A/Prof Melanie Macgregor is an ARC Future Fellow in material science. Her research group explores the effects of surface chemistry and nanoscale topography on the interaction between (bio)materials and their environment. Her applied research program includes multiple projects to develop novel advanced manufacturing solutions for the biomedical and energy industries.
Melanie has, for instance, worked on developing bioengineered platforms capable to guide cell growth and differentiation, and selective cell capture devices for diagnostic purposes.In this field, she has led several externally, internally and industry funded projects as principal chief investigator (Channel 7 Children Research Foundation grant, ARC discovery grant). In 2017, her collaborative research work was further funded through a CRC-P project in partnership with SMR automotive, Flinders Medical Center, and Prohealth care, aiming to industrialise biomedical devices for the non invasive diagnosis of bladder cancer.
In 2018, her fundamental work on wetting phenomena at the nanoscale was funded by an ARC discovery project in collaboration with QUT and the Max Plank Institute for Polymer research in Germany. It is this aspect of her research that she will explore further in her future fellowship, started in 2021. Is this project she intends to develop new knowledge and know-how to control the binding of nanoobjects to nanotextured surfaces. She will be working with (inter)national collaborators from UCL, ETH Zurich, INL Braga, and ANU to apply these findings to new technologies for oil recovery, catalysis, and medical devices.
Melanie's translational research has been recognised through several awards, including the 2016 Engineers Australia John A. Brodie Medal for achievement in Chemical Engineering, the 2017 Winnovation awards in the Engineering category, and a 2018 SA Young Tall Poppy Science Award. In 2019, she was also selected to participate to the SuperStar Of STEM program hosted by Science Technology Australia which aim to promote gender equity and diversity in STEM carriers.
Melanie is an enthusiastic ambassador of diversity in the STEM sector. As a mum of two, she is particularly eager to promote science and STEM career pathways to the younger generations. Her community engagement extends through participation to public events such as Science Alive!, Science in the Pub, or For the love of Science, media interview, social media, and the organisation lab tour and on site visits for schools.
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