fbpx

2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar: Angus Weekes

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar 2022: Angus Weekes

With a passion for developing innovative treatment options for cardiovascular disease, 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Angus Weekes, is tackling one of the leading causes of patient mortality around the world. Angus’ research focuses on the biofabrication of tissue via engineered vascular grafts that strive to improve vessel bypassing treatment options .

Angus has a strong background in medical engineering research and a keen interest in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.

Throughout his PhD at QUT, Angus has been working in collaboration with the Herston Biofabrication Institute at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. His research project focuses on using electrowriting additive manufacturing to produce compliant scaffold substrates suitable for in vitro culture of vascular tissue. 

“Being exposed to such a great volume of information in a short time during the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship ensured that we gained a high-level understanding of all essential aspects of commercialisation within the Australian MedTech ecosystem.”

Throughout his experience as a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Angus built on his skills and knowledge of research commercialisation. He valued the opportunity to network with a diverse range of peers who brought multidisciplinary perspectives on healthcare issues and generated a new range of ideas to solve some of society’s greatest challenges in healthcare.

Caption: Angus in the lab working on his PhD project, researching the biofabrication of tissue via engineered vascular grafts.

The delivery of the content throughout the Menzies Scholarship enabled students like Angus to reflect and discuss what they had learned and allowed them to connect this to their personal projects. For Angus, the program provided  a high level understanding of the essential aspects of commercialisation and the Australian MedTech Ecosystem to his own innovation in his PhD. 

“I would highly recommend the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship program to those looking to expand their knowledge in the field of medical device commercialisation, who are yet to reach a start-up stage.”

Angus reflected on his high-yield outcomes from the program, stating that his experience resulted in a newfound interest and exposure to the financial aspects associated with developing a startup and commercialising medical technology. In addition to this, he believes that broadening his peer and industry network has been a key takeaway that can support his entrepreneurship journey. 

“Aside from the exceptional content, the MedTech Actuator team were extremely accommodating, great people who were happy to answer any number of questions, accommodating all attendees during the program.”

Since completing the program, Angus has continued to work on his PhD research which he expects to conclude early in 2024. Beyond the program Angus has had the opportunity to gain industry experience working as a Research & Development Engineer with Gelomics Pty Ltd, a biotech start-up based in Brisbane, where he has observed the development of the company and been involved in various projects that has enhanced and applied his understanding of commercialisation learned in the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Program. 

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2023 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

Hear from previous Scholars:

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Nina Langer: Menzies Scholar 2022

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar 2022: Nina Langer

Nina Langer is a mechanical engineer and a PhD candidate at Monash University bringing innovation to cardiovascular healthcare through her research and development of a heart-assist pump to improve the quality of life of patients with heart failure. In 2022, Nina was a MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, taking on one of society’s leading causes of death, heart failure. 

Developing a novel ventricular assist device for patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction.

One particular challenge contributing to worldwide healthcare burdens lies in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), which lacks enough research despite accounting for approximately 50 percent of cases leading to heart failure. Nina was motivated to explore the area and develop innovative solutions with the goal of improving health and quality of life for people across the globe. Through dedicated research and scientific advancements, Nina has taken on the project with deep passion for making an impact in the MedTech industry. 

“The unique interface between medicine and engineering fascinates me, and the collaboration between engineers and clinicians presents exciting opportunities”

Nina’s project is specifically tailored to study the hemodynamics and anatomical conditions of patients with heart failure. Her findings reveal that other treatment solutions are often large and difficult to implant, compromising patients’ chance of post-surgical survival. With little to no treatment options remaining, patients with life-threatening cases of heart failure often resort to palliative care. Through Nina’s proposed solution to this pressing problem, a novel heart pump could serve as a bridge between transplantation and permanent therapy, meeting an unmet need in the treatment of heart failure while reducing its financial burden on the healthcare system. 

Caption: Nina Langer working on her PhD project to develop a novel heart pump. 

Throughout Nina’s journey as a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, she gained valuable knowledge about commercialisation strategies and business models, which she is applying to her research project and beyond. 

“The Menzies Scholarship Program offered me insights into the process of bringing a product to market and helped me determine my project’s stage and plan ahead.”

Nina participated in a series of workshops and interactive online coaching sessions throughout the Menzies Scholarship Program, and sought guidance from industry experts and inspiring founders where she learned valuable insights into the startup journey. In addition, the program helped Nina develop a well-defined plan for moving forward post-PhD, allowing her to gain a comprehensive perspective and strategic approach in advancing her career path. 

Since completing the program, Nina has continued her PhD studies, taking her expanded skill set and drive for innovation, now focusing on the product development of her novel ventricular assist device for patients with heart failure. 

I highly recommend the Menzies program due to its personalised approach and emphasis on individual projects… This tailored support fosters valuable learning and enables participants to effectively apply these strategies to their own projects, enhancing their chances of success in the competitive business landscape.”

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2023 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

Hear from previous Scholars:

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Meet George, our new General Manager for Singapore. 

MedTech Actuator welcomes our new General Manager (Singapore), George Han to the team. George will help drive the strategic growth and leadership of programs, and the ecosystem across Singapore and the region. 

With his studies from the National University of Singapore, and an MBA from the University of Hull, George is equipped with the skills and knowledge for leading a team and developing relationships with founders and startup talent, as well as the ability to map out business strategies for the sustainability of startups. 

George began working within the startup ecosystem in 2011 when he was selected to head the Sandbox function at Singapore University, building out the incubator operations from an infancy stage. Over the next six years, George worked with over 500 founders in developing their ideas into investable propositions. 

Through his time at two key universities in Singapore, George discovered his passion and skill set for entrepreneurship and learned that his experience could be incredibly valuable for startups in their venture creation journey. George worked across many projects that allowed him to further develop his knowledge of startup incubation. A highlight for George was working with founders of FinTech and EduTech, which allowed him to understand the importance of leveraging technology to empower businesses in their value proposition. 

At the National University of Singapore Industry Liaison Office, George worked with founders of DeepTech in renewable energy and artificial intelligence, where he learned the challenges of commercialisation of intellectual property, and the importance of equipping founders with a vast spectrum of skills and knowledge to build products and successful ventures. 

“As humanity has evolved, the problems faced are growing and complex – from developing solutions to a vast host of health issues to ensuring basic adequacy for a global population of 8 billion – the need for technology has never been more pronounced”.

As society is faced with the complexity of issues brought by population growth, George is motivated to work with founders who have a vision for improving the welfare and wellbeing of society and is excited to bring solutions by leveraging technology in the MedTech space.

“As a team, I am blessed with the opportunity to work with passionate and committed individuals who are experts in their fields”

George is excited by the opportunity to build a network of key stakeholders in Singapore and beyond, and further develop the opportunities for growth and expansion for startups. He is looking forward to supporting and guiding founders on their journey as they transform their ideas into sustainable business ventures. Understanding that learning is a lifelong process, George is excited to support founders to develop their skills and knowledge that will strengthen their value proposition for stakeholders.

Meet our team

More on how the MedTech Actuator team is supporting Asia Pacific’s next wave of health innovators – meet: