Monday 20 November

A/Prof Caitlin Byrt

Bioengineering to address global challenges

Associate Professor Caitlin Byrt is a researcher at the ANU Research School of Biology. Caitlin is a co-founder of Membrane Transporter Engineers (MTE) Pty Ltd, a biotech start-up that develops membrane components for crop improvement purposes and for selective nutrient, metal, mineral and salt separation from complex solutions.

Dr Richard Morris

Information theory, thermodynamics and more: a physics primer for Biologists

Richard is a theoretical physicist who runs a research group at UNSW, Sydney, as part of the EMBL Australia program. His work focuses on applying and developing concepts from statistical and theoretical soft-condensed matter physics, as well as applied mathematics, to describe biological systems. He came to Australia in 2019, following a period as a Simons Fellow at the National Centre for Biological Sciences, in India. Prior to that, he completed postdoctoral appointments at the University of Warwick in the UK, and the prestigious Institute for Theoretical Physics, in Saclay, France. He obtained his PhD from the University of Manchester, and his Masters from University of Edinburgh.


Tuesday 21 November

dr Jennifer Payne

Scientist and Communicator: science isn’t done until it is communicated.

Dr Jennifer Payne is a scientist, startup founder and CEO. As a Research Scientist at CSIRO she is working to combat antimicrobial resistance. Jen is an awarding-winning communicator with a passion for improving scientific literacy. This sparked her to found the company Curiosity Factory, which runs STEMpals, a penpal program that inspires the next generation of scientists one letter at a time.


dr John Berengut

A Designtist’s Guide to Making Fantastic Figures

Jonathan Berengut is a postdoc at the EMBL Australia node at UNSW, but his first career was in the design industry. There, he studied, worked and lectured for more than 14 years, working his way up to senior designer at a small product design consultancy, creating products and graphics for a wide range of clients. Switching to science in 2012, he did a Bachelor of Science with hons and the UNSW University Medal in 2015, and then a PhD on the design and synthesis of DNA origami nanorobots. He’s won prizes including first place at BioMod, the international bio-molecular design competition, and first place at UNSW’s and U21’s global 3-minute thesis competitions. In his scientific career, Jonathan has retained his passion for design, and wants to help scientists be better visual communicators.

Prof Julie Simpson

Visualising Data: The good, the bad and the error bar

Professor Julie Simpson is Head of Biostatistics at the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health and Director of the Methods and Implementation Support for Clinical and Health research (MISCH) Hub at the University of Melbourne. She has 30 years’ experience collaborating on multidisciplinary research projects with clinicians, laboratory scientists, epidemiologists and health policy-makers at universities and hospitals (and even refugee camps) worldwide. Her main area of research is the integration of biostatistics and mathematical modelling to improve the control of infectious diseases.

Cheng Soon Ong

Where to measure?

Cheng Soon Ong is a senior principal research scientist at the Statistical Machine Learning Group, Data61, CSIRO, and is the director of the machine learning and artificial intelligence future science platform at CSIRO. He is also an adjunct associate professor at the Australian National University. His research interest is to enable scientific discovery with machine learning, and has collaborated widely with biologists and astronomers. He is co-author of the textbook Mathematics for Machine Learning, and his career has spanned multiple roles in Malaysia, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia.


Wednesday 22 November

dr Daniela Zalcenstein

Single Cell Transcriptomics

Dr. Daniela Zalcenstein leads the projects team in the Advanced Genomics Facility (AGF) at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI). Her background is in biotechnology engineering, and she obtained her PhD with the Department of Molecular Genetics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in 2007. Daniela provides single-cell omics, spatial omics and high-throughput transcriptomics solutions across a variety of cutting-edge technology platforms. Dr. Zalcenstein will provide the technical skills and management experience required to effectively execute highly complex single cell research projects while keeping to timelines and budgets.

Prof Eduardo Eyras

Characterising the (epi)transcriptome at single-molecule resolution with long-read sequencing

Eduardo Eyras is an EMBL Australia Group Leader and Professor at the Australian National University (ANU), where he develops computational methods to study transcriptome and epitranscriptomes and their alterations in cancer using long-read sequencing technologies. Before joining ANU, Eduardo Eyras worked at the Sanger Institute (2001-2004) and was group leader at the Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain (2005-2019). During this time, he developed methods to annotate RNA alternative splicing in genomes, contributed to the landmark analyses of the human, mouse, rat, chicken, and cow genomes, and led a research program on Machine Learning applied to RNA biology to discovery new roles of RNA processing in cancer.

Thursday 23 November

Prof Adam Perriman

Engineered Living Materials: From artificial membrane binding proteins to 3D bioprinted tissue constructs

Adam Perriman is a Professor of Bioengineering at the ANU and holds a joint appointment with the School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine, University of Bristol. He is internationally distinguished for his pioneering research on the construction and study of novel synthetic biomolecular systems, and his research interests span the fields of biophysics, synthetic biology and tissue engineering. His scientific contributions led to him being named a Wellcome Trust Frontiers Innovator in 2015, and in 2016, he was awarded the British Biophysical Society Young Investigator’s Award and Medal. In 2019, he was named a UK Research and Innovation Future Leaders Fellow. He is also founder of the cell therapy spinout biotech company CytoSeek, which has raised in excess of $10M.


Dr Thierry JArde

Small Size, Big Potential: Recent Advances in Organoid Technology

Thierry is a Laboratory Head in the Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology at Monash University. He is a cancer cell biologist who has worked for the last 15 years with organoids and mouse models to study stem cell function in health and disease.
He completed his doctoral studies at the School of Pharmacy (Clermont-Ferrand, France) before conducting postdoctoral training under the supervision of Professor Trevor Dale (School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, UK) and Professor Helen Abud (Biomedicine Discovery Institute, Monash University).
Thierry is also the Director of the Organoid program at the Monash BDI. He collaborates with clinicians to grow organoids from human tissues. These organoids are currently being used for a variety of biological studies, including drug testing.

Friday 24 November


Multiparametric cytometry data in human immunology

A/Prof Boyle is a Snow Medical Fellow, CSL Centenary Fellow and Working Group head at the Burnet Institute, leading the Cellular Responses to Disease and Vaccination team. Her program focuses on identifying the cellular mechanisms underpinning antibody development, and how these processes are disrupted by malaria infection. A/Prof is using this knowledge to identify and test host directed therapies that can redirect the immune response to malaria to enhance protective immunity.


Dr Helen McGuire

High Dimensional Cytometry led Immunophenotyping to Dissect underlying Immune Patterns across Human Disease

Dr Helen McGuire is a Senior Research Fellow within the Infection, Immunity & Inflammation theme, School of Medical Sciences, FMH. Her research focus and interests lie in the clinical application of immunological studies to a range of human diseases, and she is particularly passionate about applying recent technological advances such as mass cytometry. She is a currently elected Councilor for the International Society for Advancement of Cytometry (ISAC) as well as ISAC Marylou Ingram Scholar, immediate past President of the Australasian Cytometry Society, and immediate past state Councillor of the Australian and New Zealand Society for Immunology.


A/Prof Azure HErmes

Indigenous Genomics – The Power Community Consultation
@azure_peacock | @ncig2013

Assoc Professor (in practice) Azure Hermes is the Deputy Director of the National Centre for Indigenous Genomics at the Australian National University. She is from the Gimuy Walubara Yidinji people, traditional custodians of the Cairns area in Queensland. Azure is also NCIG’s Community Engagement Coordinator responsible for engaging with Indigenous community leaders, senior custodians, and community individuals and families. In this role Azure communicates the story of the NCIG Collection and facilitates processes of consent in accordance with NCIG’s ethical oversight andmajority-Indigenous governance. Azure has developed an interest in, and understanding of, complex scientific concepts and values cultural approaches to decision-making practices.


Dr Ehsan Nabavi

Large Language Models and Science

Dr. Ehsan Nabavi is a Senior Lecturer in Technology and Society at the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science at ANU. He is an engineer-sociologist. Ehsan has established and leads ANU’s Responsible Innovation Lab, where he studies the social, ethical, and environmental implications of innovation in society. He was a Research Fellow at ANU School of Cybernetics (2018-2020) and the Science, Technology, and Society group at Harvard Kennedy School (2016-2017).


Dr Nathan Reynolds

Chat GPT: applications in medical, health and science research.

Dr Nathan Reynolds is a postdoctoral researcher in the Clear Vision Research group at The Australian National University. He recently completed his PhD, focusing on the fundamental processes of neural development, with emphasis on the impact of single molecules on brain development and animal behaviour.

At Clear Vision Research, he is involved in the study of various models of age-related macular degeneration, and actively engages in industry collaborations to test novel therapeutics.

In addition to his research, Dr Reynolds is interested in the recent advancements of AI tools and how they can be utilised responsibly to enhance the efficiency of medical and health research.