About our Speakers

Dr Michael Cejnar - Micropace

After completing his medical degree, he worked as a resident at Royal North Shore Hospital as well as pursuing academic research in cardiology and microneurograophy before becoming a cardiology registrar at Royal North Shore Hospital. In the last 5 years 100% of his time was spent working in Industry. This included practising cardiology and electrophysiology in private hospitals and clinics and founding two biotechnology start-ups. These start-ups include an American subsidiary of his initial start up, Micropace Pty Ltd, Sydney (1994) founded and self-funded a successful medical device company to commercialise a computerized diagnostic cardiac stimulator developed during private clinical practice. The Company since organically grew to a $6 million company employing 25 professionals. The second start-up in 2011, FIC Technology, Canterbury, NSW is an educational software company developing and internationally marketing learning analytical software for schools and
parents, with trial in 2015 in Singapore and India.


Dr Rona Chandrawati - University of Sydney

Dr Chandrawati is a Lecturer in School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Sydney. She received her BSc (Biotechnology) from Monash University and obtained her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Frank Caruso from the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at The University of Melbourne in 2012. Following this, she was awarded the prestigious Marie Curie Fellowship and managed her independent research (2012-2014) in the Department of Materials and Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London, mentored by Prof. Molly Stevens. Dr Chandrawati’s research is interdisciplinary in nature, involving the convergence of bionanotechnology, bioengineering, materials science, chemistry, and cell biology, which is an exciting frontier for scientific development that promises significant advances in healthcare. Her research interests include developing bioresponsive materials for diagnostics, therapeutic delivery, and regenerative medicine using biologically inspired paradigms. She recently received Elsevier Woman in Chemical Engineering Award and Monash Engineering Women’s Leadership Award in 2015.


Emeritus Professor Hans Coster - University of Sydney

Professor Coster undertakes research into the electrical properties of cell membranes and the electro-mechanics of living cells in electric fields, electrical breakdown of cell membranes. His research also includes studies of the assembly of proteins in cell membranes and the function of these protein ion transport and signalling units. His group has developed unique ultra low frequency impedance spectrometers which are used for the study of the assembly of bimolecular lipid membranes and the location and effects of antibiotics and other pharmacological agents in these membranes. Another area of interest is in organic molecular films covalently linked to silicon substrates. His group uses a variety of physical techniques such as X-ray photoelectric spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron reflectometry and atomic force microscopy in addition to low frequency impedance spectroscopy to study the properties of such nanostructures on silicon. Professor Coster is also involved, with his colleagues and students, in research and development in: 1) a new type of biosensor based on the electrical properties of molecular films; 2) novel electro-disinfection systems for water supplies; 3) improved industrial (polymer) membranes for molecular separations; 4) the use of radio frequency electric fields to manipulate and fuse individual living cells to create new hybrid cells and as a tool for genetic engineering of cells. His group is also developing a melanoma vaccine based cells expressing a plura-valent set of tumour antigens.


Dr Alistair McEwan

Dr McEwan is Senior Lecturer in Computer Engineering at University of Sydney. Dr McEwan's research into the electrical properties of biological tissue will enable us to better address a range of major health challenges relating to cardiovascular disease, cancer and nutrition. His research aims to lead to the development of new devices to improve diagnosis and treatment of health problems. It is contributing to understanding the influence of the electrical properties of the body can enable us to learn more about neural and cell signalling, leading to better design of electronic implants and ultimately a better understanding of how the brain works. He is passionate about this area of research, as he believes it can lead to new diagnosis techniques, particularly in the area of low-cost devices for home health care, which will help to alleviate the incredible economic strain of the current healthcare system. He has had several enquiries from family members of stroke sufferers about the availability of a portable device for stroke. Clinicians in cardiology, neurology, cancer, respiration and newborn care have also indicated that they would find the devices we are working on very useful in a range of clinical and public health scenarios. As well as this, there has been interest from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in our device for measuring newborn malnutrition in developing countries. All of this interest indicates that there is a real clinical need for the kind of devices we are working to develop. He has been working in this field for eight years, the past three of which have been at the University of Sydney. The faculty's interest in biomedical engineering, along with the size, expertise and interest of the Sydney Medical School, has enabled him to identify and pursue research projects of real clinical need.


Professor Boris Rubinski

Professor Rubinski is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at University of California
Berkeley. He runs a highly successful lab which has the full wet and dry lab facilities to make major contributions on the use of electricity for biomedical actuators and sensors. His group has developed a series of single cell technologies for reversible electroporation that use electric currents through and around the cell as both actuators and sensors for real time control of these processes. His group has also pioneered the use of irreversible electroporation, for tissue ablation. Irreversible electroporation, which ablates cells by affecting only the cell membrane has found important applications in treatment of otherwise incurable cancers, such as in the liver or the pancreas. He mentors a number of PhD students and postdocs many who have received prestigious awards and hold academic positions at leading universities around the world. In the last 5 years, he has been involved in the following business activities: 1) 2000-present Co-Founder "Excellin Life Sciences", a company in the field of biological microdevices, based on a patent in which he is the co-inventor; 2) 2003-2008 Co-Founder “Oncobionic” a company in the field of tissue electroporation, based on a patent in which he is the co-inventor, was sold to AngioDynamics in 2008; 3) 2006 - present his patent was licensed by “Zeltique” a company going public in 2011; 4) 2011- present Co-Founder “Cerebrotech”, a company in the field of internal bleeding detection, based on a patent in which he is the co-applicant.


Professor Seward Rutkove

Professor Rutkove is Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. He has worked full-time at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center since 1995. In total, he spends approximately 75% of his time pursuing translational research, nearly all of it grant-supported. His research involves both animals and human subjects and is focused predominantly on improving biotechnology and bioengineering in relationship to the assessment and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. He also spends approximately 10% of time on directly in patient care and electrophysiological testing. An additional 10% effort is spent on teaching and mentoring (funded impart through a K24 mid-career mentoring award from NIH), and 5% on administrative tasks, including serving as Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Disease. He is a co-founder of Skulpt, Inc (San Francisco, CA) company which focuses on developing innovative devices for the assessment of muscle, for both health and fitness purposes. He serves as the company’s chief scientist since its founding in 2009, mainly involved in improving methods of data analysis, applying new techniques for muscle assessment and interpreting the data in the context of the muscle physiology.


Dr Warren Smith - Ti² Medical

From July 2014 to June 2015 he provided training to a final year student from the Faculty of Engineering and Information technologies, University of Sydney, in the use of the Ti2 Medical company’s commercial and prototype bioimpedance devices. The student used these devices to carry out preliminary investigations at the Rhodes laboratory of Ti2 Medical as part of his final year research project. From March 2011 to March 2015 he was a member of the supervisory panel for PhD candidate BoRa Lee in the Research School of Chemistry at the Australian National University. In this role, he provided technical advice relating to electrical characterization of novel films the student had fabricated and also linked the student to personnel outside of the ANU who were able to train her on use of the specialist instrumentation needed for her project. During this period he also proofread her annual reports and final thesis. In 2008 he was a member of a small research team based at Liverpool Hospital that provided bioimpedance-based acupuncture research experience to two 3rd year medical students from the University of New South Wales. His private company (Samadha Pacifica Pty Ltd) also supplied the bioimpedance device and electrode consumables. From 1999 to 2009, in the role as a Senior Research Scientist in two Sydney-based biomedical companies (Polartechnics Ltd and Nanosonics Ltd), his duties included supervision and training of junior members of the respective research teams in each company in in-house research and development. None of his commercial research was published in academic journals.


Dr Doan Trang Nguyen

Dr Nguyen holds a post-doctoral position in the Sydney School of Medicine at the
University of Sydney