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Meet our Members

Here we celebrate some of our fantastic members and the work that they are doing. A great chance to find out more about our community. If you would like to highlight your research or skills please get in touch.

 

Amy Gelmi, RMIT

What is your area of research?

 

My core research interest is understanding how biomaterials interface with stem cells, and how we can harness cellular response for targeted tissue
engineering. For example, electrical signals delivered via conductive biomaterials can trigger specific differentiation outcomes, but how a stem cell
transduces that physical signal into a biological one is not well understood. If we can determine how the cells are sensing their environment and dynamic
signals, we can better design biomaterials and/or bioreactors for a range of tissue engineering applications.

What technological skill sets do you have?

 

My PhD is in chemistry, specifically electroactive materials chemistry, and I specialized in using atomic force microscopy to investigate changes in these materials with electrical stimulation. During my postdocs, I picked up training in stem cell biology and tissue engineering, and now my research is highly cross-disciplinary. We use advanced bio AFM to probe living cells, we design electroactive materials for stem cell stimulation, and create custom devices to deliver stimulation in a variety of experimental designs and set-ups. If anyone has ever heard me talk, AFM is my favourite technique to use, and a powerful tool for probing biological systems. Recent advances make it far more versatile than simple topography; we can measure biomechanical changes, specific biochemical binding, and even perform single cell biopsies!

 

What career advice would you give your younger self?

 

Seek out a mentor at all stages of your career- it can be so beneficial to have the outside advice from someone to help support your career. When you’re in the thick of your PhD or figuring out where you want to take your career, it can be hard to see the forest for the trees. Having a trusted mentor to help you step back and really think about your choices can be invaluable. Also, why didn’t you learn how to do some simple coding younger Amy?! That could have helped us out now, instead of trying to squeeze in more skill training now.

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