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mRNA Lecture: Exploring the Clinical Trials Landscape

May 2, 2023 @ 4:30 pm - 7:00 pm AEST

View Lecture Three recording below

About the series:

mRNA Victoria and BioMelbourne Network, are hosting a series of four lectures in the first half of 2023 for the Victorian RNA community.A networking session for attendees to foster new connections and nurture existing ones with each other will conclude each lecture event. Refreshments will be provided.These lectures present an opportunity for leading specialists in the RNA sector to share their knowledge with the local RNA community. The accompanying networking session following each lecture is also an opportunity to foster connections between researchers, industry and government so that synergies and collaboration opportunities can be discovered.

Click here to explore the mRNA Lecture Series

Lecture Three: Exploring the Clinical Trials Landscape (SOLD OUT)

The third lecture in the mRNA Victoria and BioMelbourne Network lecture series is focused on clinical trials and associated considerations. The session will be chaired by Michelle Gallagher (CEO, Opyl) and will include presentations from three speakers followed by a Q&A panel discussion. The intended audience is those that have an interest in the progression of RNA based candidates from preclinical development to clinical trials and the steps taken in order to ensure the appropriate decisions are made for study design and execution. The emphasis will be on specific considerations for progressing RNA based candidates to clinic and where the field can progress in the future.

We are fortunate to have three speakers with expertise across a range of facets associated with clinical trial screening, planning and delivery: 
Dr Jason Lickliter, Chief Medical Officer, Nucleus Network: who will talk about Phase 1 clinical trials of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics
Dr Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer, Moderna: who will speak about the Moderna clinical trials pipeline (USA)
Dr Elizabeth Hartland, Director, Hudson Institute: who will discuss the screening of RNA for potential innate immune response effects

Lecture Three event recording:

Video timestamps:

0.05 Welcome and opening remarks | Jeff Malone, CEO, BioMelbourne Network
4:23 Lecture 3 Introduction | Michelle Gallaher, CEO, Opyl
9:56 Phase 1 clinical trials of mRNA vaccines and therapeutics | Dr Jason Lickliter, Chief Medical Officer, Nucleus Network
26:59 RNAte platform supporting the development of safe and effective RNA-based vaccines and therapeutics | Dr Elizabeth Hartland, Director, Hudson Institute
41:14 Moderna’s mRNA Platform Technology and Development Portfolio | Dr Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer, Moderna
55:51 Audience Q&A

About mRNA Victoria

mRNA Victoria is responsible for leading the Victorian Government’s commitment to establish a world-class mRNA and RNA industry in Victoria, by supporting supply chain, research and development for pre and clinical research, commercialisation and manufacturing investments.Its role is to identify key capabilities, gaps, opportunities and lead the Victorian Government’s engagement, investment and partnerships with domestic and international companies, researchers and stakeholders to build RNA capability.

This lecture series is delivered in partnership with mRNA Victoria and the State Government of Victoria




Dr Paul Burton, Chief Medical Officer, Moderna (USA)

Paul Burton MD PhD FRCP, is Chief Medical Officer at Moderna Therapeutics, a role he has had since July 2021, and where he has global responsibility for all medical strategy as well as patient safety and pharmacovigilance. Prior to joining Moderna, Paul spent 16 years at Johnson and Johnson, most recently as Chief Global Medical Affairs Officer. Paul has over 20 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience. He received his MD and PhD from the University of London, and did clinical training in cardiothoracic surgery.

Professor Elizabeth Hartland, Director and CEO, Hudson Institute of Medical Research

Professor Elizabeth Hartland is the Director and CEO of Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne and Head of the Department of Molecular and Translational Science at Monash University. She is a leading Australian microbiologist with a research interest in defining the strategies used by pathogenic bacteria to evade immune detection.

She has held a Royal Society/NHMRC Howard Florey Fellowship in the Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College London and Lecturer/Senior Lecturer positions at Monash University, Australia. She was an inaugural Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Melbourne and subsequently held key leadership positions as Head of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology and Deputy Director of the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity. She is an Honorary Distinguished Professor of Hokkaido University, Japan and in 2022 was invited to present the inaugural Australian Society for Microbiology Distinguished Lecture and the University of Virginia, School of Medicine Robert J. Kadner Distinguished Lecture in Microbiology. She is a current member of NHMRC Council (2021-2024), President Elect of the Australian Association of Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI) and Chair of the Victorian Chapter of AAMRI (VicAAMRI).

Dr Jason Lickliter, Chief Medical Officer, Nucleus Network

Dr Jason Lickliter is the Chief Medical Officer of Nucleus Network, an early-phase clinical trials organization with units in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia, and Minneapolis, USA.

He has a medical degree from the University of Queensland and completed training in medical oncology at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and University of Minnesota Medical Centre. Research training included PhD studies at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and postdoctoral research in translational immuno-oncology at the University of Minnesota.

Dr Lickliter has wide-ranging experience in the design, implementation and performance of phase 1 clinical trials. He has over 20 years of experience as an investigator for phase 1 oncology patient studies. Since joining Nucleus Network in 2012 he has been principal investigator for over 200 early-phase clinical pharmacology trials, including multiple first-in-human studies of cutting-edge therapeutic technologies.

Michelle Gallaher, Chief Executive Officer, Opyl Ltd

Michelle Gallaher is a Melbourne-based award-winning entrepreneur, speaker and advocate for the Australian health technology sector and for women in science, technology, engineering maths and medicine (STEMM).

As CEO of Opyl Ltd (ASX:OPL) a company working at the intersection of social media, clinical trials, health data and artificial intelligence, Michelle is a sought-after mentor, collaborator, media commentator and influencer particularly on the pace of advancement of emerging digital health technologies, the role of AI in health the value of social media platforms and the pivotal role of women in STEMM industries.

Her career spans working an allied health clinician (an Orthoptist) in public hospitals working with vision impaired and head injury patients through to biopharmaceutical executive roles and finally leading tech startups – which is where you will now find her.

Michelle has served the Victorian biotech industry as CEO of the peak body for biotechnology and medtech in Victoria, the BioMelbourne Network, and is the co-founder of two technology startup companies (one successful acquired in 2018) and a not-for-profit organisation, Women in STEMM Australia.

Michelle has served and continues to serve as a non-executive director (NED) and advisor within universities, private and in public companies, not-for-profits and on various government committees and boards throughout her career. She currently serves as a NED on Cancer Trials Australia, Praxis Australia and the Medtech Actuator.

Michelle was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll for Women in 2018 in recognition of her leadership in the Victorian technology sector. She was the Victorian Telstra Business Woman of the Year and Victorian Entrepreneur of the Year in 2017.

Michelle was also named as a finalist in the Australian Small Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 and the The Social Science (her first startup) was the winner of a Westpac 200 Business of Tomorrow award in June 2018.

Michelle is a Fellow of the Australian Institute for Management and a Graduate of the Institute for Company Directors.

Renowned for loving a microphone and a soapbox, Michelle is an accomplished speaker, (TedX 2014) MC and media commentator, a master networker and mother of two remarkable teenagers. She does not like cricket. Never has.


May 2, 2023
4:30 pm - 7:00 pm
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


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