Inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow Associate Professor Jeremy Crook is developing a world-first neural repair medical technology to improve the lives of people living with neural tissue damage as a result of illness or trauma.
Neurons or nerve cells are key players in our brains and nervous system. Everything that we think, feel, and do requires the work of neurons and their support cells. Our complex neural networks make it possible for information to flow between different areas of our brain, spinal cord and connect to the rest of our body. Without them, we could not receive sensory information from the world around us or control our muscles and organs.
When nerve cells are damaged, whether as a result of trauma, stroke, tumour, or other illnesses, individuals often face long-lasting or lifelong physical and personal challenges.
But Australian researcher Associate Professor Jeremy Crook is working to change this with next generation tissue building and regenerative medicine for neural repair. Jeremy was recently appointed as one of two inaugural MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellows to help take him and his team there, faster.
“As a MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellow I will focus on translating our work on electric tissue engineering to a healthcare outcome,” says Jeremy.
“The fellowship is an opportunity for me to learn from leading experts in MedTech commercialisation, as well as connect with others in the broader ecosystem. By increasing our commercialisation focus now, I hope to accelerate translation of our world-first wireless electroceutical for neural repair.”
The fellowship complements recently awarded funding from the National Health and Medical Research Council to further develop their technology through pre-clinical testing. The work was also recently awarded the inaugural Research Australia 2019 Health and Medical Research Frontiers Research Award.
“Our work has now progressed to an advanced propriety electrostimulation platform for 3D bench-top tissue building and within-body tissue repair,” says Jeremy.
Jeremy is Chief Investigator for the Synthetic Biosystems theme of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science, and Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong – home of the Centre and the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute.
Jeremy and his team’s research integrates technology, stem cells, biomaterials, 3D bioprinting and bioelectrics, and strengthens Australia’s position as a global leader in tissue engineering and electroceuticals for advanced research and medicine.
The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowships are valued at $70,000 each and will provide Jeremy with tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, a $20,000 stipend and access to the MedTech Actuator™ – Asia Pacific’s MedTech catalyst.
Jeremy says that he is excited to learn what it takes to bring a medical technology innovation to market.
“The fellowship will be important for achieving my aspirations to translate what began as an idea conceived by myself and team member Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook into a clinically useful medical technology,” says Jeremy.
The MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship is a partnership between the Menzies Foundation and the MedTech Actuator, supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.