Welcome Matthew Flinders researchers

Flinders University has announced several new Matthew Flinders Professorial Fellowships this year to build research efforts further in 2022.

Two new research leaders – Professor Harald Janovjak and Professor Krasimir Vasilev – will join the Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute in early 2022.

Professor in Synthetic Biology Harald Janovjak is currently an EMBL Australia group leader and ARC Future Fellow at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University.

Professor Janovjak completed a PhD in Single-Molecule Biophysics at Max Planck Institute and University of Dresden and in 2010 did postdoctoral research at UC, Berkeley before becoming assistant professor at IST Austria and joining Monash University in 2018.

His research group is developing methods to understand and manipulate cells and tissues affected by degeneration, with a particular focus on Type I diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. An interdisciplinary research approach combines the development of new molecular tools and the study of disease in the mouse and the fruit fly.

“I very much look forward to joining the College and University, to establish innovative research programs and capabilities across disciplines,” Professor Janovjak says.

Professor of Biomedical Nanotechnology Krasimir Vasilev, who completed his PhD at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, currently leads a research team at UniSA.

Professor Vasilev has attracted funding of more than $20 million, published more than 250 papers and has been awarded research fellowships from ARC, NHMRC and the Humboldt Foundation.

One of his recent projects involves the commercialisation of a new bladder cancer diagnostics tool with SMR Automotive Australia Pty Ltd (Motherson Innovations) in South Australia and his research group is developing an antibacterial surface modification for another company’s hip and knee implants.

Dr Melanie MacGregor is moving to Flinders University in November.

Next month the College of Science and Engineering will welcome a new Matthew Flinders research fellow, Dr Melanie MacGregor, who will also move from UniSA, where she also worked on the non-invasive diagnosis of bladder cancer CRC-P device at the Future Industries Institute.

Dr MacGregor is a material scientist and ARC Future Fellow who has worked on a range of projects – from making smart nanocomposite hydrogels to developing bioengineered platforms capable of guiding cell growth and differentiation.

Her research will focus on examining how particles interact with different nanoarchitectures, towards the development of bioengineered platforms for application fields ranging from biology to energy production.

Dr MacGregor has been recognised by several accolades, including the 2016 Engineers Australia John A Brodie Medal for achievement in Chemical Engineering, the 2017 Winnovation awards in the Engineering category, and a 2018 SA Young Tall Poppy Science Award.

Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith

Meanwhile, Professor Ian Goodwin-Smith has commenced as Matthew Flinders Professor of Social Impact in the College of Business, Government and Law at Flinders University.

He was previously Director of The Australian Alliance for Social Enterprise in UniSA Business, where he led a suite of large-scale research and evaluation projects in partnership with multiple community and social service organisations. Professor Goodwin-Smith has received career grant income of approximately $9.5 million across all income categories and contributed to more than 80 funded projects.

The research at Flinders will focus on social impact, collaborating with other like-minded centres nationwide, as well as governments, corporate bodies, not-for-profits and communities to “catalyse positive social change,” says College Vice President and Executive Dean, Professor Michael Gilding.

Earlier this year, three Matthew Flinders fellowships were announced by the Caring Futures Institute in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Professor Raymond Chan and Caring Futures Institute research fellow Dr Liz Lynch.

Professor of Cancer Nursing Raymond Chan has been appointed director of the Caring Futures Institute, while Professor Gillian Harvey and Dr Elizabeth Lynch moved to Flinders from the University of Adelaide.

Originally from Queensland, Professor Chan has moved from the Queensland University of Technology’s School of Nursing where he held a joint position as Chair in Cancer Nursing at Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital.

Professor Harvey leads the ‘Better Systems’ theme in the Caring Futures Institute. As Professor of Health Services and Implementation Research in the College of Nursing and Health Sciences, she has a clinical background in nursing and research expertise in implementation science and facilitating evidence-based practice.

Matthew Flinders Professor Gillian Harvey is part of the team working on the STAAR-SA study and related health service and policy delivery in SA to improve out-of-hospital care.
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