Professor Justin Cooper-White specialises in elucidating the microenvironmental cues that regulate stem cell behaviours and translating those insights into biomaterial scaffolds and microdevices to direct stem cell differentiation. 

Professor Justin Cooper-White is a global leader in using engineering to solve problems in biology. In addition to holding the position of AIBN Group Leader, Professor Cooper-White is Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility-Queensland Node and is one of only 13 CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive Science Leaders across the country.  

He is a past President of both the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering and the Australian Society of Rheology and has previously served as an Associate Dean (Research) at the UQ Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology. Recognition of Professor Cooper-White’s standing in the research field is reflected in the nine plenary and more than 25 keynote presentations he has been invited to give at national and international conferences since 2001. He received the 2005 Annual Award of the British Society of Rheology for contributions to the fields of rheology and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics. His work on engineered surfaces, specifically for directing mesenchymal stem cell fate was highlighted as one the most influential works on stem cell – biomaterial interactions at the 2008 World Biomaterials Congress in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Professor Cooper-White has been chair or co-chair of three international conferences, focusing on either rheology or biomaterials and tissue engineering: the Australian representative on the International Advisory Committee, 15th International Congress on Rheology, Monterey, US; a member of the International Scientific Advisory Committee for the World Congress on Biomaterials, Amsterdam, Netherlands; and currently an Australian representative on the Interntional Union of Societies for Biomaterials Science and Engineering (IUSBE). He is the inventor on six international patents..

Industry Engagement & Collaborations

  • Unilever in the UK
  • Nestle International, Switzerland
  • Rhodia, US
  • Inion, Finland since 2001 
  • Queensland primary business

Professor Professor Cooper-White has many past and currently active international collaborations with world leading research groups at MIT (US); Stanford (USA); ETH (Switzerland); EPFL (Switzerland); SNU (Korea); University Of Grenoble (France); Politecnico di Milano (Italy); UCL (UK); and the Max Planck Institute (Germany). He has performed contract research and consultancy work for Unilever in the UK; Nestle International, Switzerland; Rhodia, US; Inion, Finland since 2001 and a Queensland primary business. He has previously held a Visiting Professor Fellowship (2007) at ETH Zurich and a Politecnico di Milano Visiting Professor Fellowship (2012-2013). He has previously held a Visiting Professor Fellowship (2007) at ETH Zurich and a Politecnico di Milano Visiting Professor Fellowship (2012-2013).
 

Key Publications

The effect of time-dependent deformation of viscoelastic hydrogels on myogenic induction and Rac1 activity in mesenchymal stem cells
Cameron, Andrew R., Frith, Jessica E., Gomez, Guillermo A., Yap, Alpha S and Cooper-White, Justin J. (2014) The effect of time-dependent deformation of viscoelastic hydrogels on myogenic induction and Rac1 activity in mesenchymal stem cells. Biomaterials, 35 6: 1857-1868.

Modulation of stem cell adhesion and morphology via facile control over surface presentation of cell adhesion molecules
Li, Haiqing, Frith, Jessica and Cooper-White, Justin J. (2014) Modulation of stem cell adhesion and morphology via facile control over surface presentation of cell adhesion molecules. Biomacromolecules, 15 1: 43-52.

Effects of bound versus soluble pentosan polysulphate in PEG/HA-based hydrogels tailored for intervertebral disc regeneration
Frith, Jessica E., Menzies, Donna J., Cameron,Andrew R., Ghosh, P., Whitehead, Darryl L., Gronthos, S., Zannettino, Andrew C.W. and Cooper-White, Justin J. (2014) Effects of bound versus soluble pentosan polysulphate in PEG/HA-based hydrogels tailored for intervertebral disc regeneration. Biomaterials, 35 4: 1150-1162.

Effects of cell density and biomacromolecule addition on the flow behavior of concentrated mesenchymal cell suspensions
Maisonneuve, Benoît G. C., Roux, Denis C. D., Thorn, Peter and Cooper-White, Justin J. (2013) Effects of cell density and biomacromolecule addition on the flow behavior of concentrated mesenchymal cell suspensions. Biomacromolecules, 14 12: 4388-4397.

Microbioreactor array screening of Wnt modulators and microenvironmental factors in osteogenic differentiation of Mesenchymal progenitor cells
Frith, Jessica E., Titmarsh, Drew M., Padmanabhan, Harish and Cooper-White, Justin J. (2013) Microbioreactor array screening of Wnt modulators and microenvironmental factors in osteogenic differentiation of Mesenchymal progenitor cells. PLoS One, 8 12: e82931.1-e82931.15.Microbioreactor array screening of Wnt modulators and microenvironmental factors in osteogenic differentiation of Mesenchymal progenitor cells

Full list of publications available at UQ eSpace

Funding

Professor Cooper-White has performed contract and sponsored research work for multinationals such as Mesoblast, Rhodia, Unilever and Nestle International and has received more than $45 million in competitive grant funding.