Industry engagement with influential STEM professionals

New industry mentoring program to build next generation of clinical and medical leaders

7 December 2021

IMNIS Clinical

Today, the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) launched a new program to nurture Australia’s future medical sector leaders.  

From combating mental health disorders and cancer through to using artificial intelligence to improve medical treatment, the program’s mentees are pursuing innovations in Australia’s health systems. 

The IMNIS Clinical program connects ten PhD student mentees at the forefront of clinical and health-tech-related research with high-calibre industry champion mentors.

The program provides a comprehensive journey for the mentee innovators by bolstering their understanding of industry, exposing them to new professional skills and networks, developing their capabilities and supporting their career trajectories.

The program will enable participants to better understand how medical protocols and products can be developed, evaluated, produced, and commercialised to facilitate translation of cutting-edge health technologies from lab-bench to bedside.

The program is the latest expansion of IMNIS (the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM) ATSE’s flagship industry engagement initiative in partnership with MTPConnect’s Researcher Exchange and Development in Industry (REDI) initiative.

ATSE CEO Kylie Walker said the new IMNIS Clinical program will facilitate greater engagement between emerging clinical researchers and industry experts.

“IMNIS Clinical gives mentees a career-making opportunity to share experiences with leading figures in the STEM sector focusing on clinical translation, services, practice, quality, regulation and safety through to the role of clinical researchers and clinicians.”

“ATSE is proud to create this new opportunity for Australia’s future STEM leaders to learn about how clinical research skills and expertise can be applied within the broader health industry and business environments, and forge critical cross-sector networks,” said Walker.

The ten inaugural IMNIS Clinical mentees were selected by ATSE through a competitive process. Each successful mentee is strongly motivated to improve the lives of people living in Australia and around the world. The program offers them a unique pathway to do so by growing their understanding of how clinical research and expertise can be applied in industry settings and translated into sustained clinical practice and medical technologies.

The IMNIS Clinical mentees are: 

  • Mohammadreza Radmanesh, RMIT University. PhD research focused on big data analytics, to improving neural network techniques for use in digital health.
  • Ahsan Habib, Deakin University. Ahsan’s research goal is to analyse the physiological signals, using Artificial Intelligence/Machine-Learning algorithms to identify meaningful patterns usable in the clinical settings.
  • Anna Wrobel, Deakin University. Anna is a PhD student and research assistant at IMPACT clinical trials. Her PhD project focuses on the role of trauma exposure in the treatment of bipolar disorder.
  • Rachel Laattoe, Flinders University. Using her coding skills, Rachel’s PhD explores genomic markers, biological pathways and systems biology in depression. She investigates novel methods for modelling complex biological systems and pathways using multi-omics and big data.
  • Muhammad Shahid Javaid, Monash University. With bioinformatics skills, Muhammad’s PhD focuses on the development of new disease models for drug screening to develop and translate personalised medicines.
  • Adeel Khoja, University of Adelaide. In addition to monitoring and evaluating eHealth-based interventions including mHealth, telemedicine and eLearning, and formulating protocols for health technology assessments, Adeel’s PhD aims to establish an association between pregnancy complications and premature coronary artery using three major databases of South Australia (CADOSA, SAPSC, NWAHS).
  • Zakia Alam, La Trobe University. Zakia’s PhD explores the role of protein FRA1 (FOS-related antigen 1) in BRAF (B-Raf proto-oncogene serine/threonine kinase) mutant colorectal cancer with the goal of developing, translating and commercialising new therapeutics to target BRAF mutation.
  • Lachlan Knight, Flinders University. Lachlan’s PhD investigates the genetics and quality of life of individuals with childhood glaucoma, and their parents. As a clinical orthoptist, Lachlan aims to gain greater insights into the STEM industries, with a particular focus on public health policy.
  • Hithin Velagapudi, La Trobe University. Hithin’s PhD projects are focused on the microbiota-gut-lung-brain axis in autism spectrum disorders and the role of adjuvant probiotics in increasing COVID-19 vaccine immunogenicity. Hithin is a clinician researcher with experience in health administration and an interest in gastroenterology.
  • Daniel Gan, Black Dog Institute, UNSW. Daniel’s PhD seeks to test a digital strategy aimed at promoting greater engagement with a smartphone app to help young people manage suicidal thoughts.

The IMNIS Clinical mentors include:

  • Dr Erica Crome – Project Director, National Workplace Initiative with the National Mental Health Commission 
  • Annie Gibbins – CEO of Glaucoma Australia
  • Dr Frances Guyett – Senior Business Development Director with Melbourne University
  • Dr Ashleigh Storr – Scientific Director with Flinders Fertility
  • Dr Stephen Tonna – Customer Advisory Risk Consultant with SAS Institute Australia 
  • Sudip Kundu – Healthcare Informatics Lead ANZ with Betcon Dickinson
  • Stefan Czyniewski – Principal and Clinical Director with Mobius.
  • Dr Tia Cummins – CEO of Flintworks
  • Dr David Rhodes – Chief Scientific Officer with Renerve Limited.

Media contact:  

Edwyn Shiell – Director, Strategic Communications | 0402 254 968