Professor Andrea O’Connor, BE(Hons), PhD, FIChemE, is the Deputy Head of the School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and leads the Tissue Engineering Group in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Melbourne. She was a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1995-96. Her research is focussed on design, synthesis and fabrication of biomaterials, porous materials and soft tissue engineering. She is particularly interested in strategies for scale-up of tissue engineering and design of antimicrobial materials for medical implants. She has published over 75 journal articles, co-authored the chapter on Tissue Engineering for the major reference work ‘Plastic Surgery’ edited by Neligan and Gurtner, lectured on tissue engineering and biofabrication at the Bayreuth International Summer School, Germany, and was a finalist in the 2017 Graeme Clark Institute HealthTech Innovation Challenge.
Andrea also led the engineering team on the world-first Neopec clinical trial of breast reconstruction using tissue engineering, showing proof-of-principle of tissue engineering of large volumes of well vascularised fat tissue. She collaborates with a range of hospitals, medical research institutes and medical device companies to improve existing products, develop new devices and solve clinical problems.