Biotech at the Forefront of Improving Health and Wellbeing
Maryann Thexton’s passion for everything horses led her to an opportunity in biotechnology that she could not have foreseen. She’s now the CEO of an award-winning company at the forefront of global science producing synbiotic ingredients to improve health and wellbeing in humans and animals. We spoke with Maryann about how working in the paddock changed the course of her life and how the company she co-founded has grown from strength to strength in just three years.
Dr Alan Parnham has a dream to make the Gold Coast a centre of health and medical excellence – a place where people will come from around the world to conduct research and grow their companies. As a nephrologist, researcher and now developer of The North Star – a medical facility at the Lumina health and Knowledge Precinct – Alan wants to set up a legacy for quality medicine and research and do more for the community. We talk to Alan about the North Star development, his passion for research, healthtech start-ups and the future of the Gold Coast.
The Nikiforides brothers have put their heart and soul into developing the Gold Coast Life Sciences Centre at the Lumina Precinct. The 11-storey centre of excellence for multidisciplinary diagnostic healthcare and translational research, means a lot more than just bricks and mortar to the third-generation property developers. We speak with William, Managing Director, and James, Sales and Marketing Director, about why they are so passionate about their latest development, why they have moved into healthcare after a long history in retail and residential development and what it takes for three brothers to successfully work together.
As an Intensivist, Dr Brent Richards’ has spent his career in hospital intensive care units saving lives and supporting those at the end of their life. He’s now turned his attention to research and healthcare innovation, including artificial intelligence in hospitals, and supporting healthtech start-ups as a mentor for the LuminaX accelerator program. We spoke with Dr Brent about his career in medicine, his vision for innovation and AI in healthcare, and the future for health tech entrepreneurs.
An immunoparasitologist, Associate Professor Danielle Stanisic fell in love with parasites as an undergraduate science student. She’s since devoted her career to studying the malaria parasite and developing a vaccine for malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes that each year kills more than 600,000 people across the globe, mainly children under 5. As a co-lead researcher for the Malaria Vaccine Project at the Institute for Glycomics, Danielle spoke with us about her research, why she is so passionate about it, and how Lumina can support the advancements in her work.
Kuku Yalanji and Lama Lama woman Dr Kerry Hall made the decision to become an enrolled nurse more than 35 years ago after witnessing the way her mum was, at times, treated by the healthcare system. Today, through her academic role at Griffith University’s First People’s Health Unit, Kerry is influencing change in the next generation of health professionals, graduating from tertiary settings, to improve health equity and access to culturally safe care.
Dr Shahina Braganza has been an Emergency Physician for 17 years. Early in her career she learnt the importance of looking after her own wellbeing and is now using her experience to support her emergency colleagues to be mindful of their own health and wellbeing.
Damian Seaton’s experience and interest in cybercrime began more than 20 years ago while working as a Senior Detective in London’s Metropolitan Police specialist crime units, investigating and prosecuting some of the UK’s most complex and serious crimes. Over the decades since, he’s worked across cybersecurity, information security and data protection, to dark web threat intelligence, digital forensics and criminal psychology. He’s now the managing director of Cyber Audit Team an independent provider of information security and cyber security specialist services here on the Gold Coast. We spoke with Damian about cyber security and why businesses need to take it seriously.
Yupin Robson’s journey as an entrepreneur started as a young girl selling Avon. Today, she’s the Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Edify Medical, a health tech start-up making a big difference for frontline healthcare workers. As one of the first participants in the LuminaX Accelerator program, Yupin explains how the program has taken her business to the next level and why other entrepreneurs should apply for the program.
The first commercial development within Lumina is due for completion in the second half of 2023. Proxima, a Centre of Excellence in Paediatrics with Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure, Griffith University, Gold Coast Health, Cancer Imaging & Therapy Centre and Mater Pathology already committed as tenants. In this episode, we spoke with Bede Blatchford, Leasing Associate Director with Colliers International, about Proxima, its design, construction and leasing opportunities.
As the inaugural Director of Griffith University’s Clinical Trial Unit, Professor Evelin Tiralongo has successfully turned the unit into a core research infrastructure facility for the university, with substantial ongoing investigator led and commercial trial business expertise. A pharmacist and academic, Evelin spoke with HealthTech Talks about her career in pharmacy and academia, her work in clinical trial leadership, the clinical trial industry in Australia and the exciting opportunities at the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct and Lumina.
At an age when Professor Anneke Fitzgerald says she should be starting to think of retirement, she’s taken on a passion project (and the long and demanding hours that go with it), that she hopes will change the lives of young and old. Anneke is the Founder and Chair of the Australian Institute for Intergenerational Practice, an organisation that is leading the way in creating meaningful relationships between children and elderly people. She’s also one of the people behind the scenes of the popular ABC series ‘Old People’s Home for 4 year olds’. Anneke believes the work of the Institute could influence big change in our communities.
About this episode: When Eloise Keefe began her career as a research scientist for the sugar industry, she could not have predicted where it would take her. Now, some 15 years later, her in-depth knowledge and experience combined with her business acumen from managing multi-million dollar research projects has taken her career in a new direction. As the commercial business manager for the Institute of Glycomics at Griffith University and a coach for the LuminaX Health Accelerator program, Eloise is helping to shape the future of healthcare research and startups right here on the Gold Coast.
About this episode: When Dr Hal Rice began his medical career he was planning on being an orthopaedic surgeon. That was until the advent of MRI opened his eyes to a whole new world of medical imaging. Now, as a neurointerventional radiologist, Dr Hal and his team are available around the clock to treat patients who have had a stroke. When the co-founder of the Gold Coast University Hospital Interventional Neuroradiology Service isn’t in the operating theatre, he divides his time between Qscan Radiology Clinics, which he also founded, and showcasing the Gold Coast to medical professionals around the world. It’s no wonder he was named Gold Coast Australian of the Year.
About this episode: More than 30 years after starting his career in software engineering and IT, Dr Kelvin Ross is still passionate about what he does. He says it’s not only because of the problems technology can solve but because you never know where it can lead you. Dr Kelvin has used technology to help solve problems in finance, defence and Indigenous heritage, to name a few, but his focus is now on healthcare and bringing artificial intelligence to the patient bedside.
About this episode: Dervla Loughnane is on a mission to save lives by making mental health support more accessible. Dervla is disrupting the way mental health services are delivered, turning the traditional face-to-face psychology session on its head and reaching more people in the process. As the Founder and CEO of Virtual Psychologist and Mental Health Warrior, Dervla talked to us about how she took an idea and turned it into a multi-national health care provider.
Warning: Domestic violence and suicide is mentioned in this interview. If this raises any issues for you, please phone Lifeline on 131 114.
About this episode: A cancer diagnoses at just 32 changed Makala Castelli’s perspective on life. She now makes every day count and fits more into one day than most people would fit in a week. Makala is an entrepreneur and business woman driven to help people live well with, and beyond cancer. In this interview, we talk to Makala about how this illness changed her and led to the creation of limonata and Oncana, an integrated digital platform offering a network of allied and complementary health providers dedicated to support people living with cancer.
About this episode: You won’t need to listen to this episode for long to understand why Scott Chapman is ranked in the country’s top 100 entrepreneurs! From starting his career in radio, to owning a restaurant on the side – which then grew to 8 restaurants – to most recently stepping into the digital world to create a wellness program for people living with disability (including his nephew), Scott Chapman is a man on a mission. We spoke with Scott about his journey as an entrepreneur and what drives him.
Warning: Sexual abuse is mentioned in this interview. If this raises any issues for you, please phone the confidential sexual assault support service ‘1800 RESPECT’ on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 131 114.
About this episode: Dren Xerxa found his passion for entrepreneurship in his early twenties. After his first taste of success, he turned his attention to helping other entrepreneurs to connect and thrive by building communities of like-minded people around the world. We spoke with Dren about the community he’s building within the Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct as Program Manager at Cohort, the Gold Coast’s tech start-up launchpad and incubator, and find out about LuminaX, the accelerator program he created for Australian HealthTech Startups.
About this episode: Dr Jon Field has been described as a medico revolutionising the health industry. As the Chief Executive Officer of DOCTO, Australia’s online hospital, Dr Jon is changing the way people access care from medical specialists. We talk to Jon, an intensive care physician at Gold Coast University Hospital, about DOCTO – why he started the service, how his team got it up and running and his vision for the ground-breaking telehealth platform.