The Industry Advisory Committee

The ARMI Industry Advisory Committee is a sub-committee of the ARMI Leadership Advisory Board (ARMILAB). The committee ensures that ARMI is attuned to industry related regenerative medicine trends by acting as a strategic scanning mechanism and assisting ARMI in identifying needs and opportunities. It will provide advice to ARMILAB and Institute Leadership on current and emerging regenerative medicine industry practice and technological development so as to inform the Institute’s research program and related activities. The current committee were appointed on 9 May 2019 and their term will end May 2022.

David Rhodes (Chair)


Dr David Rhodes is an experienced biotechnology executive with more than 17 years’ experience in healthcare and biotechnology industries, where he has held multiple senior management and executive level roles.

David’s current activities are centred around the commercial development of biomaterials and he is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University, Faculty of Engineering. Recent previous roles have included Chief Operating Officer of AdAlta Ltd, Director of Admedus Regen Pty Ltd and Chief Scientific Officer of Admedus Ltd where he oversaw the development of new regenerative medicine technologies and supported their regulatory approval and commercialisation.

David graduated with a PhD in Biochemistry from La Trobe University in Melbourne, Victoria in 1994 and after a post-doctoral fellowship in the US returned to Australia to lead a team of researchers characterising live-attenuated HIV-1 viruses as potential vaccines at one of Australia’s leading virology institutes. He subsequently joined Amrad Ltd where he was employed as a Principal Scientist and established several anti-infective drug discovery programs. In 2004 he joined Avexa Ltd as a senior executive Head of Drug Discovery and Senior Vice President Biology and lead numerous multidisciplinary anti-infective drug development programs.

David has published across a wide range of scientific disciplines in many high impact peer reviewed journals, is an inventor on numerous patents and has successfully attracted significant levels of funding from many State, Federal and institute programs across numerous projects for many of the companies in which he has worked. David’s skills bring together senior executive and leadership experience, business management and commercialisation skills, extensive scientific expertise and the ability to formulate and translate science to outcomes, both locally and abroad.

Abid Khan


Professor Abid Khan leads Global Engagement at Monash University, a dedicated unit that advances the university’s impact on the world. Our team specialises in international collaboration, forging and nurturing partnerships, and advising faculties, centres and industry on new ways to collaborate.

We facilitate global initiatives that involve:

  • research
  • education and training
  • industry
  • government

Professional background

Professor Khan has a track record for innovation, particularly in industry-linked research. In 2006, he managed conceptualisation and the establishment of the Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, overseeing cross-disciplinary teams from Monash University and its partner institutions. In 2010 he led the strategy and design of the Green Chemical Futures facility.

As Director of both centres, he was responsible for leading development – from initial strategy and fundraising to implementation. As Senior Research Strategist, Professor Khan contributed to new operating paradigms, which improved research performance and advanced Monash’s rankings.

Prior to working in Australia, Professor Khan was Deputy Director of the London Centre for Nanotechnology, an operations and strategy expert with Booz Allen and Hamilton in the USA, and a researcher with the University of Oxford.  Professor Khan was also a CEO of a spin out in the bio space and a pharmaceutical strategist.

Professor Khan embraces innovative international models of engagement. He has been instrumental in the establishment of the Monash-Warwick Alliance, as well as Monash’s unique partnerships with Indonesia, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and beyond.

Academic interests

Professor Khan holds a pure physics BSc(Hons) from Imperial College London and an engineering PhD from University College London. He sits on a variety of national and international advisory boards and also advises government, industry and research institutions on innovation strategy.

Damien Bates


Dr Bates is the Chief Scientific Officer & Head of Translational Medicine of BioCurate, an independent venture catalyst in the biomedical sector formed by Monash University and the University of Melbourne. Prior to his current position at BioCurate, Dr Bates has held senior executive and leadership roles in clinical development and medical affairs in multiple US based companies including SanBio, Baxter, Organogenesis and Allergan.

As Chief Medical Officer of Organogenesis, he successfully led the first BLA approval of an allogeneic cell based product in the US in 2012. Dr Bates has also led the design and execution of over 20 IND, IDE and CTN studies across drugs, biologics and devices in the US and Asia and has had extensive regulatory interactions with the FDA, PMDA and EMA around the development and approval of cell based medicines.

Dr Bates received his medical degree from the University of Sydney, his PhD in Developmental Biology from the University of Melbourne, his Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and his MBA from the Wharton Business School.

Gordon Waldron


Gordon Waldron has over 25 years’ experience working for innovative start-ups in the biotech, med tech and high tech sectors. Over the course of his career, he has raised in excess of €140 million from an international, blue chip venture capital investor base and a further €50 million via an IPO on the Euronext stock market in Paris. He has completed nine (primarily cross-border) M&A transactions including the trade sale of a venture capital funded biotech for cash consideration in excess of $500 million.  He has generated over €100 million in cumulative cash proceeds through the negotiation of several business development and other non-dilutive funding agreements. He has implemented organizational restructurings and established subsidiaries in the USA, Hong Kong and China

Gordon is a graduate of Duke University (USA) and is a dual UK / USA national.

In July 2015, he founded Sequoia Business Solutions to provide non-executive director services as well as financial, operational and strategic advice to innovative start-ups internationally.

Jonathan Fitzgerald


Dr Fitzgerald is a seasoned leader in the biotech industry with over 11 years applying cutting edge research methods to translate discoveries into new medicines. In his current role at Torque Therapeutics (Cambridge, MA, USA), Dr Fitzgerald leads the program management efforts to develop enhanced cell-based immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer.

Prior to joining Torque, Dr Fitzgerald was a Vice President at Merrimack Pharmaceuticals (Cambridge, MA, USA) where he contributed to and led multiple therapeutic design efforts, including selection of first-in-class lead molecules targeting the ErbB3 and IGF1R pathways, testing of novel PET & MRI-based diagnostics, and the research and clinical development of the approved therapeutic, ONIVYDETM (liposomal irinotecan injection). Through these experiences, Dr Fitzgerald has gained exposure to broad aspects of the drug development process, including early discovery, lead selection, early and late stage clinical development, drug launch and commercialisation, and alliance management.

Dr Fitzgerald performed his PhD research studying cartilage mechanotransduction pathways at Massachusetts Institute of Technology after obtaining undergraduate degrees in Physiology and Electrical Engineering at the University of Western Australia.

Julian Chick

Julian Chick is an experienced corporate executive with 15 years’ experience in senior management. His roles range from Chief Executive Officer and Head of Business Development to Director positions, as well as running early and late stage Research and Development projects. In the past twelve years, Dr Chick has raised hundreds of million dollars for R&D projects as well as being involved in product launches and partnerships, M&A and licensing transactions. He has five years’ investment adviser experience and has also held a role as an analyst reviewing healthcare and biotechnology investment opportunities for private equity investors and venture capitalists.  Julian has a PhD in Muscle Physiology.

Julie M. Cherrington

Julie M. Cherrington, PhD, is a life science executive with extensive experience building companies and bringing drugs into the clinic through to commercialisation. She has been a key contributor to the successful development of multiple FDA approved products including SUTENT™, Palladia™, Vistide™, Viread™, and Hepsera™.

Julie served as President and CEO of Revitope, an immuno-oncology company, from 2015 to 2017. Julie was President and CEO of Zenith Epigenetics, a clinical stage company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapies for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases from 2014 to 2015. From 2009 to 2014, Julie was President and CEO of Pathway Therapeutics, a clinical stage company advancing targeted kinase inhibitors for the treatment of cancer, and autoimmune indications. Prior to joining Pathway, she served as President of Phenomix Corporation where she led diabetes and HCV research and development, and played a leadership role in financing and business development. Prior to joining Phenomix in 2003, Julie was Vice President of preclinical and clinical research at SUGEN, a Pfizer company. Julie began her career at Gilead Sciences where she held a range of positions of increasing responsibility.

She has served on the Boards of Directors of Chemgenex, Progen, Xenome, and Leading Biosciences. She is currently a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Clearity Foundation and is an advisor in entrepreneurship initiatives at UC San Francisco, UC Davis, and CLSI.

Linda Somerville


Linda started her career as a Research Technician in Queen’s University Belfast, where she also completed a Ph.D. in Haematology on a part-time basis.  She has almost 30 years of experience working in a variety of environments from Biotechs to Global Pharma. Linda’s experience is broad with specialist scientific experience in cellular biology in early to late stage R&D programmes in support of product development and market authorisation. Over the course of her career to date, Linda has gained expert knowledge in the detail required for successful product development in areas such as technical support, troubleshooting and quality applications in roles across a variety of locations including the UK, Ireland and Germany. Linda is well respected in an advisory capacity and has worked as an independent consultant to numerous Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology companies.  Since 2011 Linda has worked mainly as a contractor for the UK’s Innovation Agency, Innovate UK; engaging at the coal-face with UK SMEs, large organisations and academic institutions. Linda has a passion for science and technology and lives in Scotland, UK.

Lusia Guthrie


With over 35 years in the pharmaceutical and bioscience industries, Lusia Guthrie is an experienced executive and medtech entrepreneur, with strong leadership skills and international industry networks. She started her career as a Medical Laboratory Scientist before joining the Manufacturing Division of pharmaceutical company FH Faulding & Co where she attained the position of Director of Operations. Lusia then went on to co-found medical technology innovation company LBT Innovations Limited (ASX: LBT) where she served as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director until her retirement in 2016.

As CEO at LBT Innovations, Lusia was involved in raising more than $60 million to fund the company’s activities and led the company’s ASX listing in 2007. She negotiated significant partnering deals for LBT Innovations including a global licensing deal with French IVD company bioMérieux and a joint venture with German manufacturing company, Hettich AG. Lusia formed an award-winning collaboration with the University of Adelaide’s Australian Centre for Visual Technologies (ACVT) that developed the first artificial intelligence technology for infectious diseases testing to be cleared by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Lusia is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is Deputy Chair of the BioMelbourne Network. Her board roles include Chair Clever Culture Systems AG, Non-executive Director 4Dx Limited and Director ANDHealth. She also chairs the Industry Advisory Committee for the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre at Monash and is a Member of the ARMI Industry Advisory Committee. Lusia has previously served on the Commonwealth Government’s Future Manufacturing Industry Innovation Council.

Paul Bello


Paul earned his PhD in 1993 at the Centre for Animal Biotechnology, Melbourne University, Australia, and his background now covers over 30 years in human stem cell R&D, product development and commercialisation, as well as cell automation platforms for drug discovery.

More recently, he led facility operations and research program management, partnering and contract technology transfer, and regulatory requirements for several stem cell biotechnology companies.

He has also been involved in the UK’s research council’s industrial biotechnology and post-graduate funding review committees, and EU Horizon 2020 strategic programs’ management contributing to international research and business efforts.

Paul is now the lead for Innovate UK’s Industrial Biotechnology portfolio, and currently based in the vibrant Cambridge biotechnology cluster.

Sara Mary Hall


A scientist by training with over twenty years’ experience in Silicon Valley, Europe, Japan, Australia, and Kansas City, Sara has co-founded and led three private and led a fourth, public biotech. She is currently serving as a commercialisation consultant, focusing on the identification and translation of innovative technologies to the market via licensing, partnering, and new company formation. She recently spearheaded an effort with the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute (KCALSI) to establish two proof of concept funds to foster innovation and spur economic growth in the region.

She serves on the Board of Directors of University of Kansas Innovation and Collaboration (KUIC), the commercialisation arm of KU Main Campus/KU Medical Center, and as a Director and Executive Committee member of BioKansas, as well as being involved in national and international initiatives for women and girls in the sciences.

Additionally, as a professional violinist, she has both participated in and launched initiatives and events supporting the addition of the Arts to STEM curricula. The winner of two R&D 100 awards for scientific innovation while still at the bench, she is a creative, experienced, and driven executive with a specialty in and passion for first-in class products and concepts.

Kenneth Lee


Professor Kenneth Lee is the Chief of the Developmental and Regenerative Biology Thematic Research Program, School of Biomedical Sciences at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK).  He is also the Director of the Key Laboratory for Regenerative Medicine, Ministry of Education China, and Director of the Joint CUHK-University of Southampton laboratory for Stem cell and Regenerative Medicine. Educated in Scotland, Professor Lee has over 35 years of research and teaching experiences, published 145 scientific papers and has been awarded 2 US patents. His research interests, among which many have commercial values, include the discovery of small molecules that induce somatic cells to become pluripotent stem cells, the molecular biology of embryo development, cardiac and skeletal muscles regeneration, the BRE gene in stem cell and cancer biology, and drug discovery for the treatment of liver fibrosis

In 2015, Professor Lee founded and has been since its inception, the CEO of StapWorks Stem Cell Limited, a company that markets a “Programin kit” for producing stem cells from human skin fibroblasts.  StapWorks’ performance was recognised by the Hong Kong Federation of Innovative Technologies and Manufacturing Industries (FITMI) and Bank of China and was a Bronze Award winner in 2015. Professor Lee has also won several awards, including the prestigious Diamond Jubilee International Visiting Fellowship, University of Southampton (2014 – 2017).  Moreover, he is a Prestigious Professor at the Chinese Academy of Science and visiting Professor at Robert Gordon University.