The 2019 Perth Biodesign course kicks off tonight with the first Wednesday class session being generously hosted by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Research and Innovation (CERI). In 2018, the Perth Biodesign team received over 140 expressions of interest for only 25 places in the course. We are delighted to announce that, due to this overwhelming demand and another influx of high quality applications in 2019, we have expanded to 30 participants this year.

For the first time, each 2019 team will undertake their clinical immersions in the same clinical area. This means that in Perth Biodesign 2019, there are 6 key focus areas of medicine: ICU, Radiology, Plastics, Geriatric Medicine, Anaesthesia and Cardiology. Over the next six months, the teams will work together to identify and validate an unmet need and work together to develop a solution.

Earlier in the week we also announced our alumni fellows for 2019 here. If you are interested in being a part of the 2020 Perth Biodesign course, you can find out more about the course or send in an expression of interest here.

ICU Team

Saleem Al-Odeh

Saleem is currently a dedicated Engineering student specialising in Biomedical Engineering at UWA, where he is a student guild councillor and founder of the Ethnocultural Collective When it comes to his work and passions, he is very persistent and detail-oriented, always striving to achieve the goal at hand. Saleem has completed two observerships at GETINGE Group, a biomed manufacturer, as well as recently completing an internship at Modern Pharmaceutical Company in Dubai.

Ritu Mehta

Ritu Mehta is curious and courageous. She came to Australia in 2017 to study at UWA where she achieved her Master of Biotechnology with a specialisation in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Ritu also holds an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry. Her Master degree project was with a WA based all natural skincare and therapeutics brand- Mcarthur Skincare; in which she looked at methods for production optimisation and analysed microbiological content of the raw materials. Ritu believes in giving back to the community. She has taken up various leadership roles in the World’s largest youth-run organisation- AIESEC, where she worked towards creating awareness for achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Nicholas Buckley

Nick Buckley is a physiotherapist and PhD student, specialising in paediatrics and severe disability. His primary areas of research are scoliosis and body shape changes, as well as automated measurement of positioning during sleep. Nick is interested in the role that gravity can play in the development of body shape changes and the use of wireless, low cost accelerometers to measure and model movement during sleep. Nick is focussed on the development of implementable tools for clinicians and the generation of research that can effect meaningful change in the clinical setting. He is currently undertaking a PhD at Curtin University.

Katherine Arenson

Katherine Arenson is an Emergency Physician practicing part time at Armadale hospital. She is also the practice manager for Murdoch Endocrinology.  She is the mother of 4 and wife of a workaholic dual trained physician. She is originally from South Africa where she obtained her medical degree, and has worked in the UK before settling in Australia. She is passionate about design and innovation and has been involved in many creative endeavours.  She has set up two successful medical practices with her husband and arranges charity dinner events in her spare time. Katherine is a high achiever who directly relates her sense of wellbeing to how busy she is.

Nik Bappoo

Nik Bappoo is a PhD Candidate with a passion for biomedical engineering. He has a vision to create a healthy, equitable and growth-minded world through modern medicine, engineering and science! Nik is a qualified mechanical engineer and also studied pathology in his Bachelors. Currently, he is doing his PhD at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research developing computational models of placental blood flow to predict impaired fetal development. He has recently begun his entrepreneurial journey and hopes to learn about the tools required to translate awesome research and address unmet clinical needs. Outside of research, Nik runs a non-for-profit to connect Perth’s medical innovation industry and inspire future leaders.

Plastics Team

Veena Kurup

Veena is currently enrolled as a PhD student at the University of Western Australia. Her PhD focuses on the efficacy of two treatment options for the promotion of lung development in the preterm lamb model. Veena is very interested in biomedical innovation as she believes through multidisciplinary collaboration, medical research could become far more efficient and research output could increase tremendously. She believes this will result in positive long term outcomes for the healthcare of our society.

Marcus Brett

Marcus Brett trained in architecture, initially at the Architectural Association then at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, followed by the prominent London/Dublin practice, Metropolitan Workshop. Project experience across a number of scales ranged from masterplan to multi-residential throughout London, Doha, Dublin, Germany & Norway with a focus on materiality and social responsibility. Brett’s further practical experience focused on the restoration and redevelopment of listed Buildings in Conservation Areas of London: predominantly in Notting Hill, Paddington, Mayfair, Richmond, Twickenham. Brett is currently rethinking his own design practice whilst sessional tutoring & completing a MA in Architecture. Brett no longer kite-surfs but is attempting to get alpine fit to revisit Matukituki, NZ this Christmas.

Ed Litton

Ed is an intensive care specialist at Fiona Stanley Hospital and a NHMRC Research Fellow conducting research designed to improve outcomes in critically ill patients. He is on the management committee of the national clinical quality registry for intensive care in Australia (the ANZICS CORE APD), has a PhD from UWA, a masters from Uni of London and is currently enrolled in a Masters of IT at CSU. He once rode his bike across Australia to raise money for the intensive care foundation.

Shiva Sharif

Shiva got her biomedical engineering bachelor degree on 2014 and currently studying as a final year PhD student at Curtin University of Technology in which she applies artificial intelligence approaches and machine learning techniques to find out gait-related disorders in early stages. Also, she is currently working as a research and development engineer at Siemens company.

Lennon Correia

Lennon is a Sports Physiotherapist and co-director of WA Health Group. Lennon brings to the bio design program both clinical and business skills. Lennon enjoys collaborating and sharing his experiences with others. Lennon’s career goal is to grow the scope of Physiotherapy through developing innovative ways of helping patients.

Cardiology Team

Alexandra Heaton

Alexandra is an independent consultant for pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies – suiting her entrepreneurial spirit, business skillset and biomedical background. Working closely with researchers, investor groups and entrepreneurs, she specialises in providing scientific and strategic input into clinical development plans.

Alexandra holds a PhD in Neuroscience and Bachelor of Biomedical Science with 1st class honours. This is complemented by commercial/transactional and project management related experiences, including her previous role at Linear Clinical Research leading client engagement with US pharmaceutical companies.

Alexandra is passionate about improving patient outcomes with a keen emphasis on how innovation technology, entrepreneurship and collaboration can accelerate these drivers.

Saranya Devalpally

Saranya was born in Botswana in 1997 and lived there until he was 9 years old. He is of Indian ethnicity and immigrated with his family to Australia in 2006 and has lived in Perth ever since. Saranya attended Rossmoyne Senior High School and graduated in 2015. Since then, he has pursued tertiary education at UWA and is currently completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Science, with plans to pursue a Masters qualification. In his spare time, Saranya takes a keen interest in film and music while also obsessively reading about, playing and watching soccer.

Robert Hortin

Robert is a 27 year old metallurgical technician who has always held a keen interest for design and technology in the medical space. Graduating from UWA in 2016 with degrees in Mechatronics Engineering, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, he hopes to one day work as a professional design engineer in the field of neural tech and prosthesis design. In the past, he has worked with startups in neuroscience, elastography, electric motorcycles and RFID identification. When switching to a lower gear, he enjoys relaxing with a casual jam on the bass guitar or playing computer games with his mates.

Dulce Vargas-Landin

Dulce Vargas-Landin, is a Forrest Scholar, currently doing her Ph.D. at UWA. She does genomics to understand the brain function at a single-cell level. She did her Master degree at the ENS in Paris, France,  and previously conducted research in Cold Spring Harbor Labs, NY, USA as part of her undergrad program in Mexico. As a researcher, she has a natural curiosity to understand how things work, and likes to develop and improve methodologies in the lab. On her free time, she enjoys doing sports, traveling around the world and reading.

David Janmaat

David is a specialist anaesthetist and retrieval doctor working with the Royal Flying Doctor Service and at Fiona Stanley Hospital. He has an interest in medical education, training and simulation and a passion for kite surfing!

Anaesthetics Team

Nittaya Caruana

Nittaya moved into intensive care nursing in 2003 in Nepean Hospital, NSW and completed a post Grad in Critical Care in 2006. After moving to a critical care unit in Mercy Merced Hospital, Northern California in 2006, she moved back to Australia for the life style and sunshine in 2008. Nittaya has worked across different Intensive Care Units including cardiothoracic ICU speciality and completed a Master of Nursing (Honours) and a Graduate certificate in healthcare leadership and management. Nittaya has acted in different roles in critical care nursing, presented in a critical care international annual conference and published a research article in JCN.

Filippo Valente

Filippo Valente is an early career researcher from Italy. He works on translational research for hearing applications, aiming to develop new medical devices. He obtained his PhD in 2017 with a thesis on novel nanomaterials for inner ear drug delivery, a collaborative project between the University of Padua (Padua,Italy) and the KTH University (Stockholm, Sweden). Afterwards he joined the Ear Science Institute Australia (Perth, WA) as a postdoctoral fellow, working on silk-based biomaterials for tissue engineering in the middle ear.

Sarah van der Laan

Sarah van der Laan is a passionate, Dutch/Irish junior doctor who graduated from Trinity College Dublin, School of Medicine in June 2017. Sarah moved to Perth in August 2018 and is currently working as a resident medical officer at Fiona Stanley Hospital. She is multilingual and has experience working in France, the Netherlands, Ireland and Australia. Sarah has a keen interest in global medicine and medtech and is very much looking forward to this course. In her spare time, Sarah enjoys crossfit, kitesurfing, reading and traveling.

Joey Koh

Currently, Joey is a final-year student at the University of Western Australia majoring in Electrical Engineering and Finance. He enjoys exploring the field of machine learning and believes in its potential applications in the health industry. In industry, he has completed 6 months of part-time work at WorleyParsons and 3 months in the Water Corporation. This work dealt in control systems, programmable logic controllers, document automation, data analysis and dashboards. Being able to quickly learn new software and understand relevant project knowledge are skills he deems critical to develop. Extracurricular-wise, his scope involves marketing, rural education mentoring, hackathons and ultimate frisbee.

Madeleine Bartlett

Madeleine – like so many – has benefited from medical innovation and bio-technologies. Her mother was diagnosed with heart failure when she was 9. An ICD, a heart transplant and 15 years later Madeleine’s mother is in great health, and her brother and she became a Doctor and a Mechanical Engineer respectively – perhaps by no small coincidence. Madeleine studied Mechanical Engineering and Economics. During university, she became intrigued by mechanical design, however during through her honors thesis – which investigated business models – her fascination took a more commercial bend. Today, she is passionate about commercial challenged and business models, and the power that the latter can have in delivering step change across the socioeconomic spectrum.

Geriatrics Team

Daniel Armani

Daniel holds a PhD in Biomedical science, he is a qualified Materials and Biomedical engineer with overall 10 years of preventive maintenance, sales technical support, process engineering and clean room operation. He has a broad knowledge of industrial and academic research in Nano biomaterials, Biosensors, thin film coating, 3D printing, Lab-on-a-chip and Microfluidics devices. Daniel is also a Member of Australian Physiotherapy Association, familiar with human anatomy, physiotherapy, public health and physiology.

Andrea Jansen

Andrea has completed a Bachelor of Health Science (majoring in Public Health/Psychological Studies) and a Master of Nursing Science (entry-to-practice) from the University of Western Australia. Andrea is currently employed at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital as a Registered Nurse on a ward specialising in renal and hepatology, including patients who receive kidney/liver transplants. Andrea’s professional interests include primary health care, chronic disease, wound management, education, leadership, and enhancing interprofessional communication and collaboration. Andrea’s personal interests include coffee with friends, camping, playing pickleball, and music.

Jacob Petersen

After graduating with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering in 2016, Jacob has been working in a product development role in the mining industry. After two years Jacob 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. For fun, Jacob has a healthy addiction to roller hockey and is a keen homebrewer.

Olivia Bettane

Olivia Bettane, Master’s student at UWA, has a specific research interest in medical technologies to improve the health outcomes of women with breast and ovarian cancers. Olivia has professional business experience at Ernst and Young and aims to bring these assets to a team of clinicians, engineers and professionals to create a medical device that will bring about a positive difference in the world!

Sandeep Poorun

Sandeep completed his medical training at the University of Birmingham, undertaking several rotations in medical and surgical specialities. He completed General Practice training and gained Membership of the Royal College of GP’s (MRCGP) in 2015. Subsequently, Sandeep undertook a Fellowship in Acute and Urgent care during which he worked in aged care, hospitals and ambulance settings. He moved to Perth in May 2018 and holds a Fellowship of the Royal Australian College of GP’s (FRACGP). Sandeep has a keen interest in pre-hospital care, chronic disease management, advanced care planning and end of life care. He also teaches UWA medical students. Outside of work, he enjoys the outdoors and sports.  

ICU/Radiology Team

Tyson King

Tyson is a graduate mechanical design engineer working at SF Design. His thesis on the design and development of a 5 fingered exoskeleton has shown him the potential for developing technologies to be implemented in health and rehabilitation. With his insights he is keen to contribute to a better future for humanity.

Andrea Zamudio

Andrea is a 27 year old doctor who came from Chile to live and work in Australia. Dermatology is an area of particular interest for her, with much potential for the development of innovative ideas to tackle the all too prevalent and diverse medical conditions that fall into its spectrum. She strives to challenge herself and learn new things, and to prove to herself that she can.

Andrea finds that it fills her with energy to see her patients thriving and wants nothing more than to improve their quality of life.

Daniel Smith

Daniel is a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) student at UWA, with plans to continue his studies in the form of a Masters in Biomedical Engineering in 2020. He has previously spent time as a student at Royal Perth Hospital, working to develop a pair of sensor goggles for diagnosis of vertigo. Daniel is greatly interested in biomedical technologies, particularly in neuroscience and monitoring technologies, and aims to better understand the interfacing between technology and the human body and imaging technologies that would aid in this.

Ting Ong

Originally from Singapore, Ting came to Perth in 2008. She completed her undergraduate and Honours degree at Murdoch University, and worked as a Research Assistant for 1.5 years before deciding to embark on a PhD. Ting is currently completing her PhD at the Ear Science Institute Australia and the University of Western Australia, researching Stem Cells in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine.

Chris Carr

Chris Carr is an experienced Physiotherapist and Director of WA Health Group. He enjoys the balance of working as a Physio and working on his business. Chris is passionate about increasing the relevance of allied health services within the community. Chris believes allied health services are currently underutilised and undervalued which allows the opportunity for innovation in the future. Chris is a graduate of Curtin Ignition and Growth Owner Program which has been a catalyst for professional growth. Chris recently got married in Galway Ireland, outside of work Chris enjoys traveling, playing tennis and fitness.