Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr Craig Challen
Australian of the Year, cave explorer and part of the Tham Luang cave rescue team

Honourable Stephen Dawson MLC
Member for Mining and Pastoral Region
Australian Labor Party

Biography

Craig puts the ‘Challen’ in challenge and accepts all that come his way. He’s an accomplished Australian cave explorer and member of the Wet Mules diving group.

After commencing cave diving in the 1990s, he was an early adopter of closed-circuit mixed gas rebreathers. A veterinary surgeon by profession, he founded the Vetwest (later Australian Animal Hospitals) group of veterinary practices.

In July 2018 Craig Challen participated in the Tham Luang cave rescue of 13 people in Thailand.

He has been named as the 2019 Australian of the Year for Western Australia and the joint 2019 Australian of the Year with his dive partner Richard ‘Harry’ Harris.

With a wealth of travel experiences under his belt, Craig Challen is truly a man of the world. His intelligence, professionalism and laid-back nature is infectious and will leave your team inspired to tackle anything in business, and in life.

Biography

Parliamentary Service
Elected to the Thirty-ninth Parliament for Mining and Pastoral Region on 5 April 2013 for the term commencing 22 May. Re-elected 2017, and 2021 for the terms commencing 22 May.

Ministerial Appointments
Minister for Environment; Disability Services: from 17 March 2017 – 19 March 2021.
Minister for Electoral Affairs: 13 December 2018 – 19 March 2021.
Minister for Mental Health; Aboriginal Affairs; Industrial Relations from 19 March 2021 – 21 December 2021.
Minister for Emergency Services; Innovation and ICT; Medical Research; Volunteering: 21 December 2021 – present.

Parliamentary Appointments
Deputy Chair of Committees: 22 May 2013 – 16 October 2013.

Parliamentary Party/Shadow Ministerial Appointments
Opposition Parliamentary Secretary for the Kimberley; Pilbara; Gascoyne; Goldfields/Esperance: 19 April 2013 – 24 September 2013.
Shadow Minister for Disability Services; Mental Health; Child Protection: 24 September 2013 – 17 March 2017.
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council: 17 March 2017 to 19 March 2021.
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council: 19 March 2021 – present.

Standing Committees
Deputy Chair, Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs: 22 May 2013 – 21 May 2017.

Domestic Committees
Note: Fulfils an advisory role concerning services provided to Members
Member, Parliamentary Services Committee: 22 May 2013 – 21 May 2017.

Invited Speakers

Mr Aleksandar Vukmirovic

Dr Crystal Lee

Hadi Afsharan

Biography

Mr. Aleksandar Vukmirovic BSc, MPE has been a Research Engineer at the Lions Eye Institute for over two years and in this time has worked on multiple projects such as non-invasive intracranial pressure estimation and examining the efficacy of gelatin stent surgery (supported by an Allergan grant).

Aleksandar’s interests include data analysis, statistics, artificial intelligence and programming languages such as R. Currently Aleksandar is undertaking a PhD in conjunction with the Lions Eye Institute and the University of Western Australia in image analysis and machine learning for predicting intracranial pressure from retinal vein pulsation and in the analysis of pulse wave velocities. Aleksandar is passionate about advancing the capabilities of artificial intelligence and engineering applications in predicting, treating and improving patient outcomes.

Biography

Dr Crystal Lee is a Senior Research Fellow at the Health Economics and Data Analytics Hub within the School of Population Health, Curtin University. She has developed a growing international research profile in using large datasets from international data pooling projects to study chronic disease epidemiology.

More recently, Crystal has been involved in research that aims to improve patient care through the study of health administrative records in Australia. Since joining Curtin University in 2021, she has been involved in research projects that include partners from government funded health organisations to study various aspects of the healthcare system.

Biography

Hadi Afsharan obtained his master’s of science (2015) in biophotonics in a multidisciplinary field with a focus on the detection of cancerous proteins using optical biosensors. He then worked for three years as a research associate at the immunology research centre, drug applied research centre, and Research Centre for Pharmaceutical nanotechnology at Tabriz University of medical sciences. His research was focused on two main streams, detecting cancer-related biomarkers at early stages and treating cancer with photodynamic therapy.

His passion to research and helping people has then brought him to Western Australia to continue his research as a Ph.D. research student at the optical+biomedical engineering laboratory (OBEL) group at the University of Western Australia, which will allow him to implement his multidisciplinary knowledge to improve health and wellbeing of people. Hadi’s Ph.D. is focused on optical imaging of the retina using polarisation-sensitive optical coherence tomography to look for diseases associated with blood vessels of the eye. So far, his research has been published (as author and co-author of more than 10 papers) in highly regarded, peer-reviewed journals.

Miss Hazel Hudson

Dr Ian Dey

Mr John Van Der Wielen

Biography

Hazel is an Innovation Consultant for South Metropolitan Health Service with a keen interest in the development & implementation of new ideas to improve healthcare. Hazel has worked in the health sector as a registered nurse & midwife for over 30 years in the UK, USA, New Zealand & most recently, Australia.

Having now resided in Australia for almost 17 years, Hazel has worked as a Maternity Department Manager, Duty Nurse Manager & other areas including Safety Quality & Risk, Fiona Stanley Hospital Commissioning, Clinical Service Redesign & Project Management.  Hazel is currently project lead for a number of successful projects across SMHS, including the Virtual Emergency Medicine Program.

Biography

Ian is an Emergency Physician from Fiona Stanley Hospital in Western Australia who, since graduation from medicine in 1993, has always maintained a key interest in clinical workflow and systems innovation. Ian was a Clinical Commissioning Lead during the commissioning of Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH). As a Greenfield site with host of entirely new ICT platforms the FSH commissioning project provided many opportunities and challenges.

Currently Ian is developing Virtual Emergency Medicine outreach from FSH to reduce Ambulance Ramping and also to allow the introduction of new models of care particularly with regards to the frail aged population. Other projects Ian is currently clinically leading are State Clinical Alert workflow improvements and Office 365 implementation and clinical integration.

Biography

John commenced his role as Chief Executive Officer in May 2017. Prior to this John spent over 30 years in insurance, wealth management, private banking and investments including executive positions within several global financial services groups. John’s most recent executive role was the CEO of Friends Life UK and International in London and prior to this he served as Managing Director Wealth at ANZ Bank in Sydney and CEO of Clerical Medical and Halifax Life in the UK.

John has been a Senior Adviser for Blackstone in the financial services arena and an independent non-executive on several boards. He is a board member of the University of Western Australia’s Business School, a Director of the Royal Flying Doctor Service WA and Chair of the State Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund Advisory Council. He holds an MBA from the University of Western Australia and has studied at London Business School and Oxford University.  He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Joshua Clayton

Dr Julian Shapley

Dr Katherine Arenson

Biography

Dr Joshua Clayton completed his PhD in Genetics in 2018 at UWA with A/Prof. Daniela Ulgiati, examining the role of non-coding genetic variants in B cell function and autoimmune disease. Joshua subsequently joined the lab of Prof. Nigel Laing and Dr. Gina Ravenscroft at the Harry Perkins Institute, where he has helped characterise the function of novel genetic variants and disease mechanisms in patients with rare neuromuscular diseases.

Dr Clayton’s major role within the group, however, has been the development of new models and therapies for neuromuscular diseases – principally those caused by genetic variants in the skeletal muscle α-actin gene (ACTA1). In 2018 he visited the lab of Prof Eric Olson in Texas, where he learned how to reprogram and culture induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). I have since established workflows for iPSC reprogramming and characterisation, and differentiation of these cells into skeletal muscle. Joshua is now using these methods to model human muscle disease and to develop and test therapies for neuromuscular conditions.

Within his institute Joshua is also chair of the EMCR Committee, which has seen him act as a support person for fellow EMCRs and to act as a bridge between the institute’s leadership team and other EMCRs across WA.

Biography

A medical device innovator, entrepreneur and leader with over 20 years of research, development and operational experience, Dr Shapley was instrumental in the inception, development, formation, and financing of Cellnovo. As a biochemist and mechanical design engineer, and following post-doctoral experience within university and commercial development, Julian developed the founding technologies within the Cellnovo system, led cross-functional teams from ideation through to regulatory approval, led the quality team and design-for-manufacture, and the setup of a prototype manufacturing line.  In the role of Chief Science Officer, he then focused on the continued protection and expansion of Cellnovo’s IP portfolio, business development activities and the integration of external technologies.

More recently, Julian has founded Glucose Republic, a company combining biology and software to help people eat and live better. Glucose Republic is building a personalised intelligence system for measuring and predicting metabolic responses to the food we eat and the exercise we take. Dr Shapley has recently relocated to Australia having been awarded an Australian Global Talent Visa. His experience and expertise in advising international companies in strategic and technical roadmaps towards the realisation of digitally connected medical devices

Biography

Dr Katherine Arenson graduated from medical school in South Africa with first class honours. She moved to Australia where she specialised in Emergency Medicine while bring up four children. She is currently working as an Emergency Specialist at Armadale Hospital and has over 20 years’ experience in clinical medicine across 5 WA hospitals. She one of the founders of, and Chief Medical Officer for VeinTech. VeinTech is an early stage MedTech company developing a vein-finding device to improve first pass cannulation success.

Together with her co-founders, Nicholas Buckley and Nikhilesh Bappoo, Dr Arenson achieved first place in the Perth Biodesign program in 2019, won the Medtronic prize in the Asia-Pacific MedTech Actuator Origin pitch competition, and recently won the “Great for the State” award at the WA Innovator of the year competition in 2021.

Professor Michael Wallach

Ms Michelle Luca

Dr Moreica Pabbruwe

Biography

I have over 35 years of experience in basic and applied molecular parasitology. My project on Eimeria in chickens (the causative agent of coccidiosis, which is the most economically important disease of any kind in the chicken industry), has led to the development, patenting, registration and marketing of a maternally based, subunit vaccine against the disease called CoxAbic®.

I have a BSc from the University of Michigan (1973) and an MSc & PhD from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel (1980). I spent 3 years working as a Post-Doctoral fellow at the Rockefeller University, New York, NY and in 1984 I received the position as lecturer at the Hebrew University. From 1991-1993 I was a Visiting Professor at the University of Bern, Switzerland and from 1994-2002 I worked as Project Leader at Teva Pharmaceuticals, Israel where my vaccine was commercialized.

In 2002 I was appointed as the inaugural director of the Institute for the Biotechnology of Infectious Diseases at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia. Researchers in the institute worked on both human and animal pathogens to develop new methods of control for some of the most devastating diseases on this planet such as malaria and influenza.

Since 2008, I developed a course in Bio-innovation & Entrepreneurship for post-graduate students working in the area of biomedical research largely based on my own life experience. In 2012 a collaboration was formed with Stanford Medical School and I initiated an international course in Bio-Innovation & Entrepreneurship in which PhD students from all over the world work together in small teams to develop ideas for new biomedical projects/products. The course is run annually in one of the SPARK Global participating countries.

In 2014 I was appointed as Director of the SPARK Sydney program which includes UTS, the University of Sydney & Macquarie University. SPARK is a program designed to help researchers take their research from the bench to the patient. It originated at Stanford Medical School, USA. In 2017 SPARK programs commenced at Monash University and in 2018 at the Univ. of Melbourne where I have facilitated both programs. In 2018 I was appointed as the regional director for SPARK Oceania.

In 2020, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have been working to develop a passive immunization approach to help reduce the numbers of infections and mortality caused by this virus. Several institutions and companies from around the world are participating.

Biography

Michelle coordinates, facilitates and accelerates initiatives that grow and benefit industry-university research collaboration within the Biomedical Innovation portfolio, with particular responsibility for iPREP Biodesign, as well as the management of Perth Biodesign for Digital Health.

Michelle has more than nine years’ experience in the Western Australian healthcare sector. She completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy at Curtin University in 2010 and has worked across many public hospitals as a senior clinical pharmacist. Michelle was also formerly the Research Partnership and Engagement Manager at Cinglevue International, a research-led education technology solutions provider, where she was responsible for advancing the company’s strategic research by enabling collaborative research initiatives with universities, research partners and stakeholders. Michelle has also completed postgraduate qualifications in fitness, based on her strong personal interests in fitness and sport. Michelle’s board range of work experience allows her to provide new and innovative perspectives in research, industry and healthcare innovation and technology.

Biography

Dr Moreica Pabbruwe is a Biomedical Engineer working at Centre for Implant Technology and Retrieval Analysis, located at Royal Perth Hospital.  Moreica has a BEng and a PhD in Material Science & Engineering from the UNSW.  After completing her PhD, she worked as a post-doctoral fellow in England on Bioreactors and Tissue Engineering of Cartilage. Later, she worked as a biomedical consultant, liaising directly with orthopaedic surgeons and orthopaedic companies on various projects including novel bone graft substitutes, biocompatibility testing and failure analysis of orthopaedic implants.

Since joining RPH in 2013, her focus is on the Implant Retrieval Program, a state-wide service evaluating retrieved and new medical devices. She has gained extensive experience on the host response to wear debris in failed joint replacements by examining numerous (+6000) explanted devices. She also works on the design and manufacture of custom-made orthopaedic devices such as the RPH hip spacer used in the treatment of joint infections.

Moreica has developed relevant international collaborations with Universities and Hospitals including Sydney University, University of Bristol, UNSW, Curtin University, Royal Adelaide Hospital and Northern Retrieval Registry (UK). She also had the opportunity to supervise numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as surgical registrars.

Mr Nasir David

Ms Natalia Kacperek

Dr Zlatibor Velickovic

Biography

Nasir David is a respected executive level technology entrepreneur, innovator and business leader with proven experience with successfully leading technology and business disruption across diverse industry sectors in ICT, Tourism and the Arts. Nasir has leveraged this significant expertise to promote continual positive change and growth in capabilities across his various roles within WA Health. He continues to herald significant digital and business transformation throughout the WA public sector using customer focused processes and emerging technologies.

Nasir’s background within medical research, has and continues to guide and influence his approach to incorporate the needs of the research community. Nasir is the Director of Data and Information Systems within the Information Systems and Performance Directorate, WA Department of Health. He is the head of the WA Health Data Linkage function and is responsible for the wide adoption and support of REDCap, with both services greatly assisting research and health innovation across the sector to improve patient outcomes.  

Biography

Natalia is the Director of Data Analytics and Insights for the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s Office of Digital Government (DGov).

Prior to this, Natalia drove the strategic use of information throughout a number of public sector roles in policy, strategy and analytics at the Departments of Communities and Transport.

Natalia is passionate about using data to address complex social, health, environmental and economic issues and is the driving force behind DGov’s data hub. Natalia was responsible for the WA Government’s interagency Social Impact Dashboard, the first of its kind in analytical reporting from a whole-of-government perspective to explore the social impacts of COVID-19.

Natalia has a Masters in Statistical Data Analysis, and has a wealth of experience using advanced analytics to develop evidence-based solutions for everyday purposes.  

Biography

Zlatibor Velickovic is the Facility Director of Cell & Tissue Therapies Western Australia (CTTWA), Royal Perth Hospital. Zlatibor obtained his BSc degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology at the University of Belgrade and his PhD in Immunogenetics at the University of Otago. He commenced his scientific career in Australia at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (ARCBS) in Sydney. He gained extensive GMP knowledge and experience during his years at ARCBS, where he managed the TGA accredited laboratory for histocompatibility testing. Using his GMP expertise, he helped set up and validate the newly built GMP facility at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, where he managed productions activities for cell and gene therapy projects and clinical trials.

In his current role at CTTWA, Zlatibor directs FACT, TGA and NATA accredited GMP facility for manufacturing of licensed cell therapy products and manages in-house and industry-sponsored cell, gene and tissue therapy clinical trials. Alongside this, Zlatibor is a Research Fellow at the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney and the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy (ISCT) Regional Vice-President Elect, Australia & New Zealand.

Dr Martina Mariano

Biography

As the Head of Health Education at Singular Health Group, Martina combines her passion for medical innovation, health education, and business to develop products to improve health literacy on a global scale.

Having attained her Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnologies and a Master’s Degree in Genetics and Molecular Biology, she worked for several years in the forensic laboratories of the Italian Police Force and a medical diagnostics company before emigrating to Australia in 2015.

In 2021, she completed a PhD in Neurogenetics at the University of Western Australia, with a project focused on developing novel functional assays to interpret unknown variants in neurodevelopmental disease genes, using 2D and 3D cell culture systems and CRISPR-edited mouse models.

A lifelong learner with a keen commercial mind, Martina has participated in several medical device commercialisation programs such as the Perth Biodesign and the BridgeTech Programs, along with industry-engagement experiences such as iPREP Biodesign WA.

In 2017, during the Perth Biodesign Program, she applied her scientific knowledge to develop a diagnostic device for prosthetic joint infections resulting in a $10,000 prize and co-founding her first start-up company.

In early 2021, through an iPrepWA placement, Martina joined Singular Health as a Project Officer to develop globally accessible, scalable and interactive health literacy resources which she is now focused on commercialising in her role as Head of Health Education.

Panellists

Mr Chris Shenton

Professor Christopher Reid

Professor Fiona Wood

Biography

Chris graduated as a pharmacist from Curtin University in 1986. He trained at Mount Hospital before beginning a community pharmacy career in Rockingham. Chris’ career has included a pharmacy at the Perth Royal Show, volunteering at the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the medical team,  community pharmacy, large scale aged care pharmacy, hospital pharmacy and home IV services.

PureIV is a TGA approved sterile injectable compounding manufacturer. PureIV compounds IV medicines for home hospital and hospital theatres using the latest techniques and equipment.

Joondalup Hospital provides pharmaceutical services to Joondalup Health Campus, other hospitals, aged care facilities and mental health. Joondalup is a 750 bed public private mix hospital owned by Ramsay Healthcare.

SouthWest Hospital Pharmacy is located within the comprehensive cancer centre at St John of God Hospital Bunbury. This pharmacy opened in April 2013 and is a leader in regional oncology services.

Chris is a 40 under 40 business award winner from 2004.

Biography

Christopher Reid is a cardiovascular epidemiologist with appointments as Research Professor in both the School of Population Health at Curtin University and the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University. He was appointed as a John Curtin Distinguished Professor in 2018 and is Director of the Monash and Curtin Centre’s of Cardiovascular Research and Education (CCRE) and the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Cardiovascular Outcomes Improvement.  He holds a National Health and Medical Research Council Principal Research Fellowship in addition to being the Chief Investigator on an NHMRC Program Grant focusing on cardiovascular disease prevention.  He has been awarded over $113M as a Chief Investigator and has received continuous NHMRC funding since 2001. 

His major research interests include clinical outcome registries, randomized controlled trials, and epidemiological cohort studies.  He has over 615 peer-reviewed publications, many of which are in leading journals including the New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, JACC and the BMJ.  He is a Chief Investigator for the Aspirin in Reducing Events in the Elderly (ASPREE) Study, the Statins in Reducing Events in the elderly Trial and the Australian arms of the HOPE-3, REACH and CLARIFY Registries. He is Chair of the Australian New Zealand Alliance for Cardiovascular Trials (ANZACT) Network and a Board Member of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance and the Australia Cardiovascular Alliance.

Biography

Winthrop Professor Fiona Wood University of Western Australia 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 since 1991 she is consultant surgeon at both the South Metropolitan Heath Service, Fiona Stanley Hospital and the Child and Adolescent Health Service, Perth Children’s Hospital.

As director of burns injury research unit she leads an interdisciplinary team with broad collaboration focused on translation to improve clinical outcomes.

She sits on the national science and technology council and was Australian of the year in 2005.

Mr Jayden Rogers

Professor Michaela Lucas

Associate Professor Peter Santa Maria

Biography

Jayden Rogers was appointed CEO of Linear shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic and was instrumental in leading Linear’s widely-applauded response that attracted national and international attention. This included successfully securing leading COVID-19 vaccine and trial opportunities, making Linear one of the most active sites globally for COVID-19 research. During a period where much of the world shut down cancer trials, Linear delivered a record year of new patient enrolments, becoming one of the most active sites in the entire region. This has seen Linear initiate several expansion projects that will see capacity more than double in 2022.

 Prior to his appointment as CEO, Jayden held the roles of Chief Operating Officer and Global Business Development Lead, and was instrumental in Linear tripling in size from 2016 to 2019. Prior to joining Linear, Jayden was the commercial manager for listed biotechnology company, OBJ Limited, co-founded medical device company, Halo Medical Devices, and operated a range of private healthcare practices in Australia and the UK. Jayden holds an MBA and Bachelor of Science from the University of Western Australia, in addition to a Master of Physiotherapy from Curtin University.

Biography

Clinical Professor Michaela Lucas is an Immunologist/Immunopathologist and Clinician-Scientist with conjoint appointments at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, the Perth Children’s Hospital, and The University of Western Australia, where she leads a multi-disciplinary team of clinical and basic science researchers at the Immunology and Transplantation Lab. After completing medical training in Germany, she received a Marie Curie Research Fellowship and undertook a four-year postdoctoral position at the University of Oxford where she studied liver T-cell immunology. Her research interests and expertise span T cell immunology including the pathogenesis of T cell mediated drug allergies, anti-viral T cell responses, vaccine development, the role of inflammation in the development of adaptive immunity in organ transplantation, and most recently, understanding the impacts of plastics exposure on human health.

Professor Lucas’s research has produced over 100 peer-reviewed papers. She has held multiple NHMRC and ACH2 grants as principle and co-investigator, and has conducted two investigator-driven randomised controlled trials in antibiotic allergy. She also served as Principal Investigator at the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital site for the multi-centre BRACE Clinical Trial, investigating the BCG vaccination to reduce the impact of COVID-19 in Australian healthcare workers following Coronavirus Exposure. She is a leading clinician in the field of drug allergy management in Australia, and is the President of the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA), and Project Lead in Drug Allergy for the National Allergy Strategy. She consults for the Australian Digital Health Agency on the My Health Record initiative and the Australian Health and Safety Agency on drug allergy documentation.

Biography

Dr Santa Maria is a clinician scientist with a focus on translational medicine and commercializing medtech and biopharma. Currently he is Associate Director of the Stanford SPARK translational therapeutic program, Chair of the American Academy of Otolaryngology’s Medical Device and Drugs Committee and PI of Stanford’s Otoinnovation Lab.  

Dr Santa Maria completed his PhD in the molecular biology of wound healing of the tympanic membrane at The University of Western Australia (2012). His research includes a novel treatment for chronic ear drum perforations was accelerated through the SPARK program at Stanford, winning the “Excellence in Stanford SPARK 2014” award, and then partnered with Auration Biotech and Astellas pharmaceuticals, to bring the non-surgical treatment for ear drum repair into human clinical trials in 2020. 

Dr Santa Maria co-invented a medical device which won the “Robert Howard Next Step Award in Medical Technology Innovation 2014”, as part of Stanford’s Biodesign program, that could keep patients warm during surgery. He is actively part of other drug and device emerging start-ups solving challenges in the hearing loss and balance areas. He continues to mentor and consult for academic teams, start-ups and industry in The Bay Area.

Dr Robert Ang

Professor Steve Webb

Professor Steve Wilton

Biography

Robert Ang, MBBS, MBA, is President and Chief Executive Officer at Vor Bio, a publicly-traded cell and genome engineering company that aims to transform the lives of cancer patients by pioneering an engineered hematopoietic stem cell (eHSC) therapeutic platform that unlocks the potential of targeted therapies. Vor uses gene editing and CAR-T technologies with the hope of curing liquid tumors like acute myeloid leukemia. Vor has raised over over $350M in gross proceeds from private and public financing.

Prior to Vor, Robert had operational experience focused on strategy and business development roles at Neon Therapeutics (now BioNTech), Bavarian Nordic, and Cadence Pharmaceuticals (now Mallinckrodt). Robert also had biotech venture capital experience at Frazier Healthcare Ventures, and strategy consulting experience at the Boston Consulting Group. He received his medical degree at the University of Western Australia and an MBA with Honors from Columbia Business School. Robert also serves as an independent director at Enara Bio, an early-stage cancer immunotherapy company.

Biography

Professor Steve Webb MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRACP, FCICM, FAAHMS

Dr Steve Webb is an ICU specialist at Royal Perth Hospital, a Professor of Critical Care Research at Monash University, Director of Clinical Trials at St John of God Subiaco, and Chair of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. He has been an investigator on trials with an accumulated sample size of more than 50,000 patients, is a named investigator on more than $120 M of competitive research funding and has published more than 200 manuscripts including multiple manuscripts in NEJM x 9 and JAMA x 8.  He has experience with Bayesian adaptive platform trials and other innovative designs such as cluster cross-over trials.  He was the global leader of the REMAP-CAP platform trial that reported treatment effect of multiple different interventions for patients with severe COVID-19 infection.

Biography

Professor Steve Wilton is the Director of the Centre for Molecular Medicine and Innovative Therapeutics at Murdoch University and the Perron Institute for Neurological and Translational Science, Perth’s oldest private medical research institute. He is recognised as one of the pioneers in the use of antisense oligomers as a treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Three compounds have now been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to restore some functional dystrophin expression in the most common mutation sub-types causing DMD. His Molecular Therapy research team is currently exploring possible treatments for more than 50 diseases, with the aim to develop new therapeutics for many inherited and/or acquired conditions. These “gene patches” can be designed to redirect gene expression as required: by-passing disease-causing mutations, correcting abnormal splicing or disrupting expression of toxic gene products.  

This work has been recognized with the 2012 Western Australian Innovator of the Year award, the 2013 Australian Museum Eureka Award for Translational Medicine, the 2014 LabGear Australia Discovery award, a finalist in the 2016 Western Australian of the Year (Professions Category) and a finalist for the Prime Minister’s Award for Science (2019).  He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2021.

Mr Steven Walsh

Professor Toby Richards

Dr Wei-Sen Lam

Biography

Throughout my three decades of managing large-scale mining and manufacturing operations, I have relished the opportunity to build high-performing teams and implement innovative processes to elevate performance and exceed targets.

As the co-owner of Glide Products alongside my business partner, Peter Green, we are dedicated to making Glide the wheelchair provider of choice in Australia. Glide is passionately committed to Australian manufacturing, sovereign capability, and innovation, and we deliver world-class products.

Before purchasing Glide Products, my experience has been in mining, mineral processing, process infrastructure, engineering and maintenance. I have held senior management positions in the gold mining industry, including 13 years in overseas roles that have taken me to Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Cote D’Ivoire, Mexico, Fiji, Laos, Thailand, Jamaica and Argentina.

Biography

Professor Toby Richards is the Lawrence-Brown Professor of Vascular Surgery at the University of Western Australia. He was previously at University College London for ten years. He has led a series of clinical trials to investigate the problem of anaemia in patients before major surgery, and the effect of intravenous iron. He is CI for PREVENTT, a NIHR HTA multicentre RCT and ITACS, an NHMRC international multicentre trial investigating the role of intravenous iron to correct anaemia in patients before abdominal and cardiac surgery. Additional trials include; IRONNOF, IRONWOMAN, CAVIAR, and MITOhealth, all exploring intravenous iron in the management of mental and physical health.

He has been actively involved in Patient Blood Management, having worked with the department of health in Western Australia on implementation strategies and the UK NHS Blood and Transplant. He has collaborated in Cochrane, guidelines and consensus documents on PBM and the role of iron therapy, as well as being a speaker at conferences.  He is a board member of NATA (the international association for Patient Blood Management) and ACTA (Australian Clinical Trials Alliance).

Biography

Dr Wei-Sen Lam is a Medical Oncologist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and Esperance Hospital. Dr Lam has several leadership roles including Head of Medical Oncology Department at Fiona Stanley Hospital and was previously Director of Medical Oncology WA Country Health Service and Co-Chair of the WA Cancer Oncology Group. He is passionate about improving cancer services for rural and remote WA and has developed new and innovative services including Telechemotherapy and Telelymphoedema. During his time as Director Of Medical Oncology for WA Country Health Service, Dr Lam providing leadership in implementing the WA Country Health Service Cancer Plan and helped commence new cancer services in Karratha, Broome and Narrogin.

Wei-Sen has a keen interest in research and is actively involved in clinical trials. Dr Lam was a successful recipient of the WA Cancer and Palliative Care Network Fellowship and is a principal investigator in several lung cancer trials at Fiona Stanley Hospital. Dr Lam is currently the Director of Teletrials. Dr Lam is working with the Australian Teletrial Program to develop clinical trial units in country WA and create a pathway to help improve access to clinical trials for patients. 

Professor Peter Leedman

Ms Petra Andren

Professor Eyal Zimlichman

Biography

Professor Peter Leedman is the Director of the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research (Perkins), a Professor of Medicine at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and an endocrinologist (hormone specialist) at Royal Perth Hospital (RPH). 

Together with Professor Peter Klinken, Leedman was instrumental in establishment of the Perkins and development of it into WA’s major adult medical research institute, and the building of two state-of-the-art $190m research facilities at the QEII medical campus and Fiona Stanley Hospital.

Peter Leedman is leading the development of the WA Comprehensive Cancer Centre, a new $750m centre that will ensure world-first cancer medicines, world-leading clinical trials and holistic supportive treatment therapies, all in one location.

He is internationally recognised for his research on hormone-dependent cancers (breast and prostate) and more lately on poor prognostic tumours (liver and head and neck cancer). His team is developing new therapies for these solid tumours that they are translating towards the bedside. He is passionate about driving the Perkins to become a global Centre of Excellence, known for its innovative and collaborative approaches to solving some of the more challenging questions in medicine.  

He is a Director and Past-Chairman of the Perkins’ early phase clinical trials facility called Linear Clinical Trials Ltd and co-founder of miReven, a biotech company focused on developing a novel way to treat liver cancer. He continues to practice as a physician (endocrinologist) based at Royal Perth Hospital.

Biography

Petra was born in Sweden and started her career in the US, initially working as a Trade and Investment Commissioner for the Swedish government and later heading up the first US subsidiary of a European Contract Research Organisation, Clinical Data Care. She later moved to Germany where she worked for the Australian Trade Commission as the Head of its Life Sciences Team, assisting Australian companies break into European markets. 

In 2005, Petra moved to Australia where she spent a number of years as the Managing Director AsiaPac of Swiss Biopharmacetucial company Octaparma, securing a $200mill+ tender contract with the Australian government for the supply of plasma derived products from Europe to Australia. She later moved into the world of high growth start-ups as the CEO of Australia’s first deep tech incubator, Cicada Innovations. In this role Petra introduced new vehicles for commercialisation of science-based innovation resulting in a giant leap venture creation as well as SME-University collaborations. During this time, Petra was also the Managing Director of Bizcaptial, building Australia’s, at the time, largest and most diverse investment portfolio of deep-tech start-ups. 

Currently, Petra leads investments into early stage, HealthTech companies on behalf of Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups. 

Biography

Professor Eyal Zimlichman is an internal medicine physician, a health care executive and a researcher focused on assessing and improving health care quality and value, patient engagement and patient safety.

Prof. Zimlichman currently serves as Chief Transformation Officer and Chief Innovation Officer at Sheba Medical Center, Israel’s largest hospital. In this position he oversees the transformation efforts carried out at the Medical Center as it aims to redesign healthcare to be focused on patients, while being more effective, efficient and equitable. For these reasons, Prof. Zimlichman founded Sheba’s global innovation program (ARC – Accelerate, Redesign and Collaborate). Prior to this Prof. Zimlichman held the position of Chief Medical Officer and before that as Chief Quality Officer, both at Sheba.

Preceding his work at Sheba, Prof. Zimlichman held the position of Lead Researcher at Partners Health Care Clinical Affairs Department in Boston where he was involved in the efforts to bring about a strategic care redesign initiative. In that capacity, Prof. Zimlichman established their program for collecting and reporting patient reported outcomes across the continuum of care, a program that earned international appraisal. During that time, Prof. Zimlichman held an appointment at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School affiliated Center for Patient Safety Research and Practice, where he conducted research on implementing technology to improve quality and patient safety.

Prof. Zimlichman is a founding member of the International Academy of Quality and Safety in Health Care and an International Expert at the International Society of Quality in Healthcare (ISQua). He also served as an advisor to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In 2007 Prof. Zimlichman was selected as a member of Sheba’s Talpiot Medical Leadership Program, a program aimed at advancing the brightest young physicians into leadership roles. In 2017 he was appointed head of the program. Prof. Zimlichman is a graduate of the Harvard School of Public Health Master of Science in Healthcare Management program and has earned his MD at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology.

Secured By miniOrange