Invited and keynote speakers

Dr Elisha M. Wood-Charlson

Title: Creating findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR) online, biological systems data platforms that support sharing and attribution beyond publications.

Biography: Elisha M Wood-Charlson is part of the scientific community engagement teams for the US Department of Energy’s Systems Biology Knowledgebase (KBase, and the National Microbiome Data Collaborative (NMDC, She has a PhD and 10+ years of experience as a microbial ecologist focused on host-microbe-virus interactions in the marine environment, including a postdoctoral fellowship at the Australian Institute of Marine Science (AIMS). Since leaving the research bench, her career has focused on making data science around biological systems, microbiome data in particular, more efficient by facilitating effective collaborations, building trust in online communities, and developing shared ownership of the scientific process.

Professor Jean Yang

Title: TBC

Biography: Professor Jean Yang is an applied statistician with expertise in statistical bioinformatics. She was awarded the 2015 Moran Medal in statistics from the Australian Academy of Science in recognition of her work on developing methods for molecular data arising in cutting edge biomedical research. Her research stands at the interface between medicine and methodology development and has centered on the development of methods and the application of statistics to problems in -omics and biomedical research. She has made contributions to the development of novel statistical methodology and software for the design and analysis of high-throughput biotechnological data including that from microarrays, mass spectrometry and next generation sequencing. Recently, much of her focus is on integration of multiple biotechnologies with clinical data to answer a variety of scientific questions. This includes developing various approaches and methodologies in statistical machine learning and network analysis. As a statistician who works in the bioinformatics area, she enjoys research in a collaborative environment, working closely with scientific investigators from diverse backgrounds


A/Professor Esteban Marcellin

Title: Systems Metabolic Engineering of For Carbon Recycling.

Biography: Esteban Marcellin obtained his Chemical Engineering degree in 2004 at the Universidad Ibero (Mexico) with a specialization in biotechnology. He then worked for a polymer company in Mexico before moving to Australia for his PhD in Bioengineering in 2010 at The University of Queensland. In 2010-2012 he moved to Indianapolis to establish a systems biology pipeline for Dow Agrosciences.  He is now a Group Leader at The Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the UQ Node Leader for the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology and co-node Leader of QMAP and the new NCRIS Synbio facility to be established at UQ this year. The Marcellin group uses systems and synthetic biology to develop microbial and mammalian cell factories to produce biopharmaceuticals, flavours, fragrances, foods and fuels. 


Professor Elaine Holmes

Title: Developing metabolic profiling strategies for delivering personalised healthcare.

Biography: Professor Elaine Holmes is a distinguished computational biologist and a Clarivate Highly Cited Scholar. She was awarded the prestigious Australian Laureate Fellowship from the Australia Research Council (ARC) in 2020.

Elaine’s main research area focuses on applying metabolic profiling and computational modelling of biofluids and tissues to understand pathological and physiological processes. She has applied the technology in several clinical and biomedical areas including Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Infection, Gastrointestinal Disease, Early life environment and neurodegeneration. She co-developed the concept of the metabolome-wide association study (MWAS) and is driving new methods for the integration of metabonomic data with proteomic and transcriptomic data to gain a holistic overview of disease process. Her current work focuses on understanding the role of the gut microbiome in health and disease.


Professor Melissa Fitzgerald

Title: Combining metabolomics, genetics and sensory profiling to identify compounds that affect the quality of rice.

Biography: Melissa Fitzgerald obtained her PhD in 1998. She has changed her career every 7 years, and each career step includes rice research.  She led research in rice quality at NSW Agriculture, then at the International Rice Research Institute at IRRI. Now at UQ, rice research is a key part of her work, and she has published widely on rice quality. She came to UQ in 2012, and established a metabolomics facility. She is also the Deputy Associate Dean for Research Partnerships in the Faculty of Science, and in this position, she creates opportunities for academics to engage with industry.


A/Professor Andre Gooley

Title: Microsampling Devices for Precision Medicine – Experiences in the Translation of Research to Commercialisation.

Biography: Andrew is the Chief Scientific Officer for Trajan Scientific & Medical – a global business with their headquarters in Melbourne. Over the past 40 years, Andrew has experienced a career in both academia and industry. His passion is mentoring the next generation of scientists and engineers and introducing them to the opportunities that industry can provide and the diversity of careers that are possible – from R&D, Production, Project Management, Quality and Marketing. In his commercial role, he has led multi-disciplinary teams of engineers and scientists on a diversity of projects from “OMICS” development through to consumables for chromatography for the global analytical science community. He has also held an appointment as University of Melbourne Enterprise Professor in Chemistry from 2018-2021.