2023 CPTT Annual Training Forum

As part of our Annual Training Forum, the ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies is hosting a 3-hr symposium on “Advancing Innovation: From Research to Real-World Impact”.

Date and Time: 1.30pm- 4:30pm Friday 3 November 2023

About the Event: The event aims to shed light on the process of translating scientific discoveries into clinical applications, bridging the gap between academic research and real-world applications, and introducing attendees to the world of venture capital.

Our speaker line-up includes:

  • Dr Ebony Fietz, Drug Development Manager, Currus Biologics
  • Dr Katherine Jackman, Investment Manager, Brandon Capital
  • Dr Mark Devlin, CEO, Aculeus Therapeutics
  • Ms Maria Pelipas, Research Startup Accelerator Manager – Air Program (TRAM)
  • Dr Patrick Schriek, Senior Scientist, CSL

Target Audience: Graduate researchers and early-career researchers with an interest in translating research to real-world applications.

The event will be held in person and online. If you are interested to be part of this event, please contact the Centre Manager at therapeutics-technologies@unimelb.edu.au.

We look forward to seeing you at this event!

CPTT Director was among the 103 experts who contributed to CSIRO new report on Non-animal models!

CSIRO, in collaboration with government, research and industry partners has released a report which marks an important milestone in Australia’s journey towards more efficient medical product development. The University of Melbourne was among the sponsors of this important study. CPTT director, Prof Alastair Stewart contributed to the development of this report, and is proud to share the results of this collaboration with CSIRO.

The report, Non-animal models: A strategy for maturing Australia’s medical product development capabilities, assesses the potential of emerging non-animal models to complement or replace traditional animal models over the next 15 years.

Highlighting Australia’s strengths and aligning them with global needs, the report emphasises four key opportunities:

1.Complex in vitro models for drug discovery

2.Organ-specific models for preclinical development

3.Personalized models for trial participant and clinical treatment selection

4.Onshore production of model components

Ten recommendations have been designed to enable these opportunities and strategically advance Australia’s national non-animal model ecosystem.    Embrace the future of medical research and development. Read the full report.

Webcast on CSIRO Futures new report on Non-animal models

CSIRO Futures launches its new report on Non-animal models for which Centre director, Prof Alastair Stewart was an active participant of the steering committee, sharing his expertise on microphysiological systems (MPS)

To promote the report and provide a platform for Q&A on the report, CSIRO Futures organises a Research and Industry Webcast: “Non-animal models: A strategy for maturing Australia’s medical product development capabilities.”


Non-animal models have the potential to generate new revenue streams, improve productivity across the medical product development process, and support the global transition to reduce the reliance on animal models. CSIRO’s report, published on 31 August 2023, identifies 4 industry growth opportunities, 10 recommendations, and four research and development thematic priorities. Recommendations span several topics, including infrastructure, regulation, research, and governance, and were informed by consultation with over 100 experts from industry, research, and government. The report has the potential to extend beyond the medical product development process and benefit growth opportunities in other fields, such as veterinary and agricultural medicines, cosmetics testing, industrial chemicals, and eco-toxicology. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Host: Greg Williams, Associate Director, CSIRO Futures


  • Laura Thomas, Manager, CSIRO Futures
    Laura is a Strategy Manager in the CSIRO Futures team, the advisory arm of Australia’s national science agency. Laura will present a summary of the key report findings and lead a discussion on how industry and research can help Australia to strategically enhance capability in this field.
  • Dr Kim Fung, Principal Research Scientist, Health and Biosecurity, CSIRO
    Dr Kim Fung is a Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader in CSIRO, Health and Biosecurity. Her expertise is in the development and translation of novel and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic technologies for human health and disease with a focus on intestinal disease. Dr Fung will present a case study of a human organoid system that she has established for screening biological entities targeting disease prevention and personalised therapeutics.
  • Dr Kim Halpin, Group Leader, ACDP, CSIRO
    Dr Kim Halpin is a veterinary virologist and leads the Pathology and Pathogenesis Group at the at the Australian Centre for Disease Preparedness (ACDP). Her expertise is in emerging infectious diseases and utilising innovative molecular diagnostic technologies with the aim to manage and control emerging zoonoses. Dr Halpin will present a summary of the non-animal model work that ACDP scientists are currently undertaking.

Questions are welcome and may be submitted in advance (laura.thomas@csiro.au) or using the online tools available in the webcast.

Congratulations to Dr Bryan Gao and Prof Alastair Stewart for being awarded the 2023 GCI POC Scheme!

The Graeme Clark Institute for Biomedical Engineering (GCI) recently announced the winning teams of the 2023 GCI Proof-of-Concept (POC) Funding Scheme. This new scheme aims to support researchers within the biomedical engineering field (including MedTech) who are employed by the University of Melbourne across different faculties to translate their research into viable commercialisation projects or start-ups.

Dr Bryan Gao (ARC CPTT ICPD) and Prof Alastair Stewart (ARC CPTT Director) are among the recipients for the project “Multiplexed Micro-physiological Perfusion System for Drug Testing“. Micro-physiological systems (MPS) are essential human-relevant, non-animal models extensively used in drug development. However, due to workflow incompatibilities and high operational barriers, applications have been unduly limited at smaller scales. There is an immediate need for a scalable and practical fluidic system for meaningful MPS adoptions across the industry. This project aims to directly address this demand by developing and commercialising a novel highly-multiplexed fluidic management platform for authentic biological sample culturing.

Click here for more info.

Welcome to our new IAB member!

The ARC CPTT are delighted to welcome Ms Fiona Milner from Epichem to our Industry Advisory Board (IAB)! We were able to formally introduce her to the other members of our IAB at our most recent meeting.

Fiona recently started as General Manager at Epichem. With her 25 years of experience of senior management and leadership experience, Fiona will provide great resources for mentoring ARC CPTT trainees.

Welcome Fiona! We look forward to working with you.

We would also like to thank the outgoing member of the IAB, Dr Martine Keenan (Epichem) for her contributions, and we wish her well on her next endeavour.

Congratulations to Tina Cheng on her excellent PhD oration seminar!

On April 6, 2023, CPTT PhD student, Tina Cheng supervised by CPTT Director, Prof Alastair Stewart and Dr Graham MacKay (Department of Biochemistry and Pharmacology at UoM) did a wonderful presentation that highlighted the volume and quality of her research.

Her work aimed to better emulate the microenvironment to improve the predictive value of current cell culture microphysiological systems. A first-author manuscript describing how hyper-nutritional cell culture medium distorts the expression of anti-cancer drug targets is in preparation.

CMIT-CPTT- Hokkaido University Joint Research Workshop

This half-day workshop held March 14, 2023, was organised in collaboration with the Centre for Medical Implant Technologies (CMIT) and dedicated to Centre members from The University of Melbourne.

This workshop featured presentations from researchers from Hokkaido University (Japan) including Prof Toshiro Ohashi and Prof Masahiro Todoh, on the topic of Platform Technology for Mechanopharmacology and Medical Implants.

This face-to-face meeting was a fantastic opportunity to enhance and foster collaborations with international researchers and between ARC Centres.

Special congratulations to CPTT PhD students (Ms Chiao Hwei Lee and Mr Avanka Gunatilaka) and post-docs (Dr Daniel Tan and Dr Bryan Gao) on their excellent presentations!

#medicalimplants, #mechanopharmacology, #arccmit, #arccptt

MCN: an essential infrastructure and services to drive ARC CPTT innovation

The Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (MCN) is a world class infrastructure that drives Australian innovation of micro and nanotechnologies. MCN is directed by Professor Nicolas Voelcker (also deputy director of the ARC CPTT) and linked to the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy (NCRIS) funding.

MCN has been instrumental in progressing several of the ARC CPTT research projects by offering expert support with microfabrication specialists providing critical technical support associated with the manufacturing process, material compatibility and equipment training. For instance, ICPD Dr Bryan Gao used MCN facilities including high-end 3D printing and clean room equipment to produce quality prototypes of chips for further development of the RPM2 pump, a system enabling continuous parallel sample perfusion to improve physiological emulation. These prototypes are integral to establish the required proof-of-concept through early user tests for commercial translation. Two ARC CPTT students, Iris Yang and Dina Jacob also benefited from access to the MCN facilities to build proof-of -concept devices for flow biosensors and microfluidic control, two highly valued features in automation and in situ monitoring. 

The continuing development of breakthrough technologies is intrinsically linked with ease of access to world class infrastructure. However, in his recent article published in The Australian, Professor Voelcker warned that “With the recent release of the NCRIS Strategy 2023 round, the absence of an ongoing support program [from the Victorian government] makes for a nervous Victorian research community, concerned that these facilities, and their expert staff, will not be able to continue delivering the high-quality service that has been key to major innovations over the past 15 years.”

Our editorial “The FDA modernisation act 2.0: bringing non-animal technologies to the regulatory table” is now available online

The FDA modernisation act 2.0 was passed in late 2022 enabling drug registration without animal studies and bringing microphysiological systems (MPS) to the regulatory table.
To learn more about the act and the future regulatory role of MPS, read our editorial published in Drug Discovery Today: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1359644623000120

Season’s greetings

It’s amazing what ARC CPTT has achieved this year thanks to everyone working together!

Looking forward to a New Year of successes with you. In the meantime, we wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!