Team Nervocity is working to improve facial palsy rehabilitation post facial nerve injury.
What drew you to the problem you are working to solve in Biodesign?
We wanted to work on a problem which would make a positive impact on a large number of people. We also wanted to work in an area which was within the scope of our skillset to ensure that we worked on something realistic that we could foresee completing.
Nervocity (L-R) Paul Tonz, Katie Wang, Natasha Dale, Matthew Smith. Not pictured: Business mentor Dr Liz Dallimore, Alumni mentor Nik Bappoo.
What have you learned/gained from the Biodesign process?
We have learned how to identify unmet clinical needs and work as a team to produce creative solutions to the unmet clinical needs identified. We have also learned how to think strategically about the business strategy surrounding bringing a new clinical device offering to market.
What has been your favourite thing about the Biodesign experience?
We enjoyed the clinical placements at the beginning of the course, they really expanded our knowledge of the acute and long term treatment of both burns and cardiovascular disease. Learning how to identify what is a good idea and why an idea works or doesn’t work has also been fantastic.
What do you want to be doing 10 years from now?
Hopefully we will have an invention or two under our belts and we will have the financial freedom to pursue further creative/inventive pursuits.
What would be your advice to someone considering taking the course in 2022?
Choose a topic/project you are really passionate about. Meet and discuss with your team regularly. Many of the best ideas are ones that arise when you least expect it.
Katie is a newly graduated junior doctor from UWA and has recently undertaken rural clinical work. Katie has undertaken research projects ranging from steroidomics during her undergraduate degree to teleophthalmology and intra-articular device use in surgery during her post-graduate studies. She has been involved with 180 Degrees Consulting WA, a student led consultancy, and has worked with prominent NFPs.
Matthew is a Masters of Mechanical Engineering student at UWA. He is currently working on his final year thesis on a surgery planning method to identify the location of the seizure onset zone for removal in epilepsy patients, using warped MRI images from CT scans. Matthew previously worked for a WA start-up manufacturing a tool intended to revolutionise roof carpentry.
Natasha is a PhD student at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research currently working towards the completion of her thesis investigating the molecular pharmacology of central nervous system receptors. From this course, Natasha hopes to gain hands-on experience in the early stages of the development pipeline to gain invaluable insights that will inform her research and career moving forward.
Paul is a pharmacist and part owner of Amcal Community Pharmacy in Como. He has been a partner since 2015, with a role in dispensary management and seeking out new markets and opportunities for the business. Paul is passionate about figuring out clever ways to improve efficiency and about identifying and then solving people’s problems.
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