Researcher biography


Professor Laura Poole-Warren received her PhD in Biomedical Engineering from The University of New South Wales (UNSW) in 1990. After commencing as a lecturer at UNSW in 1995, she built a successful research group focussed on biomaterials and tissue engineering. A particular focus of her research is on incorporating functional biological molecules into polymers with emphasis on hydrogels, electroactive polymers and nanocomposites. Between 1999 and 2001, she was a Research Professor at Rutgers University in the USA and during that time worked closely with the biomedical device industry on development of implantable devices including wound dressings and embolic agents for cancer treatment.

Professor Poole-Warren has also held a number of senior leadership positions. Since 2003 she has been a member of the Australian Commonwealth Government statutory Advisory Committee on Medical Devices which is concerned with advising the Therapeutic Goods Administration on the safety of medical devices (a role that she will step down from in 2012). In 2006, she took on the role of Associate Dean Research in Engineering, a position held until being appointed as Dean of Graduate Research. As the Dean of Graduate Research, she has executive responsibility for the Graduate Research School, the unit responsible for administration of the 4000 graduate plus research candidates enrolled at UNSW. The other major part of her leadership role is in developing and implementing strategy and policy relating to higher degree research at UNSW and interacting with major partners such as the Group of Eight, Universitas 21 and China 9 Universities. Professor Poole-Warren is on the Board of the CRC for Smart Services, on the executive of Universities Australia, on the IFMBE Women in Biomedical Engineering Committee and is an International Delegate on the peak body for biomaterials scientists and engineers, the IUSBSE. She is also currently on the editorial board of three biomedical engineering and biomaterials journals and has served on numerous Scientific Committees and International Advisory Panels for conferences, notably the TERMIS-AP meeting held in Australia in 2010.

Throughout her academic career Professor Poole-Warren has continued to be actively involved in research and teaching in the biomaterials and tissue engineering field. She currently supervises and co-supervises seven PhD candidates and several Masters and undergraduate thesis students. She has grant income of $2.8 million over the past 5 years and has published ~ 100 journal papers, conference proceedings and book chapters. As well as maintaining excellent linkages with key biomaterials researchers nationally, Professor Poole-Warren also has fostered collaborations with groups in North America, Europe, India and Japan and maintains a keen interest in building the profile of biomaterials and tissue engineering research in the Asia Pacific region.