Scientific excellence and delivery is key to the success of the Hub. To assist in governance and oversight of scientific milestones we have set up an International Scientific Advisory Board; this will be chaired by Professor Dietmar Hutmacher (QUT).

c3886526f40a680da044c532a65dc815-bpfullProfessor Hutmacher’s background is a strong combination of academic and industrial. His expertise is in biomaterials, biomechanics, medical devices and tissue engineering. He is one of the few academics to take a holistic bone engineering concept to clinical application. More than 400 patients have been treated with the FDA-approved bone engineering scaffolds developed by Prof Hutmacher’s Singapore-based interdisciplinary research group.

Over the last 4 years, Professor Hutmacher has developed an international track record in adult stem cell research related to regenerative medicine.

Other members of the SAB include:

Professor Martin Birchall


As UCL’s Professor of Laryngology and a Consultant in ENT Surgery at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital’,he is one the leading academic Otolaryngologistsand a specialist in disorders of voice, swallowing and breathing, he has pioneered the use stem cells and tissue engineering in surgery.

Clinically, he has a particular interest in voice, swallowing and pharyngeal pouches, airway disorders such as stenosis, cough and neck lumps. Professor Birchall is part of multidisciplinary voice and airway teams and established with Mr. Guri Sandhu, Mr Khalid Ghuffoor and respiratory, thoracic surgery, anaesthetic and other colleagues a national referral team for complex airway disorders. In 2008, with Prof Macchiarini, he co-led the team which performed the world’s first stem cell based organ transplant, and with Prof Elliott at Great Ormond St, co-led the team which performed the same feat in a child in 2010. In 2010 he was also part of the team which performed the world’s second (and first functionally reinnervated) laryngeal transplant at UC Davis, California.

Professor Robert Langer

p_faculty_r_langerRobert S. Langer is the David H. Koch Institute Professor at MIT, he has received over 220 major awards. He is one of 5 living individuals to have received both the United States National Medal of Science (2006) and the United States National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2011). Professor Langer has written over 1,350 articles. He also has over 1,100 issued and pending patents worldwide; these patents have been licensed or sublicensed to over 300 pharmaceutical, chemical, biotechnology and medical device companies. He is the most cited engineer in history (h-index 222).

The Langer Group’s work is at the interface of biotechnology and materials science. A major focus is the study and development of polymers to deliver drugs, particularly genetically engineered proteins, continuously at controlled rates and for prolonged periods of time.

Work in progress in several areas includes:

  • Investigating the mechanism of release from polymeric delivery systems with concomitant microstructural analysis and mathematical modeling.
  • Studying applications of these systems including the development of effective long-term delivery systems for insulin, interferon, growth hormones and vaccines.
  • Developing controlled release systems that can be magnetically, ultrasonically, or enzymatically triggered to increase release rates.
  • Synthesizing new biodegradable polymeric delivery systems which will ultimately be absorbed by the body.
  • Creating new approaches for delivering drugs across complex barriers in the body such as the blood-brain barrier and the skin.
  • Synthesizing new biodegradable polymer systems to be used in mammalian cell transplants for engineering new organs (e.g. the liver, cartilage).

Professor Steven Little


Steven R. Little, PhD, is the chair of the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, associate professor, and Bicentennial Alumni Faculty Fellow of the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. Dr. Little joined the McGowan Institute in 2006 after receiving his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Langer. Since joining the Institute, Dr. Little has received Career Development Awards from both the American Heart Association and the National Institutes of Health for his unique approach toward drug delivery based therapeutics. This year, Dr. Little has been named a Young Investigator by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation for his innovative research, the only University of Pittsburgh faculty to have ever received this award and also 1 of only 2 engineers in the country to receive it.

Researchers in Dr. Little’s lab focus upon therapies that are biomimetic in that they replicate the biological function and interactions of living entities using synthetic systems.

Dr Allan Ritchie BSc MBA PhD

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Allan Ritchie is an independent Medical Device Consultant specialising in Orthopaedic Devices.

Recently he held the post of Vice President of Research & Development for Asia Pacific for Johnson & Johnson’s Orthopaedic Division. Was responsible for setting up the Research and Development facility in Shanghai China and establishing their Asia Pacific Product Development programme.

Over a 30-year period with Johnson & Johnson he also held Research & Development leadership assignments in both the United States and Europe, the most recent being the position of World Wide Vice President of Research and Development for Johnson and Johnson’s Orthopaedic Division. In this role he has championed the use of convergent technologies in medical device development and played an instrumental role in the development of a world-class orthopaedics portfolio.

He has also held posts of Visiting Professor at the Universities of Leeds and Strathclyde.