Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Southern Highlands Branch Meeting: 2024-5

Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace “Getting technological advances into the clinic — Things I wish I'd known 20 years ago!”

Distinguished Professor Gordon Wallace AO FAA FTSE FRSN
Director, Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong

Date: Thursday, 20 June, 6.30 pm AEDT 
Venue: RSL Mittagong, Carrington Room
All are welcome

Summary: More than three decades ago we embarked on a number of bioengineering explorations using the most advanced materials and fabrication methods. In every area we ventured into, it was our intention to ensure fundamental discoveries were deployed into the clinic to benefit patients. When we embarked on this journey we did so without a road map, not even a compass, and so the path was arduous and sometimes tedious. Now we can see the doorway to deployment on the near horizon. We now appreciate that overcoming the challenges has made this a rewarding and exciting journey.

But maybe we could have been here a lot sooner, and so maybe the lessons we have learnt will benefit others and accelerate progress. Through a number of case studies including neural regeneration, cartilage regeneration, skin regeneration, 3D printing of capsules for islet cell transplantation and the bioengineered cornea let’s retrace our steps. We will summarise the journey to date and the obstacles encountered. Then we will provide a framework for project design with clinical deployment of bioengineered products as the goal.

Gordon Wallace is involved in the design and discovery of new materials as well as the development of innovative fabrication and characterization methods. Gordon is committed to the use of fundamental breakthroughs in these areas to drive new technologies in Health.

He has published more than 1,200 refereed journal publications that have attracted more than 72,000 citations with an H-index of 123 (Scopus). He is listed as a co-inventor on more than 60 patents and was acknowledged in 2017, by patent attorney Nicola L Maxwell, as one of Australia’s most influential inventors.

Prof Wallace has a long-standing track record in research training. Since joining UOW, he has successfully supervised more than 130 PhD students from over 20 different countries who have gone on to highly successful careers around the world. He has also mentored over 40 ECR Fellows.

He was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Australia on 26 January 2017 and received Wollongong’s Award for Innovation in 2017 as well as serving as Wollongong’s Australia Day Ambassador. Gordon was named NSW Scientist of the Year in 2017. He received the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science and Innovation in 2016 and was appointed to the Prime Minister's Knowledge Nation 100 in 2015. Gordon is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) and the Royal Society NSW. He is a corresponding member of the Academy of Science in Bologna. He was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2023.

He is currently Director, IPRI.

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