Professor Brett Neilan
Professor Brett Neilan
Professor Brett Neilan is a molecular biologist and an expert in the study of microbial diversity and their chemistries. The main topic of his work is the genetics of toxic cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). His research has led to an understanding of the biochemical pathways that are responsible for the production of their toxins.
He obtained his PhD in microbial and molecular biology from University of New South Wales. Prior to his PhD training, Brett obtained a BAppSc in biomedical science at the University of Technology, Sydney and then worked as a biotechnologist, medical researcher, and forensic biologist.
His postdoctoral position as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship in Berlin was on complex biosynthesis genetics. The continuation of this early work and a NASA internship at Stanford University has become the basis for current studies regarding the search for microbial natural products in novel environments, including in symbiotic relationships with plants and under the extreme conditions of Antarctica and Australian deserts.
Previously a Federation Fellow for the Australian Research Council at the University of New South Wales, Brett is now the Global Innovation Chair in Biotechnology at the University of Newcastle and studies the mechanisms responsible for the complex biosynthesis of a range of biomaterials and pharmacologically active compounds to assist in the design and synthesis of novel products in a photosynthetic bioreactor.
Matt Clacy
Matt Clacy
Matt has worked in the medical and clinical research industry since 2000, with experience working for multinational companies in Asia Pacific, Europe and the USA.
In 2015 he was one of the original founders who sought and attained capital funding for a new company, Paratus Clinical of which he is now Chief Commercial Officer.
Paratus Clinical sites run studies on behalf of mainly commercial ‘sponsors’ in Primary and Specialist care in a growing network of sites, across the Eastern states of Australia.
Amanda Koegelenberg
Amanda Koegelenberg
With a background in Biotechnology and Business (Commerce), my experience crosses the translational research pipeline (medical/scientific) from laboratory research to clinical trials. I am currently involved in overseeing and coordinating support for research across NSW Health Pathology, including governance, strategy and intellectual property.
NSW Health Pathology is our State’s public pathology service provider operating >200 collection centres and 60 laboratories across the State. We provide clinical testing services to patients referred to us from hospitals, general practices or other referral centres and conduct our own research into new diagnostic tests and technologies. In collaboration with our research communities (University, government and commercial) we also provide a multitude of clinical and RoU (Research only use) tests across the areas of microbiology, anatomical pathology, clinical chemistry, immunology, and haematology and are in the unique positioned to have an ever expanding innovative point of care technology, genomics and forensic science services.
While NSW Health Pathology spans across all of NSW, our support to regional initiatives and our ability to provide access to a unique pool of experienced clinicians and scientists and associated pathological data means we are able to collaborate on advancements in medical technologies and pharmaceuticals. I would love to have a chat if you have any questions about research in general or how NSW Health Pathology may be able to assist you and your medtech idea!
Darran Leyden
Darran Leyden
Darran Leyden is the Managing Director of Whiteley Corporation who are a global leader in developing and manufacturing novel Infection Prevention products. Whiteley are an Australian owned company based in the Hunter.
Darran has been involved in a number of collaborative research projects with Australian and International Universities leading to numerous patents and the commercialization of products to global Healthcare markets. He has extensive experience in Export markets and has been a Director of Whiteley Corporation NZ since 2014.
His education includes a Bachelor of Science and a Master Of Business (Merit) from Newcastle University and he is a keen advocate of supporting Advanced Manufacturing, MedTeCCH, STEM and Rugby within the Hunter region.
SAPHI - Liam, Eric & Cameron
SAPHI - Liam, Eric & Cameron
SAPHI Engineering is a Newcastle based technology company specialising in end-to-end IoT development and product prototyping.
The experienced founders Cameron Owen, Eric Johns and Liam Manning, all hailing from the country (Tamworth, Mudgee and Dubbo), have developed an innovative company that develops robust systems and prototypes that are changing the way our world interacts with technology.

Our diverse team are comprised of expert programmers (both embedded and web/mobile development) that have both the hardware and software expertise to develop robust, end-to-end systems.”
Visit www.saphi.engineering

Josh Jeffress
Josh Jeffress
As Co-founder and Managing Director at Design Anthology, Josh Jeffress has spent most of his professional life helping others execute their ideas. Since graduating from the University of Newcastle in 2005, with first class honours in Industrial Design, Josh has established his position as a well-respected and well-known designer in the Newcastle, Hunter and Central Coast regions.
He started his career as a fitter machinist, honing his skills and building a foundational understanding of mechatronics, materials and production process. Eventually, design caught Josh’ eye as a pathway to assisting people to bring their ideas to market. And so, in 2006 Josh co-founded Design Anthology as a design agency capable of delivering products ranging in complexity and scale across a broad set of industries.
Josh regularly contributes to the local ecosystem as a speaker and is a valued mentor as part of the University of Newcastle’s Venture Mentor Service and regularly presents at innovation and marker events. In October 2020, Josh was appointed to the board of Dantia, to support their work on transformational growth and job creation projects across Lake Macquarie City. The proud recipient of the Sue Park Memorial Prize for Excellence and Innovation, Lake Macquarie Young Business Person of the Year Award and Lake Macquarie Excellence in Entrepreneurship Award.
Dr Mark Flynn
Dr Mark Flynn
Dr Mark Flynn is a highly experienced MedTech leader and strategist, particularly in identifying and solving the wicked challenges in healthcare. He has been responsible for the launch of over 20 medical devices for many millions of people globally. He is a clinical strategist who is adept at R&D and new product introduction into global markets. During his career he has worked and lived in Australia, Europe, USA, China and Latin America.

Mark has held senior executive leadership positions at Cochlear Ltd, Demant A/S, and University of Newcastle as well as for medtech start-ups in Europe (e.g. Wise Neuro & IQORO) and Australia (e.g. Atmo Biosciences, Hemideina Ltd).

Mark was awarded a PhD in Medicine (1998) from the University of Melbourne. In 2017 he was awarded dual MBAs from Georgetown University (USA) and ESADE School of Business and Law (Spain). He is the winner of 22 individual (e.g. Poets and Quants best eMBA of 2017) and group prizes (e.g. Red Dot Design Award) for his professional work.

For his product innovation he is the inventor of 17 international patent families, author of over 100 publications, and raised over $59M in non-dilutional project funding.

Today he leads Global Edge Medtech Consulting, where he works tirelessly alongside entrepreneurs and clinical innovators to enable global market entry for medical products and services that have a clear patient centric value proposition.