Dr Jingxian Yu, CNBP researcher has attended the Workshop on Precision Sensing for Defence, held at the Australian National University on October 23-25th 2016. The workshop was by invitation only with the aim of presenting and discussing Australia’s strengths in precision sensing technology, and to plan for collaborative arrangements to advance Australian precision sensing thorough the newly launched Next Generation Fund.
CNBP researcher Michelle Zhang has spent time in China meeting and discussing CNBP related science with researchers at the Institute of Immunology, Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing (Oct 13th) and at the Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences (Oct 17th-18th).
Michelle first met with Professor Lixin Zhang and his team at the Institute of Immunology of Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing where a senior researcher, Fuhang Song gave her a tour of their facilities. She also attended a group meeting and gave a presentation about her research as well as talking about wider CNBP activity. While there she listened to the presentations of three of their group members and had helpful discussions based on the topics of the development of novel antibiotics and the biosensing of multi drug resistant microbial. Potential future collaborations were also explored.
At the Biology Institute of Shandong Academy of Sciences, Michelle visited Professor Changheng Liu, senior researcher Chunyuan Bi and their teams, while also undertaking a tour of their facilities with a focus on their biosensing device developing laboratories. Researchers also showed her their work in the development of biosensing devices for lactose and hydrogen peroxide. Once again detailed discussions about potential future collaboration possibilities were undertaken.
After a successful keynote presentation at the 2015 annual ‘Beach Energy Women in STEM Breakfast’ at Thebarton Senior College, CNBP’s Dr Mustafa was once again invited back to the college to engage with young female students at the 2016 event.
Returning from maternity leave, Dr Sanam Mustafa was in an ideal position to highlight the evolution of male dominated fields towards a more balanced work environment where support was available for women returning from breaks in their career.
Dr Mustafa shared her positive experience at CNBP which she attributed to the nurturing leadership strategy of Professor Mark Hutchinson (a father of two young girls), and the culture of the organisation. She explained that it was important to maintain a channel of communication even during periods of absence so that it was easier to reconnect when coming back to the workplace. Through this open communication, Dr Mustafa was able to negotiate a return to work plan that catered for her new responsibilities as a mother.
The event organisers themselves demonstrated their commitment to engaging women with caring responsibilities by welcoming Dr Mustafa’s 9 month old daughter Zaina to the breakfast event as well.
Feedback from participants was that this STEM focused networking and information session for high-school aged female students was a huge success.
A CNBP workshop tailored for early career researchers (ECRs) was held at Macquarie University, June 17th, 2016.
A full-house saw a number of topics discussed, including:
-how to write a successful grant and how to respond to grant feedback (from CNBP ECRs with current successful ARC Fellowships).
-an update of key points discussed at the CNBP Executive Management Committee meeting
-and a Q&A session discussing differences in industry versus an academic research focus.
During this event, attendees were also honored to welcome Mal Eutick, CEO of Phebra Australia. Mal was generous enough to share his experiences/advice on biomedical commercialization and industry. He had several insightful interactions with CNBP ECRs about topics ranging from procuring investor funding to product development and distribution in Australia and worldwide.
Feedback from all participants was positive with Mal and his observations on industry focused opportunities prompting a high level of engagement and interest.
In addition, approximately 40 of the attending CNBP ECRs undertook a social networking event, held on a Sydney harbor-boat cruise on the evening of June 16th. This too receiving extremely positive feedback.
Prof Leonard Harrison from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (Melbourne) has given an invited talk to researchers at Macquarie University.
Invited by CNBP PhD student Abdulrahman (Shaz) Mansour M Shathili and CNBP Chief Investigator Prof Nicki Packer, Prof Harrison spoke about his work on a novel immunoregulatory mechanism whereby soluble CD52, released from activated T cells, suppresses other T cells and innate immune cells via Siglec receptor pathways.
Also discussed was the therapeutic potential resulting from this investigation.
Ewa Goldys, CNBP Deputy Director and Lindsay Parker, CNBP Research Fellow were invited speakers at the University of Colorado Boulder.
Ewa and Lindsay, hosted by Profs Steven Meier and Linda Watkins from the Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, spoke about various activities and projects currently taking place across the CNBP. Also discussed were potential areas of research collaboration.
The focus was on commercialisation at the recent “Entrepreneurs workshop” organised by the EMCR Network NSW, in collaboration with ATP Innovations, a leading startup incubator/accelerator in Sydney.
Attended by a number of early and mid career CNBP researchers (Alfonso Garcia-Bennett, Arun Dass, Andrew Care, Denitza Denkova, Xiaoxue Xu and Annemarie Nadort), the event, held July 30th 2015, aimed to inform and empower EMCRs on the roadblocks in the successful translation of research.
Speakers at the workshop included:
-Jennifer MacDiarmid, CEO of EngeneIC
-Shaun Jackson, founder of Kinacia, co-founder of ACBD
-Alan Taylor, Executive Chairman of Clarity Pharmaceuticals
-Helen Pask (MQ), Startups in Physics
-Eitan Bienstock (Director for Growth) ATP Innovations startup accelerator
-Bill Kerr, Department of Industry, Research Connect
A panel discussion (chaired by Alfonso Garcia-Bennett) also featured, with topics relevant to entrepreneurship and commercialisation covered – such as Entrepreneurial Skills, Networking, Finance, Startup grants, USA/Australia/EU Investors, IP issues and success in entrepreneurship.
In terms of outcomes, CNBP researchers at the event advanced their knowledge on commercialisation and partnership strategies, learnt about pitfalls and opportunities through the life stories of the experienced speakers and strengthened their networks with the life science industry in Sydney.
Additional event information is available from the following web site –
Dr Herbert Foo, CNBP Technical Officer, visited the Otto Schott Institute of Materials Research (OSIM), the Institute for Physical Chemistry (IPC) at Friedrich Schiller University (FSU) Jena and the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, Germany for six weeks from the 17th June to 22 July, 2015.
At OSIM he performed glass fabrication and characterisation experiments together with members in Prof Lothar Wondraczek’s group, which is an internationally renowned group for glass science research. Herbert also performed initial experiments using Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) Raman spectrometry analysis for amino silane functionalised glass slides at Prof Volker Deckert’s group at IPC and IPHT. This group is famous for their expertise in TERS Raman spectroscopy imaging with 10 nanometers spatial resolution. Initial experiments were performed collaboratively by Herbert and Dr Zhenglong Zhang. The results were promising which suggests this technique is feasible for surface analysis for thin film. Herbert also performed a presentation, introducing CNBP to Deckert’s group meeting on the 2nd July 2015.
On the 13th July, 2015, Herbert joined Dr Georgios Tsiminis and Dr Erik Schartner from the Adelaide node of the CNBP in a day visit to IPHT.
A productive series of visits, Herbert had a lot of fruitful scientific discussions with members in FSU Jena and IPHT. He also gained a lot of hands-on experience in advanced glass fabrication and characterisation techniques as well as with surface analysis techniques using TERS Raman spectroscopy. More collaboration in these research areas are expected in the future.