We’re hiring! Centre Manager role open for applications.

After two and a half years with CPTT, our Centre Manager Dr Susan Northfield is leaving for a new role at the end of March 2022. We are currently advertising to fill this position. Details are all available via this link, including the position description and links for the application process.

The Centre is fully established, with another two years of operation remaining. We are therefore seeking someone who can step into this part time role for the remainder of the Centre’s operation.

If you have any questions about the role you can contact Susan and/or the CPTT Director, Professor Alastair Stewart via therapeutics-technologies@unimelb.edu.au

Applications will close on March 23rd, 2022.

Happy 2022 International Women’s Day from ARC CPTT!

Today is International Women’s Day #IWD2022, and this year the theme is #BreakTheBias.

Imagine a gender equal world. A world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that’s diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Today we celebrate the women of our Centre – students, postdocs, chief investigators, executive members, and industry board members. The photo accompanying this post shows some past and present members of our Centre at our University of Melbourne, Monash University, and University of Western Australia #ARCCPTT nodes. We thank them and all members of the Centre for contributing to providing a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment as we commit to #BreakTheBias and call out inequality. #IWD2022

Exciting career progression for CPTT postdoc!

Congratulations to CPTT postdoc Dr Liz Johnstone, who is based at our University of Western Australia node, on her appointment as a level B Teaching and Research Academic in the School of Biomedical Sciences. This is a full time role and an exciting next step in Dr Johnstone’s career. Her research and association with the Centre will continue and from January she has move into an affiliate role with the Centre.

Dr Johnstone has had a busy 2021 with four journal publications (three first author) and a conference presentation at the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT) conference in November, where she receive the ASCEPT 2021 Early Achievement Award for Women. Congratulations Liz!

CPTT Postdoc awarded REDI Fellowship!

We are delighted to announce that our very own Dr Xumei (Bryan) Gao has been awarded one of ten highly competitive fellowships from the MTPConnect REDI (Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry) Fellowship program. MTPConnect recently made public the ten high-skilled Australian researchers, clinicians and professionals from the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector who were selected as the next fellows under the REDI Fellowship Program. The successful fellows were selected from applications submitted across Australia.

The REDI Fellowship Program provides financial support to Australian, international and/or multinational medical technology and pharmaceutical companies to bring the best Australian talent in-house to work on priority research projects. It is helping Australian researchers, clinicians and MTP professionals gain real world experience and skills by being deployed into industry settings.

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, says this is the largest group of industry-led fellowships to be announced since the REDI program began, taking the total to 14 fellows. “Our congratulations to these ten talented fellows – and to the companies who are sponsoring them,” Dr Grant said. “It’s great to see so many major international companies in the sector getting behind this initiative and involving Australia’s talent base to spearhead global collaboration.”

Dr Gao is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the ARC CPTT, based at The University of Melbourne. He will undertake a 12-month project with one of our industry partners, Trajan Scientific & Medical. Dr Gao will be enhancing skills in product development and validation with Trajan, a Melbourne-based global leader in analytical technology commercialisation. He will focus on evaluating the application and utility of pump technology in commercial settings to emulate tissue physiology in cell culture to improve prediction of drug efficacy.

Congratulations to Bryan and our partners at Trajan on this successful outcome! We look forward to seeing this work continue to progress in the coming year.

Full announcement from MTPConnect can be found here.

CPTT connection to mRNA vaccine manufacture

Photo credit: Monash University

Since global development of vaccines for COVID-19 became a reality, we in Australia have identified the critical value of producing vaccines onshore. That goal first became a reality with the AstraZeneca vaccine being produced in Melbourne by CSL. However, as we are now all aware, production of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer or Moderna) could not be achieved so easily.

Recently the Victorian Government provided Monash University with $5million to manufacture the first batch of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine in Australia, to be used for clinical trials (utilising a vaccine candidate developed by researchers from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences). The team conducting this research is lead by CPTT chief investigator, Professor Colin Pouton.

Colin has been interviewed and quoted in many news articles and reports, especially in the last few months. However, we would like to draw your attention to a specific Opinion article Prof Pouton published in June in The Age newspaper titled ‘Australia set to join the mRNA vaccine revolution‘. Congratulations to Colin for bringing attention to the need for Australia to develop the manufacturing capabilities for production of medical and therapeutic technologies!

‘Materials, Mimics, & Microfluidics’ – CPTT conference success!

On July 21 – 23 our Centre participated in the ‘Materials, Mimics, & Microfluidics: Engineering Tools for Mechanobiology’ conference. In addition to members of our Centre being invited to present at the main meeting, we hosted two successful satellite meetings in Melbourne and Perth. The satellite events featured local researchers and the Melbourne event also included a PhD student ‘rapid fire’ session, sponsored by BOMP and MCN. Well done to Esther Lestrell and Tina Cheng who were the joint winners of the rapid fire session!

Congratulations to Dr Bryan Gao and Dr Roey Elnathan for their organisation of the Melbourne event, and to Dr Yu Suk Choi and Dr Brendan Kennedy for their organisation of the Perth event! All four were also invited speakers of the main conference and part of the meeting’s scientific committee. We thank them for their contributions to the conference and for their representation of ARC CPTT!

For those who were unable to attend and are interested to see more photos from the event, check out the hashtag #3M2021, which was used throughout the conference by participants from around the globe! Some of our own photos are included below.

2021 Organoids Are Us Symposium – Sponsored by ARC CPTT

The 2021 ‘Organoids Are Us’ symposium has been in planning for some time. Unfortunately the most recent lockdown in Melbourne has caused this event to go from in-person to virtual.

The ARC CPTT are delighted to be a Bronze Sponsor of the 2021 Organoids Are Us Symposium.

There is still time to register, and because the conference has gone virtual, registration is now FREE!

Click here to register, and view the flyer below to see details on the fantastic line up on national and international speakers! Congratulations to organisers, Professor Elizabeth Vincan and Dr Maree Faux.

2021 Women in Leadership Awards

In May the Royal Society of Victoria honored four exceptional leaders from the Biotech, Medtech and Pharmaceutical sectors of Victoria at the 2021 Women in Leadership Awards.

A heartfelt congratulations to all of the Awardees!

We are especially excited to congratulate Jennifer Herz, Managing Director of Biointelect and Partner Investigator in the CPTT. She was awarded the Inspiring Leadership Award for 2021! A fantastic honor that is well deserved. Congratulations Jenny!

Photo credit: BioMelbourne Network
From left: Dr Hannah Kirk (Emerging Leadership Awardee); Jennifer Herz (Inspiring Leadership Awardee); Dr Jenny Petering (Distinguished Leadership Awardee); A/Prof Margie Danchin (Board of Directors Awardee). Photo credit: BioMelbourne Network

International Women’s Day #IWD2021

Written by Centre Manager, Dr Susan Northfield

Today is International Women’s Day #IWD2021, and this year the theme is #ChooseToChallenge. “A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.”

Our Centre has embraced the challenge to ensure diversity, gender equality and inclusion from day one; specifically identifying it as one of our key policies to make certain the Centre promotes a positive and fair workplace culture for all participants at all times. This policy guides our processes and decision-making as we develop opportunities for the students and ECRs in our care.

In the spirit of #ChooseToChallenge, we want to shine a light on what this approach looks like for us. For example, Centre participants are expected to:

  • Ensure invited speakers, panel compositions, other representatives required for Centre training and conferences etc., are of diverse backgrounds, including gender;
  • Ensure we advertise in such a way as to attract and subsequently enroll representative numbers of male/female students and postdoctoral researchers in the Centre;
  • Provide diversity in mentor-mentee pairs;
  • Provide key contacts at each University for anyone experiencing discrimination;
  • Adhere to the ten principles of the Athena SWAN Charter

Today we celebrate the women of our Centre – students, postdocs, chief investigators, executive members, and industry board members. The photo accompanying this post shows a handful of the women at our University of Melbourne #ARCCPTT node, from the Department of Biochemistry & Pharmacology. I want to thank them and all members of the Centre for contributing to providing a diverse, inclusive and supportive environment as we commit to #ChooseToChallenge and call out inequality. #IWD2021

Funding success for CPTT CI’s

The Centre congratulates two of our CI’s – Prof Spencer Williams & Prof Alastair Stewart – on their successful Accelerator Grant from Therapeutic Innovation Australia!

Their grant “Development of casein kinase 1 delta inhibitors for inflammation, fibrosis and fibrotic cancers” is in collaboration with Tianli Biotech Pty Ltd.

Outcomes for the recent round were announced at the end of February. For the full list of winners, visit the Therapeutic Innovation Australia website: https://www.therapeuticinnovation.com.au/p-accelerator2020-21-outcomes