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Plastic Fantastic Wollongong - Making Better Humans with Polymers

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Wollongong UniCentre

Building 11, University of Wollongong

Wollongong, NSW 2522

Australia

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From synthetic nerves and bio-printed limbs to antibiotic nanotechnology, polymers are changing the face of medicine.

Take a journey with the Australian Academy of Science and see how science has twisted and warped what was once the stuff of make-believe to give us the polymers and plastics that now shape our world.

The second in our two-part series is all about the future of polymers and the human body. This talk explores the use of futuristic polymer materials to augment, heal, and even replace parts of the body.

Our researchers will open the door on polymers in medicine to give you a glimpse of how polymers are developed, how they’ve helped us in the past, and what’s yet in store.


ABOUT THE SPEAKERS


Dr Katherine Locock

Dr Katherine Locock completed her PhD at the University of Sydney, focusing on potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders. After three years in academia, Katherine took up a position as a CSIRO OCE Postdoctoral Fellow, researching the development of biologically active polymers based on CSIRO’s patented RAFT technology. She was appointed as a research scientist in CSIRO Manufacturing in 2015 and took on a part-time placement in 2016 as an advisor to the Shadow Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research. She is a Royal Australian Chemical Institute board member and is a member of the RACI Inclusion and Diversity Committee. Dr Locock was awarded the CSIRO Staff Association Women in Science award in 2013, a Julius Career Development award in 2016 and was selected as AIPS Victorian Tall Poppy of the Year in 2016. She is committed to encouraging more Indigenous Australians to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and has created relationships with remote and regional Indigenous schools to support the development of new science programs.


Professor Martina Stenzel

Professor Martina Stenzel studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, before completing her PhD in 1999 at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. She started as a postdoctoral fellow at UNSW in 1999 and is now a Scientia Professor in the school of chemistry as well as co-director of the Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design (CAMD). Her research interest focuses on the synthesis of functional nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. She is interested in making nanoparticles of different sizes and shapes using polymers and studies their interaction with cells. She is combining synthetic polymers with nature’s building blocks like sugars to generate nanoparticles that combine the best properties of both worlds. Professor Stenzel is scientific editor of Materials Horizons and serves on a range of editorial boards. Her awards include the 2011 Le Fèvre Memorial Prize of the Australian Academy of Science, and she chairs the Academy’s National Committee for Chemistry.


Professor Gordon Wallace

Professor Gordon Wallace is involved in the design and discovery of new materials for use in Energy and Health. In the Health area this involves using new materials to develop biocommunications from the molecular to skeletal domains in order to improve human performance via medical Bionics. In the Energy area this involves use of new materials to transform and to store energy, including novel wearable and implantable energy systems for the use in Medical Bionics. He is committed to fundamental research and the translation of fundamental discoveries into practical applications. He is a passionate communicator, dedicated to explaining scientific advances to all in the community from the lay person to the specialist.

He has published more than 800 refereed publications that have attracted in excess of 30,000 citations; a monograph on Conductive Electroactive Polymers: Intelligent Polymer Systems and co-authored a monograph on Organic Bionics. He has recently co-authored an eBook on 3D BioPrinting and he led the presentation of a MOOC on 3D Bioprinting on the FutureLearn platform.

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Wollongong UniCentre

Building 11, University of Wollongong

Wollongong, NSW 2522

Australia

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