The Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering 2022 is proud to announce the Plenary and Keynote speakers

Plenary Speakers

Prof. Maria Kavallaris

Prof. Maria Kavallaris

Professor Maria Kavallaris is Head of the Translational Cancer Nanomedicine Theme and Group Leader of the Tumour Biology and Targeting Group at Children’s Cancer Institute, and Founding Director of the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine at UNSW Sydney.

Maria’s innovative research has been recognised by numerous awards including the 2015 AFR/Westpac 100 Women of Influence as well as the inaugural Knowledge Nation 100 – the ‘rock stars’ of Australia’s innovation-driven new economy, and the 2017 NSW Premier’s Science and Engineering Award for Leadership in InnovationIn 2019, the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology awarded Maria their highest honour, the Lemberg Medal, which recognises distinguished biochemists or molecular biologists that have made significant contributions to the scientific community.

Dr. Shrike Zhang

Dr. Shrike Zhang

Dr. Zhang’s research interests include 3D bioprinting, organ-on-a-chip, biomaterials, regenerative engineering, and bioanalysis. His scientific contributions have been recognized by over 40 regional, national and international awards. He has been invited to deliver more than 170 lectures worldwide, and has served as reviewer for more than 700 manuscripts for as many as 60 journals. He is serving as Editor-in-Chief for Microphysiological Systems, and is Associate Editor for Bio-Design and Manufacturing, Nano Select, Aggregate, Nano TransMed, and Essays in Biochemistry. He is also on the Editorial Board of Biofabrication, Bioprinting, Advanced Healthcare Materials, Regenerative Biomaterials, Discover Materials, BMC Biomedical Engineering, Materials Today Bio, Bioengineering, Pharmaceutics, Materials Futures, Biomedical Engineering and Computational Biology, International Journal of Bioprinting, and Chinese Chemical Letters, Editorial Advisory Board of Biomicrofluidics, International Advisory Board of Advanced NanoBiomed Research and Advanced Materials Technologies, and Advisory Panel of Nanotechnology.

Prof. Megan Munsie

Prof. Megan Munsie

Professor Megan Munsie is the Deputy Director of the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Stem Cell Systems in the School of Biomedical Sciences where she heads a research program in the ethical, legal and social implications of stem cell research at the University of Melbourne.

Megan serves on advisory committees to organisations including International Society for Stem Cell Research, International Society for Cellular and Gene Therapy, Australasian Society for Stem Cell Research, AusBiotech and the Australian Academy of Science. Megan received her undergraduate degree in applied science from Queensland University of Technology before completing a Masters in Reproductive Sciences and Doctorate in Philosophy in stem cell biology and therapeutic cloning from Monash University. 

Prof. Melissa Little

Prof. Megan Munsie

Professor Melissa Little, BSc (Hons I), PhD, GAICD, FAAHMS, FAAS, is CEO of the Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Stem Cell Medicine (reNEW), Executive Director of reNEW Copenhagen, Chief Scientist at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, and leader of the Kidney Regeneration Laboratory, Melbourne, Australia where she holds an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow.   Melissa is currently President of the International Society for Stem Cell Research and holds an honorary position as Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Melbourne.

Melissa is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences, and Associate Editor for the Journal of the American Society for Nephrology and is on the editorial board of the Cell Stem Cell, Nature Reviews Nephrology, Development and Kidney International

Keynote Speakers

Prof Marcela Bilek

Professor Bilek is an ARC Laureate Fellow. She is Professor of Applied Physics and Surface Engineering at the University of Sydney andheads the Applied Physics and Surface Engineering Research Group within the School of Physics and the School of Biomedical Engineering. She also serves as associate editor for the Journal of Applied Physics. She is internationally recognised for her work on environmentally-friendly plasma-based processes that create new materials and surface modifications. Professor Marcela Bilek holds a PhD from the University of Cambridge, UK, a BSc from the University of Sydney and an MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology, USA. Prior appointments include visiting Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in Berkeley, USA, visiting Professor at the Technische Universitat Hamburg-Harburg in Germany and a Research Fellow at Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, UK.

A/Prof. Rona Chandrawati

Rona Chandrawati is a Scientia Associate Professor and NHMRC Emerging Leadership Fellow in the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of New South Wales (UNSW Sydney). She obtained her PhD from The University of Melbourne in 2012 and was then a Marie Curie Fellow at Imperial College London before returning to Australia as a Lecturer (2015-2017), Scientia Senior Lecturer (2018-2020), and Scientia Associate Professor (2021-present). Rona is the 2021 NSW Early Career Researcher of the Year (NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering), and she was named a finalist of the 2021 Eureka Prize for Outstanding Early Career Researcher and Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers 2020 by Engineers Australia. She is an Editor of Communications Materials and the Vice Chair of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE) Australia and New Zealand Working Group. Her research group focuses on developing enzyme-like catalysts for drug delivery and designing polymeric- and lipid-based nanomaterials for sensors in food safety and health monitoring.


Dr. Yu Suk Choi

Dr Yu Suk Choi is a senior lecturer and researcher in the School of Human Sciences, investigating ways to fight disease by manipulating stem cell growth. His research aims to discover how tissue micro-environment controls the fate of cells, with his investigations used to improve biomedical outcomes in stem cell therapy.

Along with his team, Dr Choi is developing a holistic platform to biomimic the biomechanical micro-environment of healthy and disease-like human tissue. The platform will further scientific understanding of the interaction between cells and their surroundings. It will include 3D in space as well as 1D in time to show the dynamic interaction before, during and after disease progression.

Dr Choi’s academic career commenced in South Korea where he completed his master’s degree at Yonsei University before moving to the University of Melbourne to study cardiac tissue engineering. During his postdoctoral training at the University of California, he expanded his expertise to mechanobiology

Dr Serena Duchi

Dr. Serena Duchi is a cellular biologist with special interest in osteochondral tissue engineering.
She obtained her PhD in Cell, Molecular and Industrial Biology in 2009 through an international program between University of Bologna-Italy and Medical University of South Carolina-USA. She was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the IFOM-FIRC Institute of Molecular Oncology, Milan-Italy in 2009, where she acquired a strong background in the regulation of tumor suppression and endocytosis aimed to design new molecular target chemotherapeutic drugs. She then specialized in the treatment of musculoskeletal tumors at the Rizzoli Orthopaedics Institute in collaboration with ISOF-CNR, Bologna-Italy, and she led as senior investigator different projects focused on mesenchymal stem cells for drug delivery and regenerative medicine for osteo-chondral diseases treatments.
Dr. Duchi moved to Melbourne in April 2016 as an academic research fellow and she’s currently working at the University of Melbourne-St Vincent’s Hospital, BioFab3D facility-ACMD, in the cartilage regeneration team led by the clinical heads Prof. Peter Choong and A/Prof. Claudia Di Bella. She is the senior researcher leading the REMOD (Regenerative Engineering and Modeling of Osteochondral Diseases group), a team of PhD students and a junior post doc focused on 3D bioprinting for cartilage repair and bone tumor modeling. She is author of more than 50 publications with more than 1000 citations

Dr. Amy Gelmi

Amy Gelmi is a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT University since 2018 where she has established a multi-disciplinary research group focused on external stimulus of adult stem cells for personalised tissue engineering. Dr Gelmi’s work spans dynamic biomaterials, material design, nanoscale characterisation, and advanced fabrication. The Gelmi Group focuses on investigating intracellular changes in stem cells using advanced bio atomic force microscopy, creating custom fabricated cell culture devices, and developing an optimised approach to using external stimuli to drive targeted stem cell differentiation.

Dr Gelmi received her PhD in organic conductive polymer biomaterials with Prof. Gordon Wallace’s Intelligent Polymer Research Institute at the University of Wollongong. She then joined the Biosensors and Bioelectronics Centre at Linköping University (2012) to research electroactive scaffolds for cardiac patch applications, before joining Prof. Molly Stevens’ lab at Imperial College London with a Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship studying stem cell response to electrical stimulation (2015).

Dr. Khoon Lim

Dr Khoon Lim is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Otago Christchurch and currently leads the Light Activated Biomaterials research group. His research focuses on light-activated hydrogel biomaterials for regenerative medicine, including 3D bioprinting and delivery of bioactive molecules. He has published >50 high impact journal publications and has successfully raised a total of >NZD$ 4Million research grant funding, including the prestigious Emerging Researcher First Grant ($150K), Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship ($500K), HRC Project Grant ($750K), from the Health Research Council of New Zealand, and a MARSDEN Fast Start Grant ($300K) from the Royal Society of New Zealand. His research has also generated intellectual property leading to commercialization of hydrogel-based bioinks licensed to a US-based company, as well as establishment of multiple commercial contracts. He has previously won a number of awards such as the Australasian Society for Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering (ASBTE) Emerging Investigator Award, University of Otago Early Career Award for Distinction in Research, as well as the International Society for Biofabrication Young Investigator Award. He is currently the Vice President of ASBTE, as well as a council member of the New Zealand Association of Scientists.

A/Prof. Daniela Loessner

A/Prof. Daniela Loessner has a joint appointment across the Faculties of Engineering and Medicine at Monash University. She has Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees and a PhD in Natural Sciences (Dr rer nat) from the Faculty of Chemistry, Technical University of Munich, Germany. She has over 17 years of academic experience, working as a research scientist and group leader in 5 countries (Germany, Australia, Switzerland, USA, UK). She was Deputy Director in the Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Queensland University of Technology, before she joined the Barts Cancer Institute at Queen Mary University of London as a Reader in Bioengineering and Cancer.

Daniela’s scientific achievements, technologies and leadership have been recognised by a number of national and international awards. She is the recipient of the 2019 Joint E.K. Frey – E.Werle and Henner Graeff Promotion Prize, a 2015 Monash University Engineering Women’s Leadership Award, a 2013 Oral Presentation Award at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre Congress, Queensland University of Technology Mid-Career and Early Career Researcher Awards and four Carla Patterson Publication Awards. She was selected to attend the 2017 Women and Power Executive Leadership Program at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Prof. Laurence Meagher

Professor Laurence Meagher is interested in how material science and engineering can be applied to and help solve medical problems. As the world population ages, new solutions are required to help shape the future of medicine. The approaches Laurence uses are framed by his extensive experience leading commercially focused research and development with commercial clients. For example, Laurence was a key member of the team that developed the Air OPTIX(TM) soft silicone hydrogel contact lens. Many devices and materials used in the clinic have been selected for their material properties or function. Often however, the surface properties are not optimal. In a number of cases, sub-optimal surface properties can lead to reduced function and even failure of the device. Laurence uses his background in surface and polymer science to engineer the properties of surface coatings for used in medical applications.

Dr. Christoph Meinert

Dr Christoph Meinert is a Senior Research Fellow at Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) and Co-Founder & Managing Director of Gelomics Pty Ltd.

Christoph holds a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biotechnology from the University of Applied Sciences Darmstadt, Germany and completed his PhD in Bioengineering/Regenerative Medicine at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in 2017. For his PhD thesis, Christoph received the QUT Outstanding Thesis Award (top 5% at QUT) and the Signato Foundation Medal for Research Excellence. Following the completion of his PhD, Christoph joined the research team led by Distinguished Professor Dietmar W. Hutmacher as Postdoctoral Research Fellow where he performed interdisciplinary research in the fields of tissue engineering, additive biomanufacturing, cell biology, biomaterials, polymer chemistry, and mechanical engineering.

Christoph’s current research at the Herston Biofabrication Institute (MNHHS) utilises state-of-the-art additive (bio-)manufacturing technologies to develop novel medical devices and tissue-engineered implants for endovascular and vascular applications.

Prof. Thomas Scheibel

Prof. Thomas Scheibel is a full professor for Biomaterials and head of the department at the University of Bayreuth, Germany. He further is vice president for internationalization, gender equality and diversity at his University.

After studying biochemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany, he graduated in 1994. He obtained his PhD (Dr. rer. nat.) in 1998 from the Institute of Biophysics and Physical Biochemistry at the University of Regensburg, Germany. After three years as a postdoc at the University of Chicago, Chicago USA, he was an assistant professor (C1) at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, and finished his habilitation in 2007.

Prof. Alistair Sloan

Alastair J Sloan BSc(Hons), PhD, FHEA, CBiol, FRSB, FICD, FFDRCSI
Professor of Tissue Engineering and Dental Biology
Head, Melbourne Dental School

Alastair obtained his BSc in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Wales in 1993 and his PhD in Oral Biology and Pathology from Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry at The University of Birmingham, UK in 1997. Following postdoctoral research, he was appointed Lecturer in Oral Biology at the School of Dentistry, The University of Birmingham in 2000.

Alastair’s research is multi-disciplinary and in the broad field of mineralised connective tissues. He is interested in the reparative potential and behaviour of the dentine-pulp complex and bone, specifically the potential therapeutic manipulation of the dental pulp stem cells (DPSCs). This includes understanding the heterogeneity within dental pulp progenitor populations and potential therapeutic roles of these DPSCs in the wider context of regenerative biology. His research is also focussed on understanding the bio-inductive properties of dentine and bone matrices to facilitate novel tissue engineering and natural regenerative processes in relation to dentistry and orthopaedics. In relation to this, his lab is heavily focussed on understanding bacterial invasion and attachment in dental and bone infections and development of novel antimicrobial carriers / restorative materials for clinical endodontics and orthopaedics. He has established liposomal nanocarriers for antimicrobial delivery and prototype antimicrobial materials and model systems to better understand the nature of the bacterial / pulp environment during pulpal infection. His research career was recognised by the International Society for Dental Research (IADR) with the award of the Distinguished Scientist Award, The Isaac Schour Memorial Award, in 2021.

Alastair currently sits as a grant panel member for the EU and Research Foundation Flanders having previously been a member of several UK government research grant panels. He has been external examiner for BDS programmes across multiple UK Dental Schools and examined over 30 PhD theses in areas related to his research. He holds committee positions at the IADR and is a member of  the British Society for Oral Dental Research and Australian and New Zealand Division of the IADR as well as international societies of tissue engineering.

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