Invited Speakers


Associate Professor Thomas Oxley

Laboratory Co-Head, Catheter Laboratory, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Laboratory Co-Head, Vascular Bionics Laboratory, Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne
Honorary Neurologist, Royal Melbourne Hospital & Endovascular Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital
Director of Innovation Strategy, Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

Associate Professor Thomas Oxley MBBS BMedSc FRACP PhD is a vascular and interventional neurologist and world expert in brain computer interfaces. He is Associate Professor and Laboratory Head of the Vascular Bionics Laboratory, University of Melbourne, Australia, as well as Clinical Instructor, Attending in the Department of Neurosurgery, Mount Sinai Hospital.

Dr Oxley has performed over 1600 endovascular neurosurgical procedures, including cerebral aneurysm coiling and clot retrievals in acute stroke. He completed internal medicine, neurology residency in 2013, stroke fellowship in 2015 (Alfred and Royal Melbourne Hospitals, Melbourne, Australia) and interventional neurology fellowship in 2017 (Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City).

Dr Oxley completed his PhD in neural engineering in 2016 at the University of Melbourne, in signal processing, image processing and medical device development. Dr Oxley has published 102 internationally peer reviewed articles that have accumulated 6000 citations, with 18 as first or last author and with an H Index of 20. Journals include Nature Biotechnology, Nature Biomedical Engineering, New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. He has raised over $25 million dollars in research grant funding.

Since 2012 Dr Oxley has founded three companies and raised a total of $12 million in private investment. He is the founding CEO of Synchron. Based in Silicon Valley, Synchron is the leading implantable brain computer interface company and only one in the clinical stage. The technology includes the Stentrode, the brainPort and brainOS: a system that enables hands-free, brain-control of devices that restore communication, object grasping and mobility to patients with paralysis.

The Stentrode technology has achieved widespread international media attention including an endorsement by the President of The United States, Barack Obama in 2016 as well being invited to conduct a TEDx talk in 2018. In 2019 Dr Oxley received the Australian Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. In 2018 Dr Oxley received the Advance Global Australian of the Year, as well as Award in Life Sciences, the UNESCO Netexplo award for Innovation, and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons 2018 Innovator of the Year. In 2019 Dr Oxley was awarded the University of Melbourne Excellence Award for Team-Based Research as well as the prestigious Australian Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research. In 2020 Dr Oxley was a Victorian nominee finalist for Australian of the Year.

Author's key paper

Large-vessel stroke as a presenting feature of Covid-19 in the young
Oxley, T.J., Mocco, J., Majidi, S., Kellner, C.P., Shoirah, H., Singh, I.P., De Leacy, R.A., Shigematsu, T., Ladner, T.R., Yaeger, K.A. and Skliut, M., 2020. New England Journal of Medicine, p.e60.


Professor Daniela Traini, PhD

NHMRC Investigator & Professor in Respiratory Science
Research Advisor for Health and Medical Research,
Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Sydney
Woolcock Institute of Medical Research


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Professor Daniela Traini is an NHMRC Investigator (2020-2024; past ARC Future Fellow) and her research portfolio covers all areas of respiratory research from bench to bedside. Professor Traini leads the Respiratory Technology group at the Woolcock Institute for Medical Research and works in collaboration with Professor Young. Professor Traini is an international leader in pulmonary drug delivery. Over the last 15 years since joining the University of Sydney, and before during her 5 years in industry, she had developed a leading research program on aerosol drug delivery, ranging from powder engineering, aerosol generation and characterization, and in vitro to in vivo correlations, including clinical translation. She has extensive experience in both academic and industrial pharmaceutics, and still retains strong link with the pharmaceutical industry. Since 2005 she has published over 220 full peer reviewed manuscripts, and has attracted more than $15 million in competitive funding.


Dr C. Glenn Begley, MBBS, PhD, FRACP, FRCPA, FRC Path, FAHMS

Chief Executive Officer, BioCurate, Pty Ltd (2017-current)

BioCurate Website

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BioCurate is a joint initiative of Monash and Melbourne Universities providing a commercial focus for their outstanding biomedical research – turning their discoveries into therapeutics.

Academic experience

Dr Begley has over 20 years basic research and clinical experience in medical oncology and hematology.  His research focused on regulation of hematopoietic cells and translational clinical trials.  His early research first described human G-CSF, and in later clinical studies, first demonstrated G-CSF-"mobilized" blood stem cells hastened hematopoietic recovery. This finding revolutionized the approach to bone-marrow transplantation worldwide.

He has published over 200 papers (>25,000 citations; h-index 77).

His TED-x seminar “The Complex Biology of Cancer” has >100,000 views.

Industry experience

In 2002 he re-located to the USA. From 2002-2012 was Vice-President and Global Head of Hematology/Oncology Research at Amgen California, responsible for building, directing and integrating Amgen’s 5 research sites.

He subsequently served as Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President at Akriveia Therapeutics, California (2016-2027; now Xilio Therapeutics) and TetraLogic Pharmaceuticals, Pennsylvania (2012-2016); as Non-Executive Director Oxford BioTherapeutics (2012-2017).

At Amgen, he highlighted the issue of research integrity and scientific reproducibility, and presented on this subject to President Obama's Science Council, the White House, USA National Institutes of Health, USA Academies of Science, USA National Institute of Standards and Technology, Wellcome Trust, Australian NHMRC, numerous Universities, research Institutes, companies, and in multiple public forums.

His honors include being elected as the first Foreign Fellow to the American Society of Clinical Investigation in 2000, to the Association of American Physicians (2008), to the Research "Hall of Fame" at his alma mater, the Royal Melbourne Hospital (2014), and to the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences (2014).

Author's key paper

Raise standards for preclinical cancer research.
Begley CG &Ellis LM. Nature 483:531-533 (2012)


Professor Keith Martin, MA, DM, MRCP, FRCOphth, FRANZCO, FARVO

Ringland Anderson Chair, Head of Department of Opthalmology
University of Melbourne

Professor Keith Martin is Managing Director of the Centre for Eye Research Australia and Ringland Anderson Professor and Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Melbourne. Until January 2019, he was Head of Ophthalmology at the University of Cambridge, Deputy Director of the University’s John van Geest Centre for Brain Repair and an Affiliate Principal Investigator at the Wellcome Trust –  MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute. He was also Academic Lead for Ophthalmology and Lead Clinician for Glaucoma at the Cambridge University Hospital.

Professor Martin is working to develop new treatments for eye disease using stem cells, gene therapy and other techniques.  He is co-founder of Quethera, a Cambridge-based gene therapy company which has developed a gene therapy for glaucoma that is currently progressing towards human clinical trials with a major pharmaceutical company. His other current main research interest is in regeneration and repair of the optic nerve.

Clinically, Professor Martin specialises in the medical and surgical management of complex glaucoma. He was President of the World Glaucoma Association from 2018-20.

Author's key paper

Neuroprotection of retinal ganglion cells by a novel gene therapy construct that achieves sustained enhancement of brain-derived neurotrophic factor/tropomyosin-related kinase receptor-B signaling.
Osborne A, Khatib TZ, Songra L, Barber AC, Hall K, Kong GYX, Widdowson PS, Martin KR.
Cell Death Dis. 2018 Sep 26;9(10):1007.