Our Alumni Fellows
Dr Alex Hayes
Alex works as a clinical engineer in WA Health and is a cofounder and chief technology officer of Inova Medical, a start-up developing a device for abscess treatment. After completing his Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of Western Australia he undertook PhD studies at Curtin University on the mechanical properties of tendon, which provided him with access to the Bioengineering division at Royal Perth Hospital. His continued work and research in the field of biomedical engineering has given him exposure to the entire medical device life cycle, from designing custom medical devices to asset management within the hospital system. Alex is a 2016 alumnus and participant in the ON Accelerate 5 program.
Dr Caroline Chapman
Caroline is a Research Development Advisor at the University of Western Australia. Caroline started her career in molecular oncology, gaining her PhD at The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow UK. After several postdoctoral researcher positions Caroline’s expertise in genetics lead her to the Heart Research Institute and PathWest in Perth. Her 15 year research career lead to successful grants, publications and the graduation of many students. Whilst taking time from her research to raise a family, Caroline completed an MBA at Curtin University and now uses her research and business knowledge to support researchers in finding funding, industry partners and developing and translating their research ideas. Caroline is keen to promote interdisciplinary research, as this nexus of often two unrelated areas is where innovation is found. Caroline was part of the winning Biodesign team 2018 JRTech.
Dr Daphne Lakhiani
Daphne is a clinical research associate at BRITElab and a UWA graduate with a first class honours degree in Biomedical Science. She was awarded an IPRS scholarship to pursue her PhD in cancer research, and is currently in her final year. Science has always intrigued her, but compassion has always fuelled her desire to help create positive change. Daphne is a dynamic and driven individual who welcomes challenges, embraces learning and loves meeting new people. She thrives on a daily dose of sports/physical activity and delights in a good read for rest and relaxation. Daphne prides herself on working towards a common goal, because she believes accomplishing something as a team is far more rewarding than alone. Her experience in research has taught her patience, perseverance and determination are crucial to achieving success. Her one goal in life is to live true to her fullest potential in the hope of achieving a better world for years to come. Daphne participated in the 2018 Biodesign course as part of team Dermacool.
Eldin Rostom is a mechanical engineering graduate from Curtin University who is passionate about driving global innovation in healthcare with a particular focus on Australia, the APAC region and his native country, Mauritius.
Since pivoting his career from the resources industry to healthcare, he co-founded two early stage startups, “Calor Medical” which aims at improving first aid for burn injuries and “Diag-Nose”, a diagnostic tool for acute bacterial sinusitis which was created during his time at Stanford University, taking part in an ENT Biodesign Bootcamp. He is also currently working with two other medical innovation companies in Perth involved in innovation for Orthopaedics and Paediatric ENT.
Hayley completed the Perth Biodesign course in 2018 as a part of the JR TeCH team and loved it so much that she returned as a mentor. Her training and experience is as a medical researcher in the lab and she has a science degree majoring in Microbiology. Hayley has worked across the diverse fields of marine microbiology, bioastronautics, breast cancer development, neurodevelopment and brain disorders. She’s now co-founder of HoneyBoost, a range of fortified honeys (real-food supplements) currently being launched, while also starting a Masters of Dietetics and Nutrition to become a dietitian.
Dr James Chen
James is a Junior doctor at Fiona Stanley Hospital, following completion of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at UWA in 2015. He has been working to improve the efficiency of junior doctor’s work with hospital executives. He has also had the opportunity to experience firsthand the devastating consequence of lower socioeconomic areas including in Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa and remote communities in the Kimberly, which has nurtured a passion for equality and ensuring sustainable holistic solutions; not ‘band-aids for a broken leg’. James took part in the 2017 Perth Biodesign course and returned in 2018 as an alumni mentor.
Richard is passionate about improving and innovating healthcare in Australia and globally. Currently, Richard acts as the Vice Chair for HISA WA (Australia's peak digital health body), as an advisory board member for Wise Realities and is committed to building the healthcare innovation ecosystem in WA. Richard has previously worked with Michael Mosley and other doctors in the area of developing sustainable healthcare to individuals/groups with diseases of lifestyle and at PwC Australia in healthcare consulting.
Richard aims to change healthcare in Australia to a more patient focused system that rewards quality outcomes rather than fee for service. He also believes that technology, innovation and entrepreneurship will play a vital role in the continued improvement of the healthcare system.
Cettina is an experienced senior leader, having held roles across the health, education and finance sectors, in a range of different organisations including government, start-up and corporate. With a key focus and strength in building innovation, organisational capability and strategy, Cettina has deployed a number of different projects focussed in the areas of turn-around and growth, ranging from product development to organisational transformation. She has build cross-sector collaborations, partnerships and has a passion for applying human centred design and agile approaches to designing solutions and delivering results.
A graduate of the Master of Business Leadership program at Curtin University, with a Bachelor of Arts and Honours in Psychology and Philosophy, Cettina applies her knowledge and professional expertise to create an impact, and help solve some of the world’s toughest problems. Cettina is also a graduate of the 2016 SPARK Co-Lab Design Course and an Alumni Fellow of the Stanford Biodesign Innovation Program.
Martina is a medical researcher with a strong passion for innovative medical technologies and devices. After working as a molecular biologist and geneticist both locally and internationally, in academia and industry, Martina is currently completing her Ph.D. in Neurodevelopment at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research through The University of Western Australia.
In 2017, Martina participated as an alumnus in the Spark Co-Lab Design Course and as a result, today she is a co-founder of the start-up company Biacor and co-inventor of AbYWin™, a novel technology to improve the diagnosis of prosthetic joint infection.
Dr Shane Stone
Shane is a commercial research scientist with over 10 years’ industry experience in the Biotechnology and Drug Discovery sectors. He is co-inventor on two provisional patents and currently works as a group leader at Phylogica, a Perth-based Biotechnology firm co-located with the Telethon Kids Institute.
Chiara Giovanrosa’s vision is to lead organisational performance improvement through digital solution allowing better insight on operations and predictability. This can be achieved either through a pivotal role that connects the science with the funding enabling the research, innovation, testing and implementation, or as chief of operations pursuing partnership programs with technology providers.
Chiara has also taken an active role in the Med Tech start up space by co-founding Biacor Pty Ltd and performing the company Director and Secretary role. In alignment with Biacor mission and vision, Chiara’s objective is to progress the work started during the Biodesign program and explore commercialisation pathways and collaboration with key players.
Dr Dave Parsons
I began my clinical experience as an occupational therapist working in hand and upper limb rehabilitation. My particular interest in this area of practice is the rehabilitation of the upper extremity following trauma. After 7 years of clinical experience in this field I decided I wanted to return to study and began my Master of Business Administration at the University of Western Australia. While halfway through my MBA, I began a full-time teaching position at Curtin University in the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work. Currently, I am still at Curtin as the Postgraduate Course Coordinator within the school. I am also completing my PhD investigating the feasibility and effectiveness of an iPad application for children on the Autism Spectrum. I completed the CSIRO ON Prime program where our team was selected to attend the ON Accelerator boot camp. Our device was a 3D printed robotic exoskeleton for use in upper limb rehabilitation.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 2016, Jacob has been working in a product development role in the mining industry where he has successfully advanced products to commercial prototype and production stages. Jacob wants to use these skills and transition into the medical space where he feels he can have a greater positive impact on the community. At university, Jacob was heavily involved with the Curtin Motorsport Team and attended three Australasian competitions in Melbourne, designed and fabricated two chassis, had countless sleepless nights and learnt an immense amount. Jacob was a participant of the 2019 Perth Biodesign for Medtech course and returned as an alumni fellow in the 2020/2021 Medtech course.
Nikhilesh Bappoo is a passionate biomedical engineer specialising in vascular engineering research and medical devices. He has a vision to use medical research and engineering innovation to modernize and improve the quality, delivery and equity of global healthcare. His research spans from “engineering the placenta” by simulating the blood flow to predict developmental abnormalities during pregnancy to predicting aneurysm rupture, hence assisting vascular surgeons best plan treatment. Nik’s entrepreneurial mindset has led to the formation of VeinTech, a WA medical device company, aiming to reduce the high rate of failure of first pass cannulation. He also manages product development, regulatory affairs and quality management for VitalTrace, another WA medical device company developing a novel biosensor device to improve the childbirth process for mothers, clinicians and babies.
Huan Ting Ong
Ting is a medical researcher currently completing her final year of PhD on Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at the Ear Science Institute Australia through UWA. Upon her completion in Bachelor of Science (Hons) and Bachelor of Forensic Science at Murdoch University, Ting worked as a Research Assistant for 2 years before embarking on her PhD journey. In addition to the area of research, her previous experience working on a commercial project led her to explore the industry opportunities beyond academia. Ting was a participant of the 2019 Perth Biodesign for Medtech course as part of the Best Audience Team TT Medical, and returned as an alumni fellow in the 2020/2021 Medtech course.