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. 

You can read the full media release here.

IMNIS Clinical Mentees 2021

Zakia Alam

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Zakia Alam

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Zakia Alam

Zakia is a final year PhD student at Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute with a keen interest in translational clinical research. Her passion lies in the clinical research industry where she can contribute to the successful completion of clinical trials and make new treatment regimens more available to patients and improve patient outcomes. Before doing her PhD, Zakia did MBBS in Bangladesh. She wants to exploit her dual exposure in both the fields of medicine and science to positively impact the health and medical research sector. Zakia is interested in getting more insight into the bridge between science and the corporate world, and her potential place in that overlap and transfer her skills for the overall benefit of medical research.

Zakia is mentored by Emril Ali.




Daniel Gan 

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Daniel Gan

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Daniel Gan

Daniel is a 2nd year PhD researcher at the School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, and is based at the Black Dog Institute. His PhD seeks to promote greater end-user engagement with digital mental health interventions, a key challenge critical towards the successful integration of digital health technologies into existing healthcare systems. His present work seeks to develop and evaluate an online strategy intended to increase engagement with a smartphone app that helps young people manage suicidal thoughts. Before embarking on his PhD, Daniel worked in the Singapore government as a senior research psychologist. He is passionate about leveraging on technology and innovation to build mentally healthier and more resilient societies. Outside of work, Daniel enjoys a variety of recreational activities ranging from sports, to cooking, and gardening. He is also a proud parent to an infant daughter and a pomsky.

Daniel is mentored by Dr Tia Cummins. 



Ahsan Habib

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Ahsan Habib

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Ahsan Habib

After earning his undergraduate in Computer Science & Engineering from Shahjalal University of Science & Technology, Bangladesh, followed by a Master of Engineering in ICT from Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, Ahsan entered the software-development industry to explore my passion for innovation and mastering essential software-engineering skills to bring ideas to life in no time. With more than six years of industry experience, he joined academia as a university faculty member with a vision to contribute to research and at the same time, translate it into services by building quick prototypes to reach the target audience. Being motivated by the way software driven smart biomedical diagnostic technology is pushing the horizon of the health sector to its edge, Ahsan decided to have his PhD around this theme. His research focus is to design and develop intelligent diagnosis methods, using Artificial Intelligence techniques, from physiological signals, including electrocardiography, photoplethysmography, and electroencephalography, to identify significant biomarkers for various disease.

Ahsan is mentored by Dr Stephen Tonna. 

Muhammad Shahid Javaid 

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Muhammad Shahid Javaid

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Muhammad Shahid Javaid

Shahid is a final year Ph.D. candidate in the Stem cell lab of the Department of Neuroscience at Central Clinical School, Monash University.

His research work focuses on the development of personalized disease-in-a-dish models of drug-resistant Focal Cortical Dysplasia to investigate the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. He has generated patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell lines and using these cells, he has developed patient-specific disease models by generating neurons and 3D cortical organoids. These disease-in-a-dish models could be used to develop personalised medicines to treat drug-resistant epilepsies. Shahid is also interested in computer-aided drug designing and in vitro drug screening.

He is currently working on a drug screening project to test novel anti-epileptic compounds in humans using in vitro seizure models.

Muhammad is mentored by Sudip Kundu.



Adeel Khoja 

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Adeel Khoja

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Adeel Khoja

Adeel is a graduate of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) at Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. After completing his internship year, he enrolled in a Masters of Science in Epidemiology & Biostatistics at Department of Community Health Sciences, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan. In addition, he was fortunate to secure a fully-funded Fogarty International Centre, National Institutes of Health (FIC, NIH) fellowship for three years, which included two years for his masters degree and one year for clinical plus research fellowship program. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD in Medicine from University of Adelaide on a fully-funded scholarship, Adelaide Scholarship International.

Adeel is an academic researcher with 10+ years of experience in clinical and implementation research on non-communicable diseases, infectious diseases, and systematic reviews. He has an excellent track record of scientific writing skills with thirty research publications in peer-reviewed journals of high impact.

Adeel is mentored by Dr Frances Guyett.

Lachlan Knight 

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Lachlan Knight

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Lachlan Knight

Lachlan Knight is an orthoptist (allied health eye specialist) and PhD candidate at Flinders University, Adelaide. He is researching the genetics of childhood glaucoma and the impact of the condition on the quality of life of children and adults, and their parents. His research aims to advise and improve service delivery models for individuals and their families affected by childhood glaucoma and other genetic eye diseases. Lachlan’s work is complemented by his background in clinical orthoptics and ophthalmology in both public and private healthcare settings. He has also held several leadership roles throughout his career including serving as a Director of Orthoptics Australia, the national peak body representing orthoptists.

Lachlan is mentored by Annie Gibbins.

Rachel Laattoe

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Rachel Laattoe

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Rachel Laattoe

Rachel is a PhD student and research assistant in the Behavioural Genetic and Environmental Mechanisms (Behavioural GEMs) Lab at Flinders University where she currently investigates immunogenetic and environmental risk factors in psychiatric disorders. Her research primarily focuses on epigenetic transmission of risk factors via the germline and how it may affect subsequent generations. She actively collaborates with Flinders Fertility to explore these mechanisms through the ongoing Flinders Environmental Epigenetics through Life (FEEL) study. Rachel previously worked as an applied scientist in several industry sectors, including an IVF clinic and a biotechnology company specialising in platforms targeting single-cell whole-genome amplification. Outside of work she is a keen runner, mum of two and gaming enthusiast.

Rachel is mentored b Dr Ashleigh Storr.



Mohammadreza Radmanesh 

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Mohammadreza Radmanesh

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Mohammadreza Radmanesh

Mohammadreza is a PhD student at RMIT University in Melbourne studying big data analytics. He has an extensive experience in modelling, applying machine learning techniques and development of advanced algorithms to provide insights into data that enable data-driven decision making. His PhD mainly focuses on improving Neural Network techniques to help analysing health data more efficiently. Prior to his PhD, He obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master’s degree in artificial intelligence (AI). During his PhD’s study Mohammadreza became fascinated with applying AI power on wide range of health data. In collaboration with Children’s Hospital ‎at Westmead Sydney, he applied a graph theory approach to examine connectivity in neural ‎networks of children with Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures (PNES). Next, he worked on clustering brain spike waveforms which has gained great attention in brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). Now, he is collaborating with Translational ‎Genomics Data Analytics Lab (TGDA) at UNSW University to ‎model the impact of genomic variants on different ‎types of cancer diseases.‎ In addition to Mohammadreza’s interest in research, he is an AI mentor.

Mohammadreza is mentored by Dr David Rhodes.

Hithin Velagapudi

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Hithin Velagapudi

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Hithin Velagapudi

Hithin Velagapudi is a 2nd year postgraduate research student at La Trobe University. His research focus is on the role of probiotics and the involvement of gut microbiome in COVID-19 and autism. He is  part of a collaborative research project between the Gut-Brain Axis team at RMIT University and the Applied environmental Microbiology group at La Trobe University. The project investigates gut and immune changes in genetic mouse models of autism and the IFNAR1 neuroinflammatory mouse model. He is also interested in the role of gut microbiome in modulating COVID 19 susceptibility and severity, while also investigating its role in vaccine effectiveness, immunogenicity and reactogenicity

Hithin Velagapudi graduated Doctor of Medicine from Bicol Christian College of Medicine with bachelor’s in biology as his pre-medical degree. His other educational qualifications include clinical research training from Harvard Medical School and graduate diploma in health administration from La Trobe University. He has received various academic distinctions, awards and scholarships including Latrobe academic scholarship and LTU graduate research scholarship.

Hithin is mentored by Stefan Czyniewski.

Anna Wrobel

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Anna Wrobel

IMNIS Clinical Mentee Anna Wrobel

Anna Wrobel is a PhD Candidate at Deakin University researching the role of trauma in the treatment of bipolar disorder. She has previously completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Radboud University, Netherlands) and a Master of Sexology (Curtin University, Perth). Anna feels particularly passionate about research translation and using research to develop evidence-based intervention strategies that can improve the treatment outcomes for people with serious mental health needs.

Anna is Mentored by Erica Crome. 





IMNIS Clinical Mentors 2021


Emril Ali 

Emril Ali

IMNIS Mentor Emril Ali

Emril is a passionate technology professional with a wide range of experience ranging from early technology development, commercialization and strategic business development. His keen interest is to enable newly developed innovative technology to be brought into market, so as to create beneficial impact to society.

Emril mentors Zakia Alam.







Dr Erica Crome

Erica Crome

IMNIS Mentor Erica Crome

Erica is a Clinical Psychologist currently working as Project Director for the National Workplace Initiative at the National Mental Health Commission.

She has experience in a wide range of settings including academia, clinical settings, insurance and digital start-up environments. She is passionate about integrating a range of disciplines to improve practice and outcomes in mental health in Australia. This includes a postdoc fellowship exploring methods for improving the uptake of evidence-based interventions in clinical practice. It also includes playing a key role in digitising the Tresillian sleep program for new parents to create a digital app SleepWellBaby.

Erica mentors Anna Wrobel.




Dr Tia Cummins

Tia Cummins

IMNIS Mentor Dr Tia Cummins

Tia is a clinical neuroscientist, ex-soldier, and the CEO and founder of Flintworks. She specialises in military mental health and has worked with veterans with complex mental health issues for a number of years.

Tia completed her PhD at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, where she studied the long-term effect of Traumatic Brain Injury on Vietnam war veterans. This project involved a range of modalities, including neuroimaging (PET and MRI), genotyping, cognitive testing and psychiatric evaluation.

Following her PhD Tia worked as a management consultant at KPMG, where she worked with a range of businesses across domains.

Tia mentors Daniel Gan.

Stefan Czyniewski

Stefan Czyniewski

IMNIS Mentor Stefan Czyniewski

Stefan graduated in 2000 with a BMedSi form The University of Sydney and started work as a research assistant in the field of orthopaedics.  He then gained industry experience working for pharmaceutical and medical device companies working in clinical trials.

In 2008 Stefan co-founded Mobius Medical a Contract Research Organisation and they conduct Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials. He is a Principal and Clinical Director at Mobius. Stefan recently completed his MBA at Sydney University.

Stefan mentors Hithin Velagapudi.




Annie Gibbins

Annie Gibbins

IMNIS Mentor Annie Gibbins

Annie’s academic and professional accolades over the past 30 years include growing and transforming health and education businesses across Australasia.

Starting her career as a registered nurse she went on to become a Health Educationalist, Change Management, CEO and Entrepreneur.

Qualifications include: Master of Education, Bachelor of Nursing Lean Six Sigma AICD. CEO of Glaucoma Australia Global Women’s Empowerment Coach –

Annie mentors Lachlan Knight.






Dr Frances Guyett

Dr Frances Guyett

IMNIS Mentor Dr Frances Guyett

A seasoned innovative business leader and board director, with global experience (ANZ, USA, Europe, Asia and Latin America) and in-depth knowledge of emerging technologies and their commercial applications across medical devices, digital health, medicine (regenerative, cardiovascular, oncology, neuroscience etc.) veterinary, advanced manufacturing, engineering, Design, IT (games and apps), biologics, pharmaceuticals and agricultural.

A commercially savvy business-builder, with over 25 years of experience across private and public companies, health organisations, universities, government, public and private start-ups, and not for profits including M&A and divestments, capital raising and stakeholder management, and all aspects of commercialisation including IP protection, regulatory, sales, marketing, HR and full P&L.

Highly experienced leader in building stakeholder engagement with industry, government and other collaborators.

Frances mentors Adeel Khoja. 

Sudip Kundu

Sudip Kundu

IMNIS Mentor Sudip Kundu

Sudip is a Business leader with over 25 years experience in the Healthcare industry in various capacities. He has a strong flare for improving business operation, has successes in managing marketing strategies, new product developments and launching products / solutions from conception to execution.

He is an Electronics Engineer and completed his Post graduation by research in Image Processing and Distributed Systems. He is passionate about technology and how it brings about change.  He has worked in multiple geographies and with people from various cultures and skill sets.

Over the years, he has delivered complex Healthcare needs-based solutions via interdisciplinary, multi-vendor software applications and cross-regional professional services team management. He has the urge to make a difference and be an enabler within an innovative team to bring effective and meaningful solutions that helps brings better outcomes. 

Sudip mentors Muhammad Shahid Javaid.

Dr David Rhodes 

Dr David Rhodes

IMNIS Mentor Dr David Rhodes

Dr David Rhodes has over 20 years biotechnology sector experience, over 10 years in senior executive roles.

Expertise in leading the discovery and development of small molecule anti-infective agents and the successful development of medical devices from discovery, development of manufacturing and through to regulatory approval of materials for tissue repair.

David mentors Mohammadreza Radmanesh.







Dr Ashleigh Storr

Dr Ashleigh Storr

IMNIS Mentor Dr Ashleigh Storr

Ashleigh received her Bachelor of Biomedical Science (B.Sc.) at the University of Auckland, New Zealand and subsequently moved to Melbourne to complete her Postgraduate Diploma in Reproductive Science at Monash University.

She began her career as an embryologist in Sydney with IVF Australia in 2011, and moved to Adelaide in 2017 to join Flinders Fertility where she accepted a Scientific Director role in 2020.

She completed her PhD thesis in 2018 with the University of New South Wales, and her research interests include embryo selection and the use of novel technologies for the optimisation of IVF outcome.

Ashleigh mentors Rachel Laattoe



Dr Stephen Tonna

Dr Stephen Tonna

IMNIS Mentor Dr Stephen Tonna

Stephen is a PhD trained professional with 10 years of Statistical, Scientific and Industry experience.

The passion to discover practical ways to use Artificial Intelligence and associated methodologies like ‘Machine’ and ‘Deep Learning’ as transformation tools is one reason that gets him up in the morning! Other reason, of course, is SAS. At SAS, he is a member of the Customer Advisory Team with specialized expertise in Risk for Australia & New Zealand.

His main areas of focus are Credit Scoring & Decisioning, Model Risk Management and how these and many other offerings can be used to realise Risk transformation in the SAS Cloud. Stephen really enjoys complex change management projects and find instilling thought leadership to effect digital change and to discover unrealised areas of process improvement exciting. The expertise gained from a mixture of corporate and academic experience from top tier National and International Institutions including ANZ Bank and Harvard Medical School has helped mould a continual growth mindset.

Stephen mentors Ahsan Habib.