The latest addition to ARMI’s Industry Advisory Committee (IAC), Brian Hanrahan, has overseen gene and cell therapy projects and developed new diagnostic devices and tissue-engineered products in Australia, the United States and Canada for over 20 years. In late 2020, Brian returned to Australia and joined Planet Innovation as a Business Development Manager and is ready to take the country’s and ARMI’s regenerative medicine discoveries to the next stage of translation.
Brian started his career with a Bachelor of Applied Science, which led him to the diagnostic world. He worked in clinical pathology in both the public and private sectors. He was exposed to a range of topic areas, ranging from automated clinical chemistry, immunoassays, protein analysis and toxicology.
Soon, he joined Invetech, first as an Application Scientist and project leader within the Biomedical Instruments and Devices group and then as a Program Manager for Life Science and Pharmaceutical projects in San Diego. There, Brian was involved in developing commercial-scale cell therapy manufacturing products and collaborating with businesses in the industry.
“My background in science enabled me to become a key interface between science and engineering, especially during the early stages of product development where it can seem like science and engineering are different languages. I was fortunate enough to be able to play in that gap in that middle as I developed a deeper understanding of the product development process and program management skills. My career then went from being involved in the technical side of commercialisation and moved into project and client management and then into business development.”
“My background in science enabled me to become a key interface between science and engineering, especially during the early stages of product development where it can seem like science and engineering are different languages…”
Brian relished this challenge and built this new skill set “on the fly,” counting on his resilience, agility and willingness to learn. Ultimately, Brian found this experience rewarding and recalls how fortunate he was to experience many different elements in the technology development pipeline in the one company.
From there, Brian moved to Canada and joined StarFish Medical as the Biotech Program Director. His primary focus was global business development and forging relationships with potential new clients in diagnostics and cell and advanced therapies. Today, Brian is at Planet Innovation, where he calls upon the culmination of his previous experience in the industry with the added advantage of the networks he has established over the years both within Planet Innovation and the broader Australian innovation ecosystem.
Upon reflection, Brian says, “Over my career, I’ve come to strongly believe that breadth of experience and what I call a systems approach – where you have the bigger picture in mind because individual parts only get you so far – are really critical.”
“Over my career, I’ve come to strongly believe that breadth of experience and what I call a systems approach – where you have the bigger picture in mind because individual parts only get you so far – are really critical.”
With Brian’s skills and broad experience in the global regenerative medicine industry, ARMI is excited to have him on the IAC and provide high-value advice on advancing ARMI scientists’ research through the commercialisation process.
Brian explained, “I see a lot of parallels between the world I lived through in diagnostics and where the regenerative medicine and cell therapy industry is at the moment. When I started in diagnostics, there were still many manual processes and tests, with automation just entering the industry. This is the crossroads where regenerative medicine is currently at, and I’m excited to apply my learnings to accelerate the transformation of the sector.”