Associate Professor Christina Bursill, South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, Australia
A/Prof Christina Bursill (BSc (Hons 1) PhD, Adelaide University; Postdoc, Oxford University, UK) is a leader in cardiovascular biology, with a national and emerging international profile for her expertise in the biology and mechanisms of atherosclerotic plaques and mechanisms of diabetes-impaired angiogenesis and wound healing. After a six-year postdoc at The University of Oxford, she returned to Australia to lead the Immunobiology Group at the Heart Research Institute as part of a National Heart Foundation Career Development Fellowship. In 2017 A/Prof Bursill moved to Adelaide where she is Co-director of the Vascular Research Centre at South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) and a National Heart Foundation (NHF) Lin Huddleston fellow. A/Prof Bursill is Chief Investigator on the Australian Research Council, Centre of Nanoscale Biophotonics (CNBP), a $23 million grant, where she leads the “Inside blood vessels theme”. As CIA she has received >$2 million in competitive research funding in the last 3 years including NHMRC Ideas, Diabetes Australia Millennium and National Heart Foundation Vanguard grants. A/Prof Bursill has published >95 papers, supervised >15 PhD students to completion and currently leads a research team of six people. A/Prof Bursill is a board member for the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA), the International Atherosclerosis Society and is past-President of the Australian Atherosclerosis Society (AAS, 2017-2019).
Dr Joanneke Maitz, ANZAC Research Institute Concord Hospital, Australia
Dr. Joanneke Maitz is a clinician in plastic and reconstructive surgery and early career researcher in translational burn injury and reconstructive surgery. Dr. Maitz achieved a Master of Science (Medicine) at the Vrije University of Amsterdam with an M.D. thesis in burn injury wound care management using nanotechnology. Throughout Dr. Maitz’s clinical career, Dr. Maitz has maintained a close working relationship between clinical work and research roles whilst undertaking regular complex tissue reconstruction surgeries including breast reconstruction after cancer using advanced microsurgical and bio-engineering principles at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and other health care facilities. Dr. Maitz achieved a Master of Philosophy (Surgery) in skin tissue engineering at the University of Sydney in 2019 and is the group lead of the Burn Injury and Reconstructive Surgery Research Team at the ANZAC Research Institute at Concord Repatriation General Hospital. Complementary to her clinical and research roles, Dr Maitz is the Medical Director of Tetratherix Pty. Ltd., an Australian biotech company developing novel biomedically engineered solutions for soft tissue regeneration. Dr Maitz’s focus in translational research of clinical and laboratory-based research of bioengineering in burns and reconstructive surgery, is aimed at bridging clinical, scientific and commercial fields.
Dr Rachael Moses, University of Melbourne, Australia
Dr Rachael Moses took up the position of Research Associate at the University of Melbourne in 2021 with Professor Alastair Sloan, where she heads up the lab in the Sloan/Moses group. Rae’s interests lie in natural compound pharmaceuticals for wound healing, in particular for chronic, non-healing wounds. Additionally, she has an interest in the 3Rs (reduction, replacement, refinement), focusing on developing a 3D organotypic chronic wound model for the assessment of novel wound healing therapies. She obtained her PhD at Cardiff University, in the UK, in the field of Tissue Engineering. Continuing from her PhD studies, Rae undertook postdoctoral research focusing on the elucidation of the underlying mechanisms of action by which novel epoxy-tigliane pharmaceuticals promote preferential wound healing responses, in collaboration with QBiotics Group and QIMR Berghofer, based in Australia. This research resulted in being included as an inventor on a worldwide patent for ‘Methods and Compositions for Wound Healing’, relating to the application of epoxy-tigliane compounds in the promotion of dermal wound healing and reduced scarring.
Associate Professor Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina, UNSW Sydney, Australia
Dr Jelena Rnjak-Kovacina is an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow leading a multidisciplinary group at the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW Sydney in Australia.
Her research interests are at the interface of biology and engineering, focusing on the development of biomimetic materials that direct cellular interactions for enhanced vascularisation and for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. In particular, she develops novel silk-based biomaterials and investigates how biomaterial properties translate to biological outcomes.
She completed her doctoral degree in Anthony Weiss’ lab at the University of Sydney and her postdoctoral training in David Kaplan’s group at Tufts University in Boston. She joined UNSW in 2014 where her research has been supported by funding from the Australian Research Council, the National Heart Foundation, the National Health & Medical Research Council and NSW Health. She is the recipient of multiple awards, including most recently the NSW Ministerial Award for Rising Stars in Cardiovascular Research and the Early Career Researcher of the Year (Physical Sciences) in the NSW Premier’s Prizes for Science & Engineering.
She is actively involved in the Australasian MedTech sector, including as Treasurer and Secretary of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials & Tissue Engineering (ASBTE) and board member of the Australian Cardiovascular Alliance (ACvA) Bioengineering flagship. She is passionate about research training and communication.
Dr Abbas Shafiee, University of Queensland, Australia
Dr Abbas Shafiee is a Senior Research Fellow at the Herston Biofabrication Institute (The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, MNHHS), and The University of Queensland. He has a demonstrated high performing research trajectory in the Regenerative Medicine and Bioengineering arena. His research impact has been demonstrated with 67 research papers in high standing, and high impact factor journals, including but not limited to Biomaterials, The Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, Bone Research, Stem Cells Translational Medicine, and Small.
In 2020, Dr Shafiee started a clinical research program to develop, implement, and evaluate the applications of 3D printing, stem cell therapies, and biofabrication technologies in burn patients. Using 3D printing and stem/progenitor cell delivery, he could develop new dressing to enhances physiological wound closure with reduced scarring. He is also part of a national program aiming to develop 3D bioprinting technology to treat skin wounds. Additionally, Dr Shafiee’s team has found new ways of generating skin organoids from human pluripotent stem cells. Reconstructing the appendage-bearing skin organoids in cultures could change the way skin diseases and wounds are studied and treated.
Dr Shafiee’s authority in the field has been acknowledged by invitations to serve as Guest Editor or on the Editorial Board of leading scientific journals. He is also passionate about training the next scientific generation and healthcare professionals, and has trained several PhD, MSc, MD, and undergraduate students.
Dr Andrew Stevenson, University of Western Australia
Dr. Andrew Stevenson is a Postdoc based at the Burn Injury Research Unit at the University of Western Australia, where he has a broad focus on burn injury and a specific interest in fibroblast biology. Completing his PhD on the epigenetics of scar fibroblasts in 2016, he has been involved in a multitude of projects based on reducing fibrosis and encouraging skin regeneration, including single cell RNA sequencing of keloid scar, developing a topical lysl-oxidase based inhibitor to treat scarring (now in phase II clinical trial), and more recently, in vivo 3D bioprinting. He has a keen interest in all forms of regenerative biology, as well as driving unique applications of new technology to existing problems in the field of wound healing and scarring, and was named AWTRS early to mid-career researcher of the year in 2021.
Dr Peta Tehan, Monash University, Australia
Dr Tehan is a clinical podiatrist and researcher with a special interest in peripheral arterial disease. Dr Tehan has contributed to the evidence base significantly, publishing over 30 peer reviewed articles in the field. This research has influenced clinical practice, and national and international guidelines. It is Dr Tehans hope that the early and accurate detection of peripheral arterial disease can result in optimal management, which will in turn, result in fewer lower limb amputations and deaths. Dr Tehan is currently working as a lecturer int he Masters of Wound Care program at Monash University, Australia, and also works clinically at a high risk foot service at the John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle, Australia. Dr Tehan also holds an honorary appointment as a senior lecturer in the Podiatry program at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Dr Tehan is the chair of the Wounds Australia research committee, a trustee of the Australian Podiatry Education Research Fund, and an editorial board member of Vascular Medicine, and the Journal of Foot and Ankle Research. Dr Tehan is currently focused on closing the gap in diabetic foot disease related outcomes between rural and metropolitan areas of Australia.
Professor Gordon Wallace, University of Wollongong, Australia
Professor Gordon Wallace is involved in the discovery of new materials, as well as innovative fabrication, and characterization methods. He is committed to the use of fundamental breakthroughs to drive new technologies in Energy and Health.
He was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia and named NSW Scientist of the Year in 2017. He received the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science and Innovation in 2016. Gordon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and Royal Australian Chemical Institute. He is a corresponding member of the Academy of Science in Bologna.
He has published in excess of 1,100 refereed publications (64,000 citations and an H-index of 110). He is listed as a co-inventor on more than 60 patents and has supervised more than 100 PhD students to completion.
He is currently Executive Director ACES, Director IPRI, ANFF Materials and TRICEP.
Professor Fiona Wood, University of Western Australia
Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood is a Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon specialising in the field of burn care, trauma and scar reconstruction. As Director of the WA Burns Service of Western Australia she is consultant at Perth Children’s Hospital and Fiona Stanley Hospital. As director of burns research, she leads an interdisciplinary team with broad collaboration focused on translation to improve clinical outcomes. She has been the recipient of the 2003 Australian Medical Association ‘Contribution to Medicine’ Award and an Order of Australia Medal for work with Bali bombing victims. As a National Living Treasure and Australian Citizen of the Year in 2004. she received the honour of being named Australian of the Year in 2005. Fiona and Marie Stoner, co-founders of Clinical Cell Culture, now Avitamedical, won the 2005 Clunies Ross Award for their contributions to Medical Science in Australia