MTPConnect is supported by a talented executive team.
Dr Dan Grant - Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Dr Dan Grant has spent more than 25 years in senior roles in the pharmaceutical, higher education and medical research sectors. Prior to joining MTPConnect in 2018, Dr Grant was the inaugural Pro Vice Chancellor for Industry Engagement at La Trobe University where he had oversight of the university's innovation, commercialisation and industry engagement activities.
He was also the Senior Director and Head of Pfizer's External Research and Development Innovation group for ANZ/Singapore and their head of open innovation. Dan also sits on the Expert Advisory Panel for the Stem Cell Mission. He has a PhD in Cardiovascular Physiology and an MBA.
Jarrod Belcher - Director Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative
Jarrod Belcher is our Director of the REDI program, based in Melbourne. Previously, Jarrod was General Manager - Middle East North Africa for Site Group International, an ASX listed company providing Australian accredited and non-accredited training programs around the world. Throughout his career, he has been a passionate workforce development professional committed to assisting companies and industries achieve their potential through skilling workforces, across the Pacific, Asia and Middle East to government, NGO and corporate clients utilising innovative practices to embed and apply newly developed skills and behaviours.
He has led the delivery of the first vocational Bachelor of Biotechnology program delivered in TAFE and the delivery of biotechnology qualifications into China. Jarrod has a background in the biosciences with a BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Melbourne, and postgraduate qualifications in training and education and competitive manufacturing.
Andrew Bowskill - Director Stakeholder Engagement Queensland
Andrew Bowskill is our Director of Stakeholder Engagement for Queensland, working from the MTPConnect office at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) in Woolloongabba, Brisbane. Andrew joins us from Medicines Australia, where he was Manager of Industry and Regulatory Policy, engaging with a broad cross section of stakeholders including consumer groups, companies, peak bodies and Commonwealth and State officials.
As well as his extensive networks, Andrew brings deep understanding of MTP industry and regulatory policy including R&D policy, intellectual property, trade agreements and biosimilars. Andrew has a Bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Otago and has held a number of pharmacy roles in Queensland including Clinical Pharmacist, Adult Emergency and Medical Admissions and Planning Unit, Mater Pharmacy Services and Team Leader, Mater Private Hospital Pharmacy.
Rebekah Craggs - Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator Western Australia
Rebekah Craggs joins our team as our Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator WA assisting our Director Stakeholder Engagement WA, Dr Tracey Wilkinson. Working in partnership with the WA State Government and UWA, her role will be key in developing and delivering events, assisting the vision and goals of the national MTPConnect team, and working across all areas of WA industry to increase participation, engagement, and innovation within the life sciences.
Rebekah has worked at Curtin University and Innovation Central Perth on various Industry 4.0 projects and in placements at Horizon Power, the Perth Symphony Orchestra, and The Valuing Children Initiative. Rebekah graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University, majoring in marketing and creative writing.
Jenny Devlin - Executive Assistant to the Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer
Jenny Devlin is our Executive Assistant to the Managing Director & CEO, Dr Dan Grant. She brings extensive experience to the role, coming from AHIC Carrier, where she spent six years as EA to the General Manager and National Operations Manager.
She has previously worked in similar roles at medical imaging company I-Med Network and dairy business Fonterra Australia, and prior to that, was at ExxonMobil for 11 years as EA to General Counsel.
Stuart Dignam - Chief Operating Officer
Stuart Dignam is an accomplished corporate affairs professional with experience across operations, communications, issues management and policy in the public and private sectors.
Mr Dignam has held a number of senior positions, including General Manager, Policy & Corporate Affairs at CPA Australia, Queensland Deputy Trade & Investment Commissioner for the Americas and Executive Director, Office of the Director-General of Premier and Cabinet in Queensland. He has worked as a broadcaster for ABC Radio and as a government media and policy advisor.
Caroline Duell - Director Media & Communications
Caroline holds an impressive skill set and extensive background in communications and media management. In the MTP sector, Caroline has worked as Public Affairs Lead, Australia and New Zealand, at Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia and as Corporate Communications Director at GSK's global headquarters, based in the UK.
She has also worked at Fonterra Australia, the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and a number of public relations consulting firms specialising in corporate affairs and health.
Caroline holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne where she majored in economics and commercial law.
Dr David Fox - Senior Director Sustainability
David Fox is our Senior Director of Sustainability. He has worked at the interface of medical science, entrepreneurship and finance for almost 20 years. Most recently he was at a university technology transfer office where he covered health, business and law. Prior to that he gained global experience in capital markets, technology valuation and commercial development as a management consultant, senior equities analyst and fund manager.
While in these roles, David took time to sit on advisory groups for organisations including the CSIRO, Council of Small Business of Australia and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and supervised a number of doctoral students to completion. David completed his PhD on entrepreneurship and finance in the biotechnology sector after receiving a Bachelor of Science with first class honours in microbiology and immunology.
Dr Gerard Gibbs - Senior Director BioMedTech Horizons Program
Dr Gerard Gibbs is our Senior Director of the BioMedTech Horizons program, based at the MTPConnect Head Office in Melbourne. He is responsible for the overall project management, delivery, promotion and reporting the program. Prior to joining MTPConnect, he was the Asia Pacific Senior Business Development Lead and Product Specialist at Agilent Technologies.
Gerard was also a Program Manager at Biomedical Research Victoria leading and delivering a strategic State Government-funded program that created a marketing platform, training program and business tools supporting research and innovation across Victoria. With a background in biological sciences research, he was a highly published Post-Doctoral Scientist and Senior Research Officer at Monash University.
Lauren Kelly - Senior Director of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative
Lauren Kelly is our Senior Director of the TTRA initiative, based in Melbourne. Lauren specialises in the translation of science and technology and has extensive experience in developing, leading, and managing new initiatives, multidisciplinary teams, biobanks, pre-clinical and clinical R&D projects.
Before joining MTPConnect, Lauren’s roles involved coordinating multinational, industry and academic drug discovery and translational research programs centring around metabolism and cardiovascular disease at Monash University. In addition, she developed and directed industry engagement initiatives for the Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute.
Prior to her time at Monash, Lauren managed the research portfolio of the Cooperative Research Centre for Mental Health, with work focused on the discovery and validation of biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and mood disorders. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science and Master of Business (Science and Technology) from Monash University, and a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance.
Dr Meghana Kulkarni - Project Manager AAMRNet
Dr Meghana Kulkarni is Project Manager of our Australian Antimicrobial Resistance Network, AAMRNet, based in Melbourne. She works closely with AAMRNet co-Chair Andrew Bowskill, our Director of Stakeholder Engagement for Queensland.
Meghana has a Bachelor of Dental Surgery and a Masters of Biomedical and Health Sciences at Monash University, researching breast cancer organoid technology.
In 2021, she completed an internship at MTPConnect as Associate Project Manager working across the Biomedical Translation Bridge program and the Targeted Translational Research Accelerator program - focusing on efficient funding and management of innovative research projects.
In 2020, Meghana undertook an internship at Consciousness-tLAB, Monash Biomedical Imaging. She also holds GCP (WAHTN) and GMP (PharmOut) qualifications.
Dr Mana Liao - Director of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative
Dr Mana Liao is our Director of the TTRA initiative, based in Sydney. With a background as a technology commercialisation professional, Mana has extensive experience working at the interface of medical research, commercialisation and life science investment. Previously, Mana was the Innovation Manager at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, tracking multidisciplinary research areas including genomics, cancer, diabetes, immunology and neuroscience, across the institute and collaborative research centres to file patents, build industry partnerships, manage the IP portfolio, establish pre-spin-offs, lead teams of bio-entrepreneurs and procure commercialisation funding.
In prior roles at the University of Sydney, as a Commercialisation Officer and a Business Development Manager she supported technology innovation and championed industry engagement to academics. Mana holds a Bachelor of Science with Honours (Molecular Biology and Genetics) from the University of Sydney, a Ph.D. in Medicine from the University of New South Wales and a Masters of Intellectual Property from University of Technology Sydney. Mana’s post-doctoral research, at the Garvan Institute, involved identification and validation of novel drug targets for diabetes and obesity.
Dr Michelle Low - Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative Project Manager
Dr Michelle Low is our REDI Project Manager, based in Melbourne. Previously, Michelle was the Policy and Research Officer at the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) and a Policy Analyst with The Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). Michelle has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa and up until 2018 was a Lecturer of Chemical Engineering there. In 2012, she co-founded a non-profit company called Engineers Without Borders - South Africa and in 2017 she won a community service award.
Dr Duncan Macinnis - Director Stakeholder Engagement New South Wales
Duncan has extensive experience in scientific research, development and commercialisation and external engagement. He was most recently Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Medicine and Health at the University of Sydney, responsible for industry engagement activities with the University’s researchers, multinational pharmaceutical and medtech companies, affiliated medical research institutes and NSW local health districts.
In a prior role at University of Sydney, he was Commercialisation Officer for the Science, Medicine and Health, and Engineering faculties. He has also held a number of commercial roles, including Commercial Manager at Vectus Biosystems Ltd and Accugen Pty Ltd (ASX: VBS), a drug discovery company developing novel anti-hypertensive and anti-fibrotic drugs, and at ESL Biosciences and Phenomenex Australia. He has also worked at UNSW’s Grants Management Office. Duncan holds a Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Western Sydney, a Bachelor of Advanced Science with Honours (Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) from UNSW and a Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from the Australian Institute of Business.
Dr Erin McAllum - Project Manager of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative
Dr Erin McAllum is our Project Manager of the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative.
Prior to joining the team at MTPConnect, Erin spent four years leading a research project at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health to discover the role of biological metals in dementia and Parkinson’s disease. Her research has also contributed to the pre-clinical development of a novel therapeutic for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, now in clinical trials in Australia. Erin has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Otago in New Zealand and a PhD in Neuroscience from the University of Melbourne.
Libby Pearce - Executive Officer Special Projects
Libby Pearce has over 20 years’ experience working in administrative, analytical and training roles across the automotive, accounting and online training industries. She has worked for Ford Motor Company, CPDLive, Xero, Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce, and CPA Australia. As an experienced Executive Assistant she enjoys analytical work, streamlining processes, and most of all, supporting people.
Her role as Executive Officer Special Projects allows her to apply her cross-functional knowledge across various MTPConnect projects and events. Libby holds a Bachelor of Business (Human Resources).
Danielle Shand - Director of the Biomedical Translation Bridge Program
Danielle has worked in business operations within the pharmaceutical industry and has more than 15 years of background experience in business administrative management. During this time she has continually evolved and developed enhanced leadership skills for working in today’s digital and agile environments.
At Pfizer, she played an integral role in shaping, developing and growing the Australia and New Zealand Oncology Business Unit (ANZOBU) platform and its people. Danielle worked collaboratively to ensure strategic planning, budgeting and operation initiatives within marketing were executed, monitored and that the deliverables were in alignment with the priorities and Pfizer’s imperatives. Through active leadership in a matrix environment she drove internal / external communication campaigns, carried out important project management and business analysis work to ensure that goals, objectives and growth projections were achieved.
Dr Vishal Srivastava - Director BioMedTech Horizons Program
Dr Vishal C. Srivastava has 20 years of experience in the biotechnology sector, as a scientist, and in R&D investment, collaboration/partnerships, business development and technology transfer. Vishal’s international career includes roles in Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
After taking on a scientist/business development role at HortResearch in Hamilton, he became an Investment Manager at New Zealand Government’s largest R&D investment agency – the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. In Australia, he was part of the Deakin Research Commercial Division at Deakin University, where he was responsible for business development in nano-materials. He has a PhD in Biotechnology and Bioprocess Engineering (Massey University) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Administration from Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand.
Elizabeth Stares - Director, Corporate Reporting and Risk Management
Elizabeth is an accomplished product designer, specialising in designing medical devices, surgical tools and consumer products for UK and worldwide markets, and is a lead inventor on multiple in-force US patent families. Elizabeth’s medical and consumer devices project management experience has seen her leading and delivering large EU-Government funded projects with numerous partners across multiple countries, and projects values up to $2.7 million.
Following a move to Australia in 2010, a role in a design consultancy and as a product design advisor to various start-up companies, she worked with the MTPConnect Chair to determine the need and remit for the Growth Centre, and manage its establishment.
Elizabeth is now the Director for Corporate Reporting and Risk Management. This involves working on current and future MTPConnect projects; focusing on projects that solve constraints and gaps in the sector or build national capacity, all sharing in a funding pool of $15.6 million as well as working with MTPConnect’s other program to ensure key deliverables are met.
Dr Rebecca Tunstall - Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement
Dr Rebecca Tunstall is our Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement. Rebecca is based in the Melbourne head office and leads the stakeholder engagement teams in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.
Rebecca has extensive experience in pharmaceutical clinical development and external engagement having joined us from GSK where she spent the last 13 years in various leadership positions in clinical research and medical affairs, focusing on oncology research and development. Most recently Rebecca was the Head of Study Management where she was responsible for the managing the company’s entire Australian clinical trials program. Rebecca was a Post-Doctoral Fellow at McMaster University and University of Guelph, Ontario Canada and has a Doctor of Philosophy, Bachelor of Applied Science with Honours (Food Science and Nutrition) and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Human Movement) all from Deakin University.
Dr Amelia Vom - Project Manager, Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program
Dr Amelia Vom is our Project Manager for the BTB program, based in Melbourne.
As a project manager in the area of drug discovery, Amelia was previously a Research Manager for the Cancer Therapeutics CRC, a co-operative cancer research centre at the Parkville precinct in Melbourne and a Medicinal Chemistry Coordinator at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research (WEHI).
Amelia holds a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry from the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Dr Tracey Wilkinson - Director Stakeholder Engagement Western Australia
Tracey joins from the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth where she was the Commercialisation and Partnerships Manager in the Research Development team, responsible for identifying, assessing, developing and commercialising opportunities with a focus on sponsored research activities and the building of large-scale engagement and strategic initiatives. During her time there she also co-founded and led the WA Digital Health Accelerator pilot program.
Tracey has a background in molecular genetics, gaining a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Melbourne, based at the Howard Florey & Walter and Eliza Hall Institutes. Prior to her PhD, she was also the Co-Founder of an online bioinformatics analysis service. Her business development experience was with Melbourne Ventures at the University of Melbourne, where she worked to commercialise early stage technologies and IP developed at the University.