We recognise our stars.
Nominations for 2022 have closed. In 2023, we will be seeking nominations for the ASBTE Award of Excellence and Emerging Investigator Award
Prof Andrea O'Connor
Professor O’Connor’s research is in the area of biomaterials and tissue engineering, with a particular focus on the development of porous and antimicrobial materials for medical implants. Andrea has published >100 peer-reviewed journal articles in top journals in the field and her her work has been cited over 4,500 times. Andrea’s work has been supported by >$20M in grants as a chief investigator, including funding from the ARC (>$11M, 5 Discovery Projects, 1 Linkage Project, 2 Industry Transformation Training Centres, 1 International Researcher Exchange Award and 5 LIEF grants), NHMRC, Cancer Council Victoria, the Victorian government, as well as industry funding.
Andrea’s work contributes significantly to technology innovations and commercialization of research. She has 3 provisional and 1 PCT patents and her patent has been cited more than twice of the average in Australia. She has key collaborations across a range of industries, including with Anatomics, Cooke Medical, CSL Bioplasma, GlaxoSmithKline Australia and Burra Foods Australia. Andrea led the engineering team on the world-first Neopec clinical trial of breast reconstruction using tissue engineering. Her impact is also obvious from invitations to serve on key national bodies involved in research translation and commercialisation, including on the Centre for Commercialisation of Regenerative Medicine Australia Industry Interface Committee, Regenerative Medicine Industry Interface steering committee and Neopec Pty Ltd management committee. Similarly, she contributes in this area within the University of Melbourne, serving on the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery Translational Research Advisory Committee and on the Graeme Clark Institute Advisory Committee. Andrea also uses her expertise to consult within the medical device field, including for Rhinomed, Anatomics, LBT Innovation and Shine Lawyers among others, demonstrating her impact across fields and industries.
ASBTE Emerging Leadership Award - Dr Amy Gelmi
This award recognizes a member of ASBTE who has Demonstrated outstanding contributions to the Society and potential in developing, maintaining and promoting the goals of the Society and wider Biomaterials/Tissue Engineering communities.
Dr Amy Gelmi
Since her return to Australia as a Vice Chancellor’s Research Fellow at RMIT, Dr Gelmi has been a dedicated and active member of ASTBE. She had gone above and beyond what is expected of an ECR in terms of service and leadership to the organisation. Most of her service work has been in the form of organising professional development workshops for students and ECRs, illustrating service to the organisation, leadership, and dedication to mentorship. For instance, she took it upon herself to organise a Melbourne-based half day workshop on CV and interview prep prior to the pandemic.
During the pandemic, she continued to illustrate leadership and dedication to mentorship through the organisation and running of the ASBTE Research Showcase and the ASBTE Virtual Catchup in 2022. At the Research Showcase, she provided invaluable help in organising and run the research presentations, and she was solely responsible for organising the morning professional development session on preparing job application materials. Additionally, she aided in organising the ASBTE Virtual Catchup in 2022, and she ran the discussion group about the benefits and challenges associated with overseas experience. As we are emerging from the pandemic, Dr Gelmi continues to illustrate leadership and mentorship to the society. She was on the organising committee for the ASBTE 2022 conference.
Beyond her significant contributions to ASBTE in terms of service, leadership, and mentorship, Amy is an excellent scientist and has contributed significantly to the advancement of the disciplines of biomaterials and tissue engineering. Specifically, she received excellent research training, including time at the Stevens Lab at Imperial College London; she has 30 peer reviewed publication in high impact journals (e.g., Small, Advanced Heathcare Materials, ACS Nano, Biomaterials, Nature Comm, etc.); an h-index of 17, illustrating the impact of her work; and several of her contributions have been invited, illustrating her profile in the field. Her excellence in science also resulted in her being awarded the prestigious Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship at RMIT and securing a highly competitive ARC Discovery Project.
ASBTE Award of Research Excellence - Prof. Andrea O’Connor and Prof. Sally McArthur
This award recognizes a member of ASBTE who has made a significant contribution to the discipline of biomaterials and tissue engineering.
Prof Sally McArthur
Professor McArthur has contributed a substantial body of research across multiple disciplines with significant translational focus. Her major contributions are best illustrated by highlighting the translational nature of her research, in which she demonstrates excellence in fundamental understanding of the biointerface and applies this to improving medical device performance.
Professor MacArthur’s research has contributed significantly to generating new knowledge on the role of surface chemistry in controlling biological interactions such as protein adsorption. As an example, through developing new surface modification approaches, her research has contributed to improved biocompatibility and infection resistance of contact lenses and other ocular devices. She continues to provide insightful understanding of the fundamental surface science underpinning bacterial adhesion and biofilm formation on devices. In addition to this, Professor McArthur continues to expand her impact in other areas of biomaterials and tissue engineering research through, for example, development of pro-angiogenic strategies that can be applied to enhance perfusion of 3D tissue constructs.
As a key player in the global biomedical engineering community, Professor McArthur is recognised as an international expert in surface modification and biointerfaces. She has worked as a tenured academic in lead institutions in the discipline in the United Kingdom and Australia and is Visiting Professor at leading institutions in China and Switzerland. She is the Editor of Biointerphases, and since taking up this role in 2017, has worked to expand the cultural and gender representation in this key venue for the discipline.
She has also over the years established consultancies and strong collaborations with several MedTech companies, including Aquadiagnostic, MiniFab, BlueChiip and Optiscan. She is recognised as a leader in translational research through appointments such as Non-Executive Director of NIRTek, a MedTech start-up company spun out from Baker and Swinburne research that has developed IP around an intracoronary device to detect atherosclerotic plaques stability in situ using near infra-red light.