events / personal journeys to translation symposium 2021

The 3rd personal journeys to translation symposium 2021


Thursday, 2 December 2021
8:45 AM – 1:00 PM AEDT



About this Event


Every ground-breaking medical discovery faces the difficult hurdle of translation – being taken out of the lab and being developed into a product that can be used at a patient’s bedside.

In this online seminar, hosted by the ARC Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering, we will hear from pioneers in the field about their own personal journeys on the road to translation, taking their research out of the lab and into the clinic.  This opportunity to learn from and be linked with mentors who are among the brightest minds in the bioengineering landscape is not to be missed.

The Australian Research Centre for Innovative BioEngineering (ARCTCIBE) provides the next generation of researchers with the interdisciplinary skills and mentorship to be leaders in the rapidly evolving, highly innovative field of bioengineering. The event is a significant step in this journey.


 Its aim is to inspire people to listen to stories of others’ journey along the road of successful translation.

Guest speakers

Prof. Robert Langer (The Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Dr. Robert Langer is one of 12 Institute Professors at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); being an Institute Professor is the highest honor that can be awarded to a faculty member. He has written over 1,500 articles, which have been cited over 352,000 times; his h-index of 293 is the highest of any engineer in history and tied for the 4th highest of any individual in any field. His patents have licensed or sublicensed to over 400 companies; he is a cofounder of a number of companies including Moderna. Dr Langer served as Chairman of the FDA’s Science Board (its highest advisory board) from 1999-2002. His over 220 awards include both the United States National Medal of Science and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (he is one of 3 living individuals to have received both these honors), the Charles Stark Draper Prize (often called the Engineering Nobel Prize), Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, Albany Medical Center Prize, Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, Kyoto Prize, Wolf Prize for Chemistry, Millennium Technology Prize, Priestley Medal (highest award of the American Chemical Society), Gairdner Prize, and the Dreyfus Prize in Chemical Sciences. He holds 36 honorary doctorates and has been elected to the National Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors.

Prof. Vicki Rosen (Harvard University)

Dr. Vicki Rosen is currently Professor and Chair, Department of Developmental Biology at Harvard School of Dental Medicine and a Principal Member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. She began her career at Genetics Institute, a biotechnology company, where she was part of the team that isolated the first BMPs genes and successfully launched recombinant human BMP2 as a therapeutic for enhancing bone repair. Dr. Rosen has been honored with numerous awards, including the Kappa Delta Ann Donner Vaughn Award for outstanding orthopedic research, the Marshall Urist Award for excellence in tissue engineering research, the Raine Medical Research Foundation Medal, and the William F. Neuman Award, the most prestigious award given by The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR).  Her laboratory at HSDM studies BMP family molecule signaling in musculoskeletal tissues with the goal of using knowledge gained to enhance tissue repair and regeneration.  

Prof. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic (Columbia University)

Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic is University Professor, the highest academic rank at Columbia University and the first engineer at Columbia to receive this distinction. The focus of her lab is on engineering functional human tissues for use in regenerative medicine and patient-specific “organs-on-a-chip” for studies of human physiology in health and disease. She is well published and highly cited, has mentored over 150 trainees, and launched four biotech companies form her lab. She is serving on the Council of the NIBIB, the HHMI Scientific Review Board, and on numerous editorial and scientific advisory boards. She was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame, received the Clemson Award of the Biomaterials Society, Pritzker Award of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Shu Chien Award of the AIChE, Pierre Galletti award of the AIMBE, and was elected Fellow of several professional societies. She was decorated by the Order of Karadjordje Star – Serbia’s highest honor, and elected to the Academia Europaea, Serbian Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the International Academy for Medical and Biological Engineering.


Prof. David Nisbet (Australian National University)

The Nisbet Lab is focused on developing advanced biomaterials. At the core of our activities is the development of materials that are used to both mimic the natural extracellular environment and to provide a platform for the targeted delivery of therapeutic molecules for regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Dave is passionate about developing biomaterials, and in particular about seeing the biomaterials developed translated into the clinic. His research group consists of a team of engineers, chemists, and biologists, all working together to create novel materials to help combat disease and injury.


Prof. Ranjeny Thomas (University of Queensland)

Dr. Ranjeny Thomas is Professor of Rheumatology at University of Queensland, Translational Research Institute, consultant Rheumatologist at Princess Alexandra Hospital, fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and member of the Order of Australia. She founded the Uniquest spin-off company Dendright. Her research seeks to understand autoimmune disease and restoration of immune tolerance. She developed and tested antigen-specific immunotherapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis, based on dendritic cell and liposome formats in two world first proof-of-concept trials. Her team is partnered with CSL in Sjogren’s syndrome immunotherapy, and she is progressing an antigen-specific immunotherapy for type 1 diabetes to clinical trials. She has contributed major insights into the role of the microbiome in spondyloarthropathy.


Prof. Majid Ebrahimi Warkiani (University of Technology Sydney)

Dr Warkiani is a Professor in the School of Biomedical Engineering, UTS, Sydney, Australia. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore), and undertook postdoctoral training at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT, USA). Dr Warkiani is co-director of the Australia-China Joint Research Centre for Point of Care Testing and also a core-member of Institute for Biomedical Materials & Devices (IBMD) and Center for Health Technologies (CHT) at UTS. Dr Warkiani’s current research activities focus on three key areas of (i) Microfluidics involving the design and development of novel microfluidic systems for particle and cell sorting (e.g., circulating tumor cells, fetal cells & stem cells) for diagnostic and therapeutic applications, (ii) Organ-on-a-chips involving the fabrication and characterization of novel 3D lab-on-a-chip systems (e.g., Lung-on-a-chip, Tumour-on-a-chip) to model physiological functions of tissues and organs, and (iii) 3D Printing involving the design and development of novel miniaturized systems (e.g., micromixers, micro-cyclones) for basic and applied research.
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@2021 ARC Centre for Innovative BioEngineering

Level 4, J07
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
University of Sydney
Darlington NSW 2008