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BioForum – Advancing Non-Animal Models in Biomedical Research

February 29 @ 4:00 pm - 6:45 pm AEDT

Join us for an exciting discussion about the transformative potential of non-animal models to study complex biological processes, advance science and generate over $1.5 billion in revenue and over 5,000 jobs in Australia by 2040. 

Learn how human-derived models such as 3D-cell cultures, organoids and organ-on-chip technologies and microfluidic platforms offer valuable alternatives in research, drug discovery programs and preclinical trials, where traditionally animals are used. We will also discuss the implications of this advancement for both our healthtech sector and local economy. 

Be informed about: 

  • Non-animal models – the what, why and who 
  • Economic opportunities – investment incentives, global competitiveness and job creation 
  • Challenges and solutions – non-animal model limitations and improving reliability  
  • Support – partnerships, regulation and infrastructure 
  • Ethics – aligning research with evolving societal values.

What to expect: 

  • The latest updates from industry experts 
  • Engaging information for diverse audiences 
  • Dynamic panel Q&A session 
  • In-person networking opportunities with peers. 

Who should attend: 

  • Professionals seeking to improve knowledge and foster connections  
  • Scientists and clinicians engaging in research, disease modelling, drug discovery, preclinical and clinical trials 
  • Biobank representatives, grant funding bodies, regulators and policy makers. 

Event details:

Date: Thursday 29 February 2024
Time (AEDT):
3:45 pm: Guest arrival and registration
4:00 pm – 5:45 pm: Presentations and Q&A
5:45 pm – 6:45 pm: Networking
Format: Hybrid – In person and online
ACMI, Swinburne Studio, Federation Square, Melbourne 3000
Facilitator: Christos Papadimitriou, CEO and Managing Director, Tessara Therapeutics Pty Ltd
Professor Carl Kirkpatrick, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University
Laura Thomas, Strategy Manager, CSIRO
Dr Ella Robinson, Senior Impact and Ethics Analyst, Australian Ethical
Host: Jeff Malone, CEO, BioMelbourne Network
In-person: Members $85; Non Members $175
Online: Members $25; Non Members $45

This event is kindly sponsored by the State Government of Victoria


Cancellation Policy

In-person registration:
Full refund given up to 7 days prior to the event
No refunds within 7 days of the event
Online registration:
Full refund given up to 3 days prior to the event
No refunds within 3 days of the event

Professor Carl Kirkpatrick, Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Centre for Medicine Use and Safety, Monash University

Carl is Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Medicine Use and Safety. He has a significant portfolio of research in optimising pharmacotherapy via pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic modelling techniques to improve patient outcomes.

His research interests include population pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic modelling, monitoring and bayesian optimisation of dosing of antibacterial agents (especially aminoglycosides), optimisation of dosing in renal dysfunction, pharmacokinetics and dosing in obesity, drugs in breast milk and quality use of medicines.

Christos Papadimitriou, CEO and Managing Director, Tessara Therapeutics Pty Ltd

Christos Papadimitriou is the CEO and Managing Director of Tessara Therapeutics, a pioneering biotech company based in Melbourne.

Tessara has developed the RealBrain® platform, which leverages 3D human neural micro-tissues—often referred to as human "mini-brains"—to revolutionise drug screening for neurological diseases. The RealBrain® platform merges cutting-edge advancements in neuroscience, biomaterials, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and industrial automation, enabling the pharmaceutical industry to accelerate the development of reliable therapies, reduce costs, and minimize animal testing.

Before starting Tessara, Christos distinguished himself in the field of regenerative medicine, working at globally renowned institutions such as Johns Hopkins Medical School, ETH Zurich, EMBL Heidelberg, and the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. His work has consistently focused on translating scientific discoveries into commercial applications, with an emphasis on tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Dr Ella Robinson, Senior Impact and Ethics Analyst, Australian Ethical

Dr Ella Robinson is a Senior Impact and Ethics Analyst at Australian Ethical Investment, an ethical fund manager and superannuation fund. Ella is responsible for assessing investments against the Australian Ethical Charter, evaluating the impacts of industries and investments on people, animals and the planet. Ella has a particular interest in food sector-related impacts. Prior to joining Australian Ethical, Ella worked in food policy and public health research for the university sector. Ella has a PhD in public health and a BBiomedSc.

Laura Thomas, Strategy Manager, CSIRO

Laura is a Strategy Manager in the CSIRO Futures team, the advisory arm of Australia's national science agency.

Laura has extensive experience working closely with researchers and industry leaders in health and scientific innovation activities, and in qualitative and quantitative research. Her skills include supporting innovative health project and product development; government relations and stakeholder engagement and management; and aligning business plans and strategies to facilitate their translation into practice.

Prior to joining CSIRO Futures, Laura has worked with Australian Red Cross Lifeblood as a senior government relations advisor; The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, and World Health Organisation as a project manager and epidemiologist; and in the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health at the University of Melbourne in a range of academic teaching, and public health law and policy research roles.


February 29
4:00 pm - 6:45 pm
$25 - $175
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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