In 2021 the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering launched its first IMNIS alumni program: IMNIS Catalyst. To read the full media release of the launch – click here.
IMNIS Catalyst is an ambassador program where IMNIS alumni represent IMNIS and ATSE in the broader STEM ecosystem.
Sixteen Catalysts will be provided with the tools and opportunities to share their STEM journeys, this includes receiving media and communications training, engaging with senior level high school students and speaking at a range of internal and external events.
Meet our 2022 Catalysts below!
The IMNIS Catalyst program is powered by MTPConnect as part of the REDI initiative.
Our 2022 IMNIS Catalysts
Dr Malene Ahern
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Dr Malene Ahern
Malene is a physiotherapist with more than 20 years of experience in neurological, orthopaedic and geriatric rehabilitation. Since graduating from the University of Sydney, she has worked in Australia and UK in both primary and tertiary care settings. Dr Ahern has worked in clinical roles in hospitals and community and her own private practice. She has also worked as a clinical education consultant in the assistive technology industry. Her areas of interest are working with clients with a diverse range of neurological and orthopaedic impairments, academic and clinical research. She is passionate about promotion of evidence-based practice and person-centred care.
Malene has recently been awarded her PhD at Macquarie University conducting research in the field of low back pain in primary care. She is a Postdoctoral fellow at Macquarie University and working in Aged Care Reform at the Department of Health
Connect with Malene on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Ngozi has practiced as a clinical Optometrist and Lecturer in Nigeria. Ngozi’s passion for STEM prompted her to obtain a Master of Public Health, Fellowship in Cornea and Contact Lenses at Nigerian College of Optometrists, and Fellowship of the American Academy of Optometry. Ngozi is an Associate Lecturer at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, UNSW Sydney and in final year of PhD on her research interest, eye health in children – examining the relationship with blinking and smartphone use. Ngozi is a recipient of several higher degree student research awards including the prestigious 2019/2020 Dorothy Carlborg Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia award and 2021 Fellowship of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Science Communication Training.
Ngozi contributes to international research community as an author, invited reviewer for reputable ophthalmology journals, and participates actively in Women-in-STEM programs and post-graduate council career development leadership committee at UNSW. Ngozi is a valued member of STEM professional organisations including AusBiotech. She is a mother to two wonderful children.
Connect with Ngozi on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Dr Beatrice Chiew
Dr Beatrice Chiew
Beatrice completed her bachelor’s degree at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) majoring in Medicinal Chemistry. She then went on to do her honours and PhD under the supervision of Martin Scanlon, discovering potent inhibitors of HIV integrase and 53BP1 for use against HIV and BRCA-1 breast cancer, respectively. Her main areas of expertise are Medicinal Chemistry, Fragment Based Drug Discovery and Synthetic Organic chemistry. Beatrice is also passionate about science communication, having participated as an outreach facilitator for 4 years at MIPS and represented Monash University at the 3-Minute thesis Asia Pacific finals in 2019 and placing in the top 10. She also recently contributed to a Nature Masterclass on ‘Advancing your scientific presentations’.
In her spare time Beatrice is an avid sketcher/painter, and she also enjoys dancing and is part of a Melbourne based dance crew called Serenity.
Connect with Beatrice on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Amal Mohamed Dameer
Amal Mohamed Dameer
Amal is an experienced medical doctor completing a PhD at RMIT University, Australia. Her PhD research is aiming to improve heart management and outcomes in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. She holds the position of Respiratory Council co-chair and conference organiser in the Australasian Sleep Association (ASA). She has been annually organising the Sleep Down Under Conference with the ASA’s conference organising committee.
Amal is a strong advocate for good health and sleep which she pursues through science communication. Apart from medicine and research, she likes to teach, travel and experience different cultures, dabble with photography, fashion, movies, and wind down with family and friends.
Connect with Amal on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Dr Marisa Duong
Dr Marisa Duong
Marisa came to Australia in October 2008, graduated from Kalamunda Senior High School in 2011. She decided to pursue undergraduate studies in Biochemistry and Molecular biology at the University of Western Australia. After that, she received the Forrest Research Foundation PhD Scholarship and decided to commit herself to a life-long journey of scientific research career. As an avid student of life, Marisa has an unceasing love for learning – she keeps finding ways to add positive value to this world through scientific research and education. She is now working as a full-time research scientist at a
biotech company called Proteomics International.
She also loves seeing others thrive and succeed and help instill confidence in other students. During the weekends, she tutors Indigenous students, many of whom aspire to become or have become medical doctors.
Connect with Marisa on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Alejandra completed her Bachelor of Sciences (Hons) and was later granted a Post Graduate Research Award (QUTPRA -International) to pursue a PhD at the Queensland University of Technology as a member of the Cancer and Ageing Research Program (CARP). Her project explores DNA repair and genomic instability, which is one of the key hallmarks of cancer. She is also the former vice-chair of the QUT HDR student committee and former special events manager of the Translational Research Institute (TRI) student committee.
She has also been a volunteer scientist at the CSIRO Scientists and Mathematicians in Schools program. She has participated in the SPARK introduction to entrepreneurship course and has been part of the IMNIS program as a mentee in 2020.
Connect with Alejandra on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Josephine Ataa Hinneh
Josephine Ataa Hinneh
Josephine is a PhD Scholar under joint degree between the University of Adelaide (Australia) and Nagoya University (Japan). Her research focuses on identifying durable drug combination therapies for the management of advanced prostate cancer. Josephine holds a master’s degree in immunology from Mie University of Japan, 2016; a pharmacist by profession and a graduate of the University of Ghana School of Pharmacy, 2012. During her PhD, Josephine has presented at a number of international and local conferences and has co-authored 7 publications. She received the John Barker Quest award for Cancer Research during the 2021 Annual Florey Postgraduate Conference and was the winner of the 3 minutes thesis competition for the faculty of Health and Medical Science of The University of Adelaide, Australia. She was also awarded the best graduating student for her master’s and undergraduate studies.
She is passionate about mentorship and science communication.
Connect with Josephine on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Adam is a solicitor, holding a Master of Laws from the University of New England, Armidale, and a Graduate Diploma from the Australian Institute of Company Directors. During his studies, he was a Senate Intern, and a delegate to both the 1998 Constitutional Convention on a Republic and the 2001 Corowa People’s Conference. He is a former long-term Member of the Government Solicitors Committee of the Law Society of NSW and has worked in various complaint handling roles for the NSW Ombudsman and the Energy and Water Ombudsman NSW (EWON). He serves on a number of advisory and governance committees of the Northern Sydney Local Health District, is a member of Health Consumers NSW, a Consumer Advisor to the Clinical Excellence Commission’s Antimicrobial Stewardship Expert Advisory Committee, a member of the Consumer Advisory Council of the Sydney North Primary Health Network and a Community Member of the NSW Ministry of Health Clinical Ethics Advisory Panel.
He is currently a PhD (Law) Student at Macquarie University.
Connect with Adam on LinkedIn.
Dr Lauren Jones
Dr Lauren Jones
Lauren is a cell biologist at the new Flinders Health and Medical Research Institute (FHMRI), Flinders University. She has just received her PhD, which focused on the role of serotonin in gut motility and the gut-brain axis. Throughout her PhD Lauren won a number of awards, including the Government of South Australia PhD Top-Up Award, the Best Short Talk at a number of events, and most recently was nominated and won the College of Medicine PhD/Postdoctoral award. Lauren has published as a first author, and co-authored, in a number of international peer-reviewed scientific journals, such as the prestigious journal Gastroenterology.
Lauren has since begun a postdoctoral position at FHMRI, where she will be investigating the role of gut serotonin in the gut-brain axis and mental health.
Connect with Lauren on Twitter.
Tian completed her B.Sc (Hons) at the University of Toronto in 2017. During her undergraduate degree she had the opportunity to conduct a wide range of research from brain haemorrhages to forensic pathology. After graduation Tian interned at the Natural Resources Institute Finland, looking at cow microbiota and genomics. She is currently a third-year PhD student at the University of Melbourne, where she uses mouse models to study the long-term effects of hormone therapies on bone in the transgender population.
Tian is interested in exploring the impacts of basic science research on human society, from science communication to policy making. She believes science should serve both the people and the pursuit of knowledge, and she hopes to bridge the lab bench and clinic divide. Tian is also a music teacher and loves contributing to Melbourne’s vibrant music scene!
Connect with Tian on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Arianna is a Chemist and Science Communicator with broad expertise in emerging biomedical technologies and a strong interest in their translational aspects. She is a consultant at Consulting and Implementation Services in Melbourne, where she works at the interface of industry and academia to foster research-driven innovation and contribute to the translation of emerging technologies into common practice. Arianna recently submitted her PhD thesis at the Monash Institute of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Science, where she worked on the development of alternative approaches to animal testing in the context of pre-clinical and toxicological studies.
Before joining Monash University, Arianna obtained a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Milan, Italy, and a MSc in Chemistry from the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, Germany, with the support of a DAAD scholarship by the German Exchange Academic Service. She is a former European Commission Trainee and is fluent in Italian, German, and English.
Connect with Arianna on Twitter and LinkedIn
Winter Okoth is a third-year PhD candidate in the Laboratory of Vaccines for the Developing World at the Institute for Glycomics, Griffith University. Winter’s research project is focused on the development of one of the novel whole parasite malaria vaccine candidates that will be suitable for residents of malaria endemic countries. Winter is passionately engaged in the fight against malaria through research and advocacy. She is IMNIS Alumni (2020-2021), Young Science Ambassador at Wonder of Science Queensland, Griffith University STEM Squad Ambassador, founder at Pamoja Kenya Mentorship Alliance organization, a devoted Malaria Champion at United to Beat Malaria (formerly known as Nothing but Nets), a United Nations Foundation advocacy campaign and Co-lead at RBM Partnerships to End Malaria Youth Workstream.
Winter is currently an awardee of the Griffith University International Postgraduate Research Scholarships, a former ORISE research scholar at the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and previous awardee of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) International fellowship, Emergent BioSolutions fellowship, Mayo Clinic Immunology Summer undergraduate research fellowships, and Thomas More University scholarships. Winter earned her double major bachelor’s degree (Biology & Chemistry, honours) from Thomas More University, and a Master of Science (ScM) degree in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology from Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in the USA.
Connect with Winter on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Dr Mateus Oliveria Silva
Dr Mateus Oliveira Silva
Mateus is a Program Advisor in CSIRO SME Connect. Mateus’s role is to assist in facilitating innovation-driven partnerships through funding, support and resources between Australian small to medium-sized enterprises/businesses (SMEs) with CSIRO and the research sector to make CSIRO an exemplar in SME engagement. Before joining CSIRO, Mateus completed a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne where he investigated new protocols for early diagnosis of Osteoarthritis. Throughout his PhD, Mateus received several awards and scholarships, including the prestigious University of Melbourne Rowden White Scholarship. His research work was presented in more than ten national and international conferences and published/submitted to several internationally recognised journals.
Mateus is an IMNIS alumnus, an award-winning industry-led initiative of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering. Mateus also worked on a wide variety of multidisciplinary research projects in leading institutions in the USA, such as Harvard University and NASA.
Connect with Mateus on LinkedIn.
Françios is a life sciences researcher specialising in medical mycology, currently completing his PhD with Monash. He has contributed to undergraduate education in senior tutor and teaching technician roles since 2015. His participation in Skype a Scientist and AMRRelay (World Antimicrobial Awareness Week) reflects his passion of science communication. He is a skilled presenter, having won first prize for talks in two conferences. Françios has filled numerous positions of leadership including Co-Convenor of the 2021 EMBL Australia Postgraduate Symposium. He has also served as Social Media Ambassador to the Victorian Infection and Immunity Network and EMBL Australia.
In 2021 Françios was mentored by Jan Tennent as part of the IMNIS Medtech Pharma Mentorship program. In his free time, Françios enjoys writing songs and playing cricket.
Connect with Françios on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Mohammad Zaidur Rahman Sabuj
Mohammad Zaidur Rahman Sabuj
Sabuj obtained his Master of Research degree from the Biological Sciences Department, Macquarie University, Australia. In 2019, he moved to Queensland University of Technology (QUT), Brisbane, where he is currently working as a PhD researcher in the
Pharmacy Discipline. His research is focused on the development and characterization of
drug-encapsulating polymer nanoparticles. His research interests are in the in vitro evaluation of the drug release from polymeric nanoparticles, determining the aerosolization properties of pulmonary drugs, and in vitro evaluation of the cytotoxicity and antimicrobial efficacy using drug-encapsulating polymeric nanoparticles.
Besides, research Sabuj also loves to engage and communicate with his peers and serve society. He worked as the president of QUT Bangladeshi Association, senior mentor at QUT Exchange buddies, mentor at QUT international student services, facilitator at QUT connect. Currently, he is volunteering as an ambassador of the Royal Australian Chemical Society (RACI) at QUT.
Connect with Sabuj on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Janice is a PhD candidate at Western Sydney University with a background in Wildlife Biology. Her PhD project is focused on improving the welfare of big cats and human-animal relationships. Janice completed a Master of Wildlife Biology at A.V.C. College, India in 2015. She has previously interned at a veterinary clinic; worked as a researcher at various Indian zoos and later as a Program Officer at an environmental NGO called GreenLine educating school students. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Australian Government Endeavour Scholarship to pursue a PhD in Australia.
Janice enjoys being outdoors and is always curious about the natural world. She aspires to engage with the community and communicate her passion of caring for animals to them.