MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow: Dr Warwick Nesbitt

MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow Dr Warwick Nesbitt is fusing research with entrepreneurship to help reduce the prevalence and impact of cardiovascular disease.

Dr Warwick holding his Lab-on-a-chip Device

Unlocking The Potential Of Lab-On-A-Chip Technologies

Warwick is the Laboratory Head of the Haematology Micro-platforms Group, based within the Australian Centre for Blood Disease at Monash University.

His multidisciplinary group focuses on the development of novel lab-on-a-chip technologies. These technologies have applications in:

  • basic haematology/cell biology research
  • new diagnostics in thrombosis and haemostasis
  • new antithrombotic drug discovery.

Nesbitt with his Team

Making A Difference To Heart Attack And Stroke Patients

Warwick says that a key inspiration for developing the lab-on-a-chip technologies is the prevalence and impact that cardiovascular diseases – particularly heart attack and stroke – have on the community. 

“Having had family members’ quality of life impacted through the devastating effects of stroke, I am keenly aware of the need for better diagnostics and therapeutics in this area of medicine,” says Warwick.

“My hope is that by developing better tests of blood function, we can improve the clinical management of cardiovascular disease patients.”

Research x Entrepreneurship With The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship

Warwick became a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow to develop a better understanding of the MedTech landscape in Australia and internationally.

“I am excited to access the experience, expertise, and networks necessary to commercialise our lab-on-a-chip technologies.” 

As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow, Warwick is building expertise in entrepreneurship, commercialisation, and the startup ecosystem. 

This support will help to unlock the potential in his research and embed the novel lab-on-a-chip technologies in clinical practice to improve and save lives.

Through the Fellowship, Warwick receives mentorship from industry experts, a $20K stipend, networking opportunities and invitations to exclusive events.

Our Network Is Warwick’s Network For Life

As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow, our network becomes Warwick’s network – not just throughout the program, but for life. He joins our community of:

  • The brightest MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech founders across Asia Pacific in the MedTech Actuator Accelerator
  • MedTech Actuator’s extensive ecosystem of partners spanning hospitals, product development firms, multinational corporations, and investors
  • MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars and Fellows
  • MedTech Actuator Origin entrepreneurs

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow?

If you’re a senior researcher in human health at an Australian university or research institute, the prestigious MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship can help you to transform your research impact.

Get ready to fuse your research and science expertise with entrepreneurship – applications for the MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship 2023 will open in the coming months.

Women and applicants from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply for our 2023 intake. We want to hear from you and would love to chat if you have questions – reach out below.

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You can also reach out to MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas, with any questions at makenzie@medtechactuator.com

Meet Makenzie – Program and Community Coordinator

MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator Makenzie Thomas brings her passion for entrepreneurship, startup ecosystems and supporting founders to delivering MedTech Actuator Origin, and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs.

Makenzie’s international experience spans Europe, Australia, and Canada – working in project management, marketing, business innovation, academic research, and creative and cultural entrepreneurship.

MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.
Makenzie with Maria Pelipas – MedTech Actuator, Emily Casey – What The Health and Bonnie Zhang – TRAM, University of Melbourne at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.

Makenzie draws on this international experience to deliver MedTech Actuator Origin – an idea pitch competition – and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs – supporting researchers alongside the Menzies Foundation to transform their impact.

“My role covers everything from rolling out application campaigns to participant experience, to program delivery. I also look after our community and its activities,” says Makenzie.

“From one day to the next I could be writing communications, drafting social media visuals, developing program strategy, jumping into workshops, providing pitch feedback to founders, working with our network of inspiring speakers – it is quite a mixed bag!”

Cheering on founders

Working with founders is a real highlight for Makenzie in her role.

“They’ve got such a unique energy that becomes the foundation upon which they build their startups.

One thing I love about my role is that we’re right there with them, celebrating the small wins, cheering them on as they pitch (over and over) and guiding them in the right direction.

It takes so much to go from idea to successful startup and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

The ecosystem, accelerator programs, like MedTech Actuator, and their own personal networks are essential to success.

Being a part of this world and being able to have an impact across a number of founder journeys is my why. It’s the reason I’m here at MedTech Actuator.”

On the horizon

Makenzie says that there’s a lot happening in the MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech space, especially in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m entering this corner of the entrepreneurship world with fresh eyes and I know that the ecosystem is growing and seeing some big wins. I’m really excited to learn from MedTech Actuator, the innovation ecosystem and the amazing founders coming through our programs.

The ecosystem is channeling a lot of this energy into supporting and nurturing female founders as well. The State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 report published by Cut Through Ventures and Folklore noted that from 2020 to 2021, funding events involving at least one female founder rose by 1%, leaving a whopping 81% of deals for all-male founding teams.

It’s disappointing, to say the least, but it is a huge challenge facing the whole industry and it stems from a number of systemic issues. Considering that MedTech Actuator supports and works closely with so many inspiring female founders, we’ll be doing more to amplify these stories, share the wins, demand space for women at the table, and open our calendars to early-stage female founders, researchers, and clinicians so that these numbers can continue to shift in the right direction.”

Meet our team

Get to know how others in the MedTech Actuator team are supporting Asia Pacific’s next wave of health innovators: