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The Perth Biodesign Team


Michelle Luca

Program Manager

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Dr James Chen

Clinical Faculty

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James is a Junior doctor at Fiona Stanley Hospital, following completion of Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at UWA in 2015. He has been working to improve the efficiency of junior doctor’s work with hospital executives. He has also had the opportunity to experience firsthand the devastating consequence of lower socioeconomic areas including in Soweto in Johannesburg, South Africa and remote communities in the Kimberley, which has nurtured a passion for equality and ensuring sustainable holistic solutions; not ‘band-aids for a broken leg’. James took part in the 2017 Perth Biodesign course and returned in 2018 as an alumni mentor.


Dr Helga Mikkelsen

Business Faculty

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Helga is an Investment Analyst at Brandon Capital, which manages the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). Following degrees in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Helga completed her PhD in microbiology at the University of Cambridge and postdoctoral research in bacterial genetics at Imperial College London. She subsequently managed the development of anti-infective medical devices in urology at CamStent Ltd (Cambridge, UK). Since her move to Australia in 2016, Helga has worked with the Telethon Kids Institute to commercialise inhaled drug treatments for respiratory disease and is a co-founder of Respirion Pharmaceuticals, which develops a new treatment for chronic lung infections in patients with cystic fibrosis.


Dr Matthew Oldakowski


Perth Biodesign

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Matt is a biomedical engineering researcher, inventor, entrepreneur and University of Western Australia lecturer. He is the co-founder and CTO of two medtech companies, REX Ortho and Cervical ChinUp. Matt is the Co-Director of Perth Biodesign where he educates and incubates multidisciplinary medtech innovation teams. He is also the Co-Director of Biodesign Australia that brings together Biodesign programs from around Australia to share resources and best practice. Matt was previously a Global Fellow at Stanford Biodesign and an Endeavour Executive Fellow.

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Intan Oldakowska


Perth Biodesign

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Intan is a biomedical engineer and entrepreneur focused on developing medical devices. A graduate of the University of Western Australia in Mechanical Engineering and Commerce, she is a Research Associate at Curtin University where her PhD studies have focused on developing a novel expandable orthopaedic screw, which has spun-out into REX Ortho.  She is also the co-founder and CEO of Cervical ChinUp. A SPARK Co-Lab Design Course 2016 alumnus, Intan spent time in the Otoinnovation Lab at Stanford University and observed the Stanford Biodesign Innovation classes, before returning to be Perth Biodesign's co-Course Director. She is also a lecturer at The University of Western Australia.

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Prof Kevin Pfleger


Biomedical Innovation

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Kevin is Director Biomedical Innovation at The University of Western Australia and MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub. He is also Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, Chief Scientific Advisor to Dimerix and Chair of the Accelerating Australia Executive Committee. Kevin also serves on the Life Sciences WA Committee, the WA Branch Committee of AusBiotech and the Management Committee of the WA Health Translation Network. As Director Biomedical Innovation, Kevin oversees the Perth Biodesign program led by The University of Western Australia on behalf of a cross-sector consortium.

Michelle is the Biomedical Innovation Program Manager, responsible for managing the Perth Biodesign programs.


Michelle has 9+ years of experience in the Western Australian healthcare and education technology sectors. She completed a Bachelor of Pharmacy at Curtin University in 2010 and has worked across many public hospitals as a senior clinical pharmacist.


Michelle was formerly the Research Partnership and Engagement Manager at Cinglevue International, a research-led education technology solutions provider, responsible for advancing strategic research by enabling collaborative research initiatives with universities, research partners and stakeholders.

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Ruth Seeber

Senior Project Officer

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Ruth Seeber is a molecular pharmacologist with 18 years experience working at the University of Western Australia and Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research. She is an assay technology co-inventor and has extensive experience in managing projects at the academic-industry interface. Ruth therefore brings key insights into how researchers can work effectively on this boundary.

View the team members of our individual courses including iPREP Biodesign, Perth Biodesign for Digital Health and Perth Biodesign for Medtech

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