Head and team leader of Nanomedicine-Laboratory of Immunology and Molecular Biomedical Research (NLIMBR), School of Medicine, Faculty of Health, Deakin University, Australia. Professor Kanwar has an international reputation and expertise in investigating fundamental and applied molecular signalling aspects of pathogenesis of cancer, chronic inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases, thereby, leading to the development of treatment strategies from bench to bedside. He has more than 150 research publications in high impact factor and peer reviewed international journals, 27 book chapters and 3 edited books. Prof Kanwar’s research has generated several patents/PCTs with more than five licensed patents for commercialization to BioPharma industry. His group is currently working on drug discovery and nanomedicine for oral and systemic drug delivery of a range of natural bioactive and biomacromolecules (proteins/peptides, siRNAs and aptamers) for targeting survivin, HIF-1α and other apoptotic and inflammatory cell signalling molecules in cancer, chronic inflammation and neurodegenerative disorders. His research combines Immunology with state of the art and cutting edge techniques in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, Nanobiotechnology and visualization to investigate the pathways in which key molecules are regulated in both normal and disease states. A number of in vitro human cell/tissue based co-culture models for cancers, microbial infections; autoimmune diseases; chronic inflammatory diseases (osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease), gut health, neurodegeneration and immunomodulation have been developed by his group. Kanwar’s main research objective is to understand and target the mechanisms involved at the molecular and sub cellular level which gives us an edge over the prevalent targeting techniques. He carries out both academic and commercial research projects and develops new approaches for the diagnosis, treatment, and nanomedicine based new generation delivery systems. His recent research focus on locked nucleic acid (LNA) LNA-modified aptamers conjugated "double targeted nano-bullet nanocapsules" with natural anti-tumour proteins which specifically target cancer cells. Research interests: Our nanomedicine laboratory of immunology and molecular biomedical research (NLIMBR) is discovering the novel and safe targeted nanomedicine based nano-nutraceuticals for cancers, autoimmune disorders and inflammatory diseases. We also vested the molecular diagnosis including role of a non-invasive exosomes in blood, inflammatory sites and cancer tissues. Our research focused on cancer and inflammatory autoimmune diseases aims to investigate the underlying mechanisms involved in apoptosis, autophagy and inflammation by targeting the production of cytokines, chemokines, oxygen radicals and matrix metalloproteinase. Our research also aims to investigate the nanotherapeutics encapsulating peptides, LNA modified aptamers/miRNAs/siRNA in vivo models. We have made significant progress in field of ocular drug delivery and microfluidic and Lab-on-a-Chip devices techniques for cancer cells as well as stem cell capture, disease specific biomarkers and exosomes.



A/Prof. Keiji Itaka
The University of Tokyo, Japan

Keiji Itaka is an Associate Professor at Laboratory of Clinical Biotechnology, Center for Disease Biology and Integrative Medicine, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo. His research areas are DDS, Gene therapy, mRNA-based therapy, Biomaterials, Cell therapy, Regenerative medicine, Orthopaedic surgery Education 1991.3 M.D. Faculty of Medicine, The University of Tokyo 2003 Ph.D. Graduate school of medicine, The University of Tokyo Professional Career 1991 Attending orthopaedic surgeon at hospitals 1997 Assistant Professor of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Tokyo Hospital 2003 Researcher of Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo 2004 Research Associate Professor, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo 2006 Visiting researcher at Massachusetts General Hospital in Harvard Medical School 2008 Associate Professor in Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo Awards 1. CRS-Capsugel graduate/posdoc award, 28th International Symposium on Controlled Release of Bioactive Materials. (2001) 2. The Nagai Foundation Tokyo CRS Graduate Student/Posdoc Award, 28th International Symposium on Controlled Release of Bioactive Materials. (2001) 3. The most outstanding presentation award in 2nd annual meeting of the society for gene and gene delivery systems. (2002) 4. The outstanding paper award of the Department of orthopaedic Surgery, The University of Tokyo (2004) 5. The Award for Young Investigator of Japanese Society for Biomaterials (2011) 6. Best Presentation Award.3rd International mRNA Health Conference (2015) 7.   The Mizushima Award. The Japan Society of Drug Delivery System (2016)



A/Prof. David Anderson
Burnet Institute, Australia

David Anderson is Deputy Director, Burnet Institute; Head, Diagnostic Development Laboratory. Associate Professor Anderson was trained in Microbiology and Molecular Virology at the University of Melbourne and Fairfield Hospital/Burnet Institute, under Professor Ian Gust and Stephen Locarnini. He received his PhD in 1989. Since that time his work has focussed on understanding the structure and assembly of hepatitis viruses, and the use of this information to design better diagnostics, vaccines and antiviral therapies for control of major viral infections in humans. Associate Professor Anderson has published more than 60 original research papers and invited chapters. He has presented on original research work at numerous national and international scientific meetings. He has been active in translation of research into practical outcomes through commercial ventures and academic collaborations and is an inventor on 10 patent families



A/Prof. Ashley Buckle
Monash University, Australia

Ashley completed his PhD in 1994 in the laboratory of Prof Sir Alan Fersht at the University of Cambridge, on the structure determination of protein-DNA and protein-protein complexes. As a postdoc then staff scientist at the MRC Centre Cambridge, he made contributions to the understanding of protein stability, molecular recognition and the action of molecular chaperones. He relocated to Monash University, Australia in 2003 and is currently an NHMRC Senior Research Fellow and group leader in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His lab combines X-ray crystallography and biophysics with molecular simulation to study the structure, folding and dynamics of proteins, with a particular focus on the design and engineering of proteins for medical and biotechnological application.



A/Prof. Chamindie Punyadeera
Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Associate Professor Chamindie Punyadeera, Clinical Chemist, graduated from the Department of Chemical Pathology, the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa in 2001. Her PhD research was aimed at investigating the pathogenesis and clinical manifestation of type 2 Diabetes, ischemic heart disease and obesity. She was also awarded the Academic Excellence Scholarship from the University of Witwatersrand as well as the South African Medical Research Endowment Funds. During her PhD study, she spent couple of months in the Laboratory of Professor Alan Jackson at the Institute of Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton, UK to investigate lipid metabolism in South African women using stable isotopes. She did a 4-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands in close collaboration with Merck Pharmaceuticals. The research was focused on endometrium physiology, steroid hormone pharmacokinetics and oncology. She worked at Royal Philips Electronics at the High Technology Campus in the Netherlands as a senior scientist and led a project team on biosensor development and biomarker discovery. She has published over 50 research papers, 13 PCT patents and has reviewed papers for international journals and has delivered key note lectures. She has presented at major international conferences. She is currently leading a research team at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia developing non-invasive and minimally invasive technology platforms to better human health outcomes in the 21st Century.



A/Prof. Ross Vlahos
RMIT University, Australia

Associate Professor Ross Vlahos is a Principal Research Fellow and Head of the Respiratory Research Group in the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University. His research aims to identify novel strategies for the prevention and treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and its co-morbidities with a focus on the cellular and molecular pathways that underpin cigarette smoke-induced lung inflammation and damage. Ross has co-authored more than 75 publications in peer reviewed journals, has had continuous NHMRC funding since 2001 and has played a major role in commercially funded work that has confidentiality/patent agreements. He has served on NHMRC Grant Review Panels, various conference committees and Chaired sessions at international meetings.



A/Prof. Andrew Laslett
CSIRO, Australia

Associate Professor Andrew Laslett is a Research Team Leader with CSIRO Manufacturing and a Research Group Leader with the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute, where he leads a human pluripotent stem cell biology research group. In the last 5 years he has focused on elucidating the complex biology of human embryonic stem cells (hESC), examined methods for the differentiation of hESC to renal progenitor cells and more recently begun comparing hESC to reprogrammed human cells termed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. His laboratory is currently focused on exploiting the basic biology of these cell types to create novel cell lines and tools that enhance human pluripotent cell research translation within CSIRO, Australia and internationally. Dr. Laslett leads a successful independent research program as well as having significant national and international collaborations.



Dr Jim Vadolas
Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Australia

Dr Jim Vadolas completed his PhD at the Departments of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, and postdoctoral training at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. In 2005, Dr Vadolas became group leader of the Cell and Gene Therapy group at the Murdoch Childrens. He is primarily interested in the development of novel therapeutic strategies for thalassaemia and related haemoglobinopathies. He has played a leading role in the development of unique resources, novel strategies and applications utilising bacterial artificial chromosome (BACs) with the aim of developing in vitro and in vivo models for b-thalassaemia. In addition, he has also played a leading role in the expansion of novel technology used to facilitate the delivery and site-specific chromosomal integration of the human b-globin loci (>200kb) into human haematopoietic cells with the aim of improving gene therapy strategies and avoid some of the problems associated poor expression and random integration.

Throughout his career Dr Vadolas has demonstrated a continued commitment to providing an environment that promotes scientific excellence and the financial opportunity to support and develop national and international undergraduate and postgraduate students as well junior researchers in their scientific careers. He supervises postdoctoral Fellows, PhD and Honours students.

Dr Vadolas is currently an Executive Committee member of the Australasian Gene Therapy Society. He is also a Committee Member of Thalassaemia Australia where he represents in the interest of thalassaemia patients and families. In addition, Dr Vadolas is actively involved in community awareness and fundraising campaigns for thalassaemia through Murdoch Childrens, Thalassaemia Australia, Thalassaemia Society of New South Wales and The Greek Conference.



Dr Georgina Such
University of Melbourne, Australia

Dr Georgina Such is a Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne. She is a member of the Nanostructured Interfaces and Materials (NIMs) Group with interests in Nanotechnology, Polymers and Biomedical Engineering. Since completing her PhD in 2006 she has worked on controlled polymerization techniques to design polymer-photochromic conjugates with tunable properties and the use of customised polymeric building blocks to design intelligent layer-by-layer materials for therapeutic delivery. Dr Such was awarded the 2011 L’Oreal Women in Science Fellowship and a Young Tall Poppy Science award in 2012. Dr Such’s current work investigates better ways to deliver chemotherapy drugs by designing a smart capsule that is specially designed to protect the body from the drug until it reaches the specific cancer site. The capsules are synthesised like a set of Russian dolls where each section meets a different biological challenge through the body.



Dr Lenka Munoz
University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Munoz received PharmD (Doctor of Pharmacy) in 2001 from the Comenius University, Slovakia and PhD in Medicinal Chemistry in 2005 from the University of Bonn, Germany. Her post-doctoral training at the Northwestern University, USA was in molecular pharmacology and preclinical drug development. Dr Munoz took up the appointment at the Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney in 2011 and is currently a Cancer Institute NSW Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer in the Discipline of Pathology. Dr Munoz' research focuses on delineating signal transduction mechanisms in cancer, understanding the mechanism of action of kinase inhibitors and on deriving new approaches to disease treatment.



Dr Frank Sainsbury
University of Queensland, Australia, Australia

Dr Frank Sainsbury’s interest in virus-like particle engineering and production began during his PhD at the John Innes Centre in the UK where he developed methods for the plant-based expression of pharmaceutically relevant proteins. His translational work in vaccine production resulted in the awarding of the prestigious BBSRC Innovator of the Year prize in 2012. He carried out postdoctoral work at Laval University, Canada pioneering the use of synthetic biology to modify whole plant hosts for improved recombinant protein production and was in close collaboration with the vaccine company Medicago Inc. As an Associate Group Leader at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, Australia, Dr Sainsbury is using biomolecular and bioprocess engineering to create VLPs with sophisticated functionality. The development of advanced applications in molecular imaging, vaccine design and nucleic acid-based therapeutics are underpinned by fundamental research in molecular self-assembly of virus-like particles and the application of single particle characterisation approaches.



Dr Morag Young
Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Australia

Dr Morag Young completed a CJ Martin Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre, USA and the Baker Institute of Medical Research before joining Prince Henry’s Institute (now the Hudson Institute) in 2002. She established the Cardiovascular Endocrinology Laboratory in 2005. Her work has redefined the role of the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in cardiovascular disease in particular, and has brought about a major shift in the understanding of the molecular aspects of MR signalling in cardiac pathophysiology and its role as a cortisol receptor. Her work offers new insights into the molecular mechanisms of ligand selective MR actions and cell specific signaling pathways. Dr Young received the Best Basic Research Paper published in Hypertension in 2009 from the American Heart Association for her work on MR actions in macrophages. She has been supported by NHMRC, NHF, Industry and philanthropic organisations and is a Senior Editor for several leading journals in the field of endocrinology.



Dr. David Chalmers
Monash University, Australia

David Chalmers is a Senior Lecturer at Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. David holds a PhD. from University of Melbourne, 1993. David is interested in using computer-based methods to develop new pharmaceuticals. His research covers two broad areas;
Structure-based drug design – how can use the three-dimensional structures of proteins to help us design new drugs? One long-running aspect of my research in this area focuses on the development of new compounds to target the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
Computational drug formulation – can we use computer modelling to understand how drugs are absorbed and can we use this information to improve current drug formulations?



Dr. Nicole Smith
University of Western Australia, Australia

Dr Nicole Smith obtained a BSc (Chemistry and Biochemistry) at the University of Sydney, and a PhD (Chemistry) at the University of Western Australia (2010). This was followed by postdoctoral studies at the Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie (Bordeaux, France) and the Australian National University (Canberra). Dr Smith’s research program is in the field of medicinal chemistry. Her research focuses on developing therapeutics to target unusual secondary DNA structures, called G-quadruplexes, in order to modulate expression of undruggable genes in breast cancers, neurodegeneration and CNS scarring.



Dr. Robyn Meech
Flinders University, Australia

Dr. Meech is a stem cell biologist and pharmacologist with extensive experience in mechanisms of gene regulation, cell signalling and stem cell function in disease, development, and ageing. She trained at Flinders University of South Australia and the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, California. She directs a program of study on muscle stem cells with particular focus on the Wnt and Notch signalling pathways, as well as cancer stem cells and drug metabolism and development. She has received 3 NIH grants in support of her work and currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship and directs an NHMRC project grant.



Dr. Charlotte Conn
RMIT University, Australia

Charlotte Conn is an ARC DECRA Fellow and a Senior Research Fellow in the School of Sciences, RMIT University. She obtained B.A. and M.Sci. degrees in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge (2002), and a Ph.D. in 2007 from Imperial College London. She was awarded an OCE Postdoctoral Fellowship from CSIRO in 2006, and worked as a Research Scientist at CSIRO from 2011-2014. Her research interests focus on the high-throughput design and structural characterization of new lipidic materials for protein encapsulation, and the use of these materials in biomedical applications including drug delivery. She is an Associate Editor for the Australian Journal of Chemistry and the former Chair of the SAXS/WAXS Program Advisory Committee for the Australian Synchrotron.



more to be confirmed