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We recognise our stars.

 AWARDS 

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2023

ASBTE Award of Excellence - Prof. Penny Martens

Penny has served on the ASBTE Executive Committee in multiple roles over the past 16 years. She joined the committee as an Ordinary Member (2007 – 2009), then served as Treasurer for 8 years (2009 – 2017), followed by Vice President (2017 – 2018) and finally President (2018 – 2020). Penny had many accomplishments during her term as President, including the conceptualisation and execution of multiple policies that led to positive change in the Society, including the 1) Data management policy, 2) Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equity Policy, and 3) Conference Policy. These policies ensure the Society’s values are upheld and operationalised. 

 

Penny is particularly passionate about training the next generation of biomaterial and tissue engineering scientists. To this end, she spearheaded the 2019 Inaugural Early-Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop, which included sessions focusing on career advancement, publishing, CV building, and commercialisation/translation of research. Moreover, by working collaboratively with the ECR sub-committee, she has led the Society to commit a fixed budget every year to support ECR-led initiatives. Following feedback from the ECR workshop, Penny also established Society’s mentoring scheme, an initiative aimed at pairing ECRs with more senior researchers in the Society to provide mentorship and career guidance. Both initiatives have become an integral part of the Society’s offerings to its members, with the ECR workshop now a part of every annual conference and the mentoring scheme running twice/year, demonstrating Penny’s lasting impact on the Society. 

Penny currently serves as a board member on the International Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering, representing ASBTE, thus continuing to make direct contributions to and advocate for the Society. 

Penny’s research has made a significant contribution to the discipline of biomaterials and tissue engineering, in particular in the development of new polymeric materials and biosynthetic hydrogels for biomedical applications. She has published 88 research outputs, including 64 journal articles, 1 book, 6 book chapters and 17 conference papers. Her publications have received >4300 citations (Scholar, h-index 34).

Penny has received $2.6M in research funding to date (CI and AI), and numerous awards including the prestigious NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award which recognises the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators (Australian Institute of Policy & Science). She has delivered 23 invited seminars, presentations and keynote lectures, demonstrating her reputation as a leader in the field. She currently serves on the editorial board of Regenerative Biomaterials and Biomaterials Research demonstrating the international recognition of her research and standing in the field. 

Penny has demonstrated outstanding leadership and mentoring skills throughout her academic career. She has supervised 5 PhDs to completion as primary supervisor, with another one currently in progress. She has been an active co-supervisor on an additional 3 PhDs. She has further supervised 2 Masters by Research to completion. To date, 4 post-doctoral researchers have worked under her supervisor and mentorship. In addition, she has hosted 5 PhD candidates from other institutions for substantial periods of time. Previous mentees have gone on to leadership roles in academia, clinical practice and industry. Penny’s passion for mentoring is also evident from the multiple ECR initiatives she has established in ASBTE, as outlined above. 

ASBTE Emerging Investigator Award  - Dr. Nathalie Bock

Penny has served on the ASBTE Executive Committee in multiple roles over the past 16 years. She joined the committee as an Ordinary Member (2007 – 2009), then served as Treasurer for 8 years (2009 – 2017), followed by Vice President (2017 – 2018) and finally President (2018 – 2020). Penny had many accomplishments during her term as President, including the conceptualisation and execution of multiple policies that led to positive change in the Society, including the 1) Data management policy, 2) Inclusion, Diversity and Gender Equity Policy, and 3) Conference Policy. These policies ensure the Society’s values are upheld and operationalised. 

 

Penny is particularly passionate about training the next generation of biomaterial and tissue engineering scientists. To this end, she spearheaded the 2019 Inaugural Early-Career Researcher (ECR) Workshop, which included sessions focusing on career advancement, publishing, CV building, and commercialisation/translation of research. Moreover, by working collaboratively with the ECR sub-committee, she has led the Society to commit a fixed budget every year to support ECR-led initiatives. Following feedback from the ECR workshop, Penny also established Society’s mentoring scheme, an initiative aimed at pairing ECRs with more senior researchers in the Society to provide mentorship and career guidance. Both initiatives have become an integral part of the Society’s offerings to its members, with the ECR workshop now a part of every annual conference and the mentoring scheme running twice/year, demonstrating Penny’s lasting impact on the Society. 

Nathalie’s depth of knowledge and communications skills have contributed not only to her research but form the basis of her outstanding leadership and mentoring skills. She has undertaken several leadership roles on ARC ITTC projects and has been a Deputy Director of the Centre in Regenerative Medicine at QUT, successfully supporting projects and students in biomaterials and tissue engineering fields (completed >14 students). Since 2022, Nathalie is also the Deputy Director of the Max Planck Queensland Centre (MPQC) for the Materials Science of Extracellular Matrices, with 64 members from >10 different institutions. MPQC is the first Australian Max Planck Centre (23 worldwide in 10 countries). Nathalie is instrumental in coordinating the 7 research themes including Human ECM, Network and Soft Robotics based on biomaterials and tissue engineering. Nathalie also leads ECR initiatives and is the Academic Lead for Postgraduate Research in the School of Biomedical Sciences at QUT (180 students), demonstrating her distinctiveness as a role model to be a scholar who can lead postgraduate research. 

ASBTE Conference Attendance Awarda  

 

Congratulations to everyone who received a Conference Attendance Award in 2023! 

Some quotes from the recipients:

"The ASBTE 2023 Conference gave me the valuable opportunity to present my research, network with exceptional researchers in my field and create connections with my peers."

"ASBTE is a great society, providing professional and welcoming platform for junior researchers like me to learn and discuss science and forge collaborations. 10 out of 10 would come again!"

"Attending the ASBTE conference at the Te Pae Convention Center in Christchurch was an eye-opening experience. An awesome array of tissue engineering presentations held in a beautiful venue."

"The ASBTE is a friendly and helpful family which will support young career to develop their own academic ability and build network."

 

ASBTE Lab Travel Awards

 

Emma Gill, Swinburne University of Technology visiting Boston University

"In the last quarter of 2022 I visited the Prof. Michelle Sander Ultrafast Optics group at Boston University in Boston, in Massachusetts, USA. Our research groups had an existing collaboration through an AFOSR Biophysics program research grant, which resulted in a publication in 2020 . However, with the travel restrictions, as a result of a global pandemic, research output from this collaboration had significantly slowed, being mostly constricted to in silico based research. With the reopening of boarders, the trialling of covid-normal
policies, and funding support from the ASBTE 2022 Lab
Travel Grant, I was able to travel to Boston to continue our experimental research collaborations."

 

 

Brenna Devlin, Queensland University of Technology visiting Oregon University

"During this exchange I received an immersive experience in a world leading lab. I was able to conduct various 3D printing activities and access technology not available anywhere else, including a high throughput melt electrowriting (MEW) printer which I was trained to use and highly beneficial to my research work. I was also trained in forms of microscopy that were new to me and had hands-on experience with engineering and programming tasks."

 

Stephanie Doyle, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology visiting Rizzoli Institute of Orthopaedics, Bologna


"My sole focus at Boston University was to adopt the different models to answer these microscopy questions. Since returning to Melbourne, I’ve spent 2 solid weeks processing the data, of which is now ready to analyse and write into a paper for my PhD thesis, with hopes to publish by the end of 2023. As a point of interest to the microscopy community, I was also invited to present my research at the 27th Australian Conference on Microscopy and Microanalysis in Perth, January 2023. Visiting Boston was an incredible research and cultural experience. I hope to go back and gather more data before the end of my PhD. I’d like to thank the ASBTE for their generosity and belief in supporting students and early career researchers. Their support helps us create brighter futures that are enriched with worldly research experiences."

See the full history of our award-winners here

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