Dr Corwin Kostrub

Dr Kostrub graduated from Michigan State University with a Bachelor of Biochemistry and then went on to do a Masters of Medical Science and then a PhD in Genetics at Harvard University. He worked at Novartis as a Scientist from 1999 to 2000 and then as a Target Manager at Exelixis from 2000 to 2005. For the next 7 years, Dr Kostrub worked at Achaogen as the Director of Developmental Sciences where he saw the development of Plazomicin in Clinical Trials. From 2013 onwards, he has been an Independent Preclinical Consultant at CK Scientific in addition to carrying out his role as Senior Director of Preclinical Safety and Pharmacology at Biotie Therapies Corporation from 2014 to today.

Professor Ross McKinnon

Professor McKinnon is a former Flinders School of Medicine PhD graduate where he joined Flinders as Director of the Flinders Centre for Innovation in Cancer in 2011 after 16 years with UniSA and was appointed as a Beat Cancer Professorial Chair for Flinders in 2012. Professor McKinnon is currently Dean (Research) for the College of Medicine and Public Health. At UniSA he was the inaugural Director of the Sansom Institute (2005-2009) and Associate Head of the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. An academic pharmacist, Professor McKinnon has broad research interests in the pharmacology, pharmaceutical biotechnology and molecular oncology areas. He is the co-inventor of patents relating to cancer chemoprevention (PharmaQest) and the discovery of novel anti-inflammatory compounds. He is a Board Member of Therapeutic Innovation Australia and the Channel 7 Children’s Research Foundation. Professor McKinnon is currently a Vice-President of the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP), which represents more than three million pharmacists and Pharmaceutical Scientists globally.

Dr Helmut Thissen

Dr Thissen obtained his PhD in Chemistry from RWTH Aachen University in Germany, where he also started to translate biomedical research into the clinic while working at the Interdisciplinary Centre for Clinical Research. He moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1998 to join the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), where he is now serving as a Senior Principal Research Scientist and Team Leader in the Manufacturing Business Unit. In addition he serves as a Program Leader in the Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Polymers. Apart from frequently serving as an expert evaluator for multiple national and international institutions, ranging from the NHMRC to the European Commission, he is also an Adjunct Professor at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan. Prestigious awards for his interdisciplinary research include the CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement and the Newton Turner Award. He plays a particularly active role in maintaining the profile of Australian biomedical research nationally and internationally, for example as President of the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (ASBTE) and a frequent conference organiser and chair.

Dr Mark Blaskovich

Dr Blaskovich is a Principal Investigator and Program Coordinator for the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery, and a Senior Research Officer at the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland. Since starting at UQ in 2010, Dr Blaskovich has been working on developing new antibiotics to treat drug resistant pathogens and the use of modified antibiotics to detect bacterial infections. He has extensive medicinal chemistry expertise and over 15 years of industrial drug development experience, most recently as Chief Operating Officer of Mimetica where he developed a drug that recently completed Phase 2 human clinical trials. Dr Blaskovich has published over fifty research articles, authored ‘The Handbook on Syntheses of Amino Acids’, and is an inventor on ten patent families with over 100 granted and pending applications.

Professor Clive Prestidge

Professor Prestidge has a PhD from Bristol University, UK in the field of colloid and interface science. He joined the University of South Australia as a post-doctoral fellow to investigate the colloid and surface properties of minerals, particularly applications to sulphide mineral flotation and alumina crystallization. More recently he was a founding academic at the Ian Wark Research Institute and played a leadership role as the Associate Director (Nanomedicine). He is currently a Professor at The School of Pharmacy and Medical Science and leads a research group with a primary focus on nano-structured drug delivery systems and interfacial science applied to pharmaceutical formulation and delivery.

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