The Team

Meet the Australian Science and Innovation Forum:

MCRI profile_2014_small3Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea leads international collaborations to develop novel cell and gene therapies for neurodegenerative diseases at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Dr Evans-Galea currently serves on the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy Immune Responses Committee, the Australasian Gene and Cell Therapy Society Executive and the Australian Science and Innovation Forum with the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering. Dr Evans-Galea is also an MCRI business development and commercialization intern and is actively seeking collaborative industry partners to facilitate broader application and translation of her gene and cell therapy program in Australia. Through these different roles Dr Evans-Galea works to extend the capacity of gene therapy research and accelerate personalized medicine in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific. Committed to empowering early career researchers and women in STEMM, Dr Evans-Galea was founding chair of the Australian Early- and Mid-Career Researcher Forum with the Australian Academy of Science, serves on the Science in Australia Gender Equity Expert Advisory Group, and is co-founder of Women in STEMM Australia. Twitter: @MVEG001

James TicknerDr James Tickner is an applied nuclear and X-ray physicist, who develops novel technologies to solve challenging measurement and imaging problems in the minerals and security industries. He leads a team that builds, commissions and commercialises novel analysers and scanners for real-world applications. He is co-founder of The Global Young Academy, an international organisation for young researchers.

Lauren GiorgioDr Lauren Giorgio is a Business Development Associate at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute. Her role is to manage projects that ultimately enable effective capture and translation of the institute’s intellectual property. This includes opportunity identification, partnering, marketing and communication, agreements and licensing, strategic/business plans and management of institute spin out companies. Lauren has a PhD in cancer biology from the University of Adelaide.

Ken Seidenman

Dr Ken Seidenman is an overseas qualified (patent) attorney specializing in biotechnology at FB Rice. Ken moved to Melbourne, Australia from the U.S. where he worked in law firms on both coasts, and in a pluripotent stem cell-based start-up company in the San Francisco bay area. His research background is in molecular neuroscience, electrophysiology, and stem cells. He is passionate about securing valuable IP for his clients, and helping to bring about a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in this wonderful country.

Dr Dania Yaghobian is currently working in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry with previous experience in medical research developing novel therapies for kidney diseases. She has a strong interest in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Her passion lies in making positive changes towards a more innovative culture in Australia.

Nadine Brew-2016Dr Nadine Brew works in medical research commercialisation and intellectual property management at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research. She has previously participated in the Molecules 2 Medicine research commercialisation program and undertaken a Churchill travel fellowship learning about drug development in USA, Germany and Singapore. Earlier in the year she completed a placement with the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund. Currently she is jointly appointed as a commercialisation analyst at Monash Innovation. Nadine has a Ph.D in neonatal lung injury from Monash University and was previously a postdoc researcher in the Ritchie Centre, Melbourne, and at Children’s National Hospital in Washington D.C.

Charles GaleaDr Charles Galea is a Senior Research Fellow at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences. He is developing novel antibiotics against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria. Charles also collaborates with clinical and translational researchers in neurogenetic disease at the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. With a strong interest in applied research and innovation, Charles is keen to facilitate increased industry-academia collaborations. Twitter: @CAPG001

AFN POFDr Annabella Newton is a Patent Attorney specialising in chemistry and pharmaceuticals at Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick. Her research background is in organic and medicinal chemistry and her work has been published in several high-impact journals. She now works with start-ups and small-medium enterprises, as well as large multinationals, and assists with their intellectual property needs in Australia, New Zealand and around the world.  She is passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship and the commercialisation of research. Twitter: @bellatronic


Dr Anna Figueiredo seeks to help improve commercial engagement outcomes to the benefit of the research and broader community. In her more recent Business Development role at the Hudson Institute of Medical Research, Anna was involved in facilitating several commercial and academic licensing and collaboration opportunities, and assisted in establishing startup companies from the Institutes intellectual property. Her placement at Brandon Capital gave her an understanding of best practices in the commercialisation of medical innovations through Medical Research Commercialisation Fund  Prior roles included Project Manager for global Startup Accelerator, MassChallenge, in which Anna designed, created and implemented the inaugural 2016/2017 Bridge to Masschallenge program in Victoria, designed to help accelerate the commercial readiness of 15 high- impact Australian startups, and sponsored by the Federal and State governments, Monash University and Microsoft. Anna joined biotechnology company Genera Biosystems in 2013 as a Product Scientist and Technical Specialist. Before Genera, Anna first entered the commercial sector from academia when she joined Thermo Fisher, working as a Technical Sales Specialist, working closely with the sales and marketing teams to set up product training throughout Australasia. Her research background is in medical virology, specifically in novel mechanism of action of a class of HIV drugs (PhD) and HIV-1/human protein interactions through her Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University  Chicago, USA). Anna has an ongoing dedication to shining a light on medical and heath focused startups and corporate innovations through co-organising monthly events with the StartUp HealthTech Meetup. Twitter: @Fluoro_Bio


Dr Matthew Wenham directs science policy activities for the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Australia’s national academy for applied science, technology and engineering. Prior to returning to Australia, Matt worked in the US for a non-profit science policy think tank, the Institute on Science for Global Policy (ISGP). The ISGP aims to bring together distinguished scientists and policy makers from governments around the world to discuss scientifically credible options for addressing key public policy topics impacted by science and technology. Matt moved into science policy after a career in medical research as a postdoctoral fellow at the US National Institutes of Health and a DPhil (PhD) in cell biology and immunology at the University of Oxford, UK. Twitter: @DrMattWenham