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Dr Mike Doran - Stem Cell Bioengineer Brisbane Australia

I completed a BSc (Genetics) and BEng (Chemical) at the University of Alberta in Canada.  As an engineering graduate I worked as a Project Manager for Esso/Exxon on the development of heavy oil fields in Northern Alberta (Cold Lake Project).

Motivated by a desire to contribute to biomedical research, I relocated to Sydney Australia and undertook a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at UNSW.  Under the superb supervision of Dr Robert Nordon (UNSW) my PhD project contributed to the development of a bioreactor system designed for clinical large-scale haematopoietic cell expansion (commercial support from GambroBCT).  Dr Nordon’s vision was ahead of its time, and this system evolved to become the Quantum Bioreactor now marketed TerumoBCT (https://www.terumobct.com/location/north-america/products-and-services/Pages/Quantum-Cell-Expansion-System.aspx).  Please note that this work remains unpublished because of the commercial agreements established at the time.  Nevertheless, this exceptional project, and Dr Nordon’s tutelage, allowed me to transition from my previous focus in the Oil and Gas industry to a career in biomedical engineering.

As a PhD graduate (2006) I was fortunate to have outstanding Postdoctorial training from Prof Justin Cooper-White (AIBN-UQ), Prof Lars Nielsen (AIBN-UQ), and Prof Kerry Atkinson (MMRI).   At UQ I worked both as a Postdoctorial Fellow and as a Lecturer.  In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I lectured into Cell and Tissue Engineering (UQ School of Engineering – CHEE 4034).

In 2010 I was awarded a QUT Vice Chancellor’s Fellowship, and this enabled me to relocate to QUT where I establish an independent research group.   I am currently a Group Leader at the Translational Research Institute (TRI) on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus.  I have a growing research team which includes six PhD students, one Postdoctoral Fellow, and one research assistant.     


  1. Invited Speaker (2013): I was invited to present to the Australia and New Zealand Society for Blood Transfusion at their annual meeting (2013) about such technologies and their application in blood cell manufacture (Blood Pharms).
  2. Prostate Cancer World Congress 2013 – Best Poster. This winning poster described the concepts that formed basis of my CIA Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia Grant.
  3. Invited Speaker (2014): This was a funded trip to present at the Australia – China Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Research Forum, in Wuhan China.
  4. Invited Speaker (2015): Slater and Gordon Innovation Medical Law Forum.  I spoke about stem cell therapies and barriers to innovation.
  5. Invited Speaker and Best Talk (2015): I spoke about a novel transplant method developed in my laboratory, and the insight into transplant kinetics it provided.  I was awarded best talk at Cure Cancer Australia Foundation Conference (Sydney).
  6. Invited Speaker (2015): ESRC Seminar Series 2015-2017 ‘Liability v Innovation – I was invited to speak about stem cell-based therapies and barriers to innovation. 
  7. Invited Speaker (2015): Australia-China Centre for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine annual meeting on the Gold Coast.  I spoke about cartilage repair technologies. 

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