Hien Duong profile

Hien Duong

**   ** I was awarded my PhD in 2011 from the University of New South Wales.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES ** ** i) A description of my role

After I finished my PhD in 2011, I commenced my postdoctoral academic career at the Australian Centre for NanoMedicine  (established by UNSW in 2011) in the lab of Profs Tom Davis and Cyrille Boyer, both of whom are world experts in polymer science. There I developed several inorganic and organic nanomaterials with different functionalities that can undergo post-modification via highly efficient and orthogonal chemistry. I gained extensive experience in understanding the interface between nanotechnology and biomedical science.

In November 2014 I joined the Key Centre for Polymers and Colloids in the School of Chemistry at the University of Sydney, in the lab of A/Profs Brian Hawkett and Chiara Neto. This position was funded through an ARC Linkage grant with Dulux Australia. I worked on the development of Janus nanoparticles with multiple functionalities and complex architecture. These nanoparticles potentially have a wide range of uses, ranging from biomedical applications to the paint industry.

In May 2016 I joined the Institute for Biomedical Materials & Devices in the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Faculty of Science, University of Technology Sydney, as a Senior Research Fellow in the lab of Prof Dayong Jin. At UTS, I worked on multi-functional polymers to functionalise upconversion nanoparticles for use in diagnostic and therapeutic applications. I was part of the ARC Industry Transformation Research Hub for Integrated Devices for End-User Analysis at Low Levels (IDEAL Hub).

In February 2017 I took up my current position as lecturer in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Sydney. In this role, I have a typical load for a university-based researcher consisting of 40% teaching, 40% research and 20% administration.  

My administration workload includes coordinating two units of study, being a representative of the School of Pharmacy on the University Executive Student Life Committee for one year and being involved in Pharmacy ECR activities. I hold a leadership role in the School including Sydney Pharmacy School Professionalism Committee.

Despite my substantial non-research activities, I have been building a dynamic research environment with a fresh approach to the development of alternative therapies based on nano-enabled products. In recognition of my research leadership at USyd, I was appointed as leader of Antimicrobial Nanotechnologies theme in Safe-by-Design - Sustainable Nanotechnology, Sydney Nano Grand Challenge from 2019 to 2021.  Recently, I was awarded Sydney Infectious Diseases Seed Funding (2022, $25,000) and Sydney Nano Kickstarter (2022, $50,000) to work on bacteriophage conjugates. I am one of the investigators who secured Stage 1 MRFF Frontiers funding for Phage Australia (A$1 million, 06/2021-06/2022) which is led by Prof Jonathan Iredell at the Westmead Institute for Medical Research. The application for MRFF Frontiers Stage 2 bid for $50M will be submitted in June 2022. I developed strong understanding of the needs of industry partners through collaborations with Dulux Australia (at USYD) and Minomic International Ltd (through the ARC IDEAL Hub at UTS).  This also expanded my understanding of the requirements for business success.

ii) Research mentoring and facilities ** ** At the University of Sydney, I have benefited from both formal and informal mentoring by senior colleagues. Through the University’s Academic Planning & Development System, I have received excellent support and mentorship from Profs Mary Collins and Paul Groundwater at the School of Pharmacy. I also receive informal mentoring from other senior researchers within the School and throughout the University including Profs Andrew McLachlan (HoS), Wojciech Chrzanowski, Jonathan Iredell and Gregory Whitwell and senior researchers in the Australian Centre for Microscopy & Microanalysis (ACMM), Charles Perkins Centre (CPC) and Bosch Institute. Earlier in my career, I have received excellent mentorships from all my aforementioned postdoc supervisors.

Research facilities at the School of Pharmacy include a complete suite of state-of-the-art instruments for the characterization of nanomaterials, including vibrational spectroscopy, microscopy and microanalysis, and facilities for molecular characterization such as NMR, GPC, mass spectrometry, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry. I have immediate access to instruments for the rapid and routine structural and physical characterization of surfaces required in this Discovery Project.

RESEARCH ACHIEVEMENTS AND CONTRIBUTIONS ** ** i)    Prizes, honours and awards ** ** 2017 Early Career Development Fellowship, University of Sydney 2015 Monash Engineering Women's Leadership Award 2011 Runner-up prize for the oral presentation at the International Nanomedicine Conference 2009 Postgraduate Research Student Scholarship 2007 Endeavour Postgraduate Award (Australian Government merit-based scholarship) for a PhD Engineering program (2007-2011). 2003 Australian Development Scholarship for a Masters Engineering program (2003-2005) at UNSW.

ii)    Invited speaker addresses

I was invited to deliver a talk on innovative nanotechnology for biomedical applications at the 2016 Rural Innovation and Research Symposium, Coffs Harbour. I have given a number of invited departmental seminars as at Macquarie University, UNSW, the University of Sydney and the University of Queensland. I am invited as a Keynote Speaker for the 4th International Seminar on Pharmaceutical Science and Technology in Bandung, Indonesia on 27-28/10/2020.   **iii)  Research support income ** _ _ ·        Ultra-high-performance microbalance, XPR2, University of Sydney, Faculty of Pharmacy/Equipment Grant 2017. ·        Novel 3-in-1 formulation for prostate cancer treatment, India Development Fund (Chief Investigator, $20K, 2017-2018). ·        Inhaled therapy for chronic lung infections using a “triple hits” nano-in-microparticle formulation, Usyd-Chinese University of Hong Kong Partnership Collaboration Award (Chief Investigator, $20K, 2018-2019). ·        Safe-by-Design - Sustainable Nanotechnology, Sydney Nano Grand Challenge, (co-CI, $75K per year, 2019-2021). ·        Phage Australia: Integrating Australian Phage Biobanking and therapeutic networks and Delivering Solutions for Antimicrobial Resistance (co-CI, $1M, 06/2021-06/2022). ·        Phage-drug conjugate: solution for antimicrobial resistance, Sydney ID Seed Funding (Chief Investigator, $25K, 2022). _ ·        Bacteriophage nanorobots, Sydney Nano Kickstarter (Chief Investigator, $50K, 2022). _ ·        _Freeze Dryer with controllable drying shelf temperature and organic solvent compatibility, 2022 Provost’s Equipment _(co-CI, $102K, 2022). ·        _PAVONE –transformative, automated high throughput testing platform for nanomedicine, mechanopharmacology, mechanobiology, and precision, 2022 Provost’s Equipment _(co-CI, $217K, 2022).

iv)  Commercial outcomes ** ** 1.   Barraud, N, Boyer, C, and Duong, HTT “Anti-Biofilm Polymer”, filed 30 May 2014 2.   Vittorio, O, Kavallaris, M, Boyer, C, and Duong, HTT “Copper-dependent chemotherapeutics”, filed 30 May 2016. 3.   Duong, H. T. T. T.; Iredell, J. R.; Huang, H. “Phage-drug conjugate”, filed 29 November 2021.   v)     Other professional activities   As a sign of my strong national and international standing in my discipline, from 2011 to 2014, I was one of the team leaders of the organizing committee International Nanomedicine Conference which is held annually in Sydney. In February 2016 I was involved in organizing the 30th Australian Colloid and Surface Science Student Conference in Kiola, NSW. I was invited as co-chair in Career Development Symposium session in the eighth International Conference on Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICONN 2020) which is the largest biennial Australian conference series in the field of nanoscience. I am invited as a Keynote Speaker for the 4th International Seminar on Pharmaceutical Science and Technology in Bandung, Indonesia on 27-28/10/2020. I am a regular referee for high-impact scientific journals.

vi)  Advancement of knowledge in my field and relevance of my achievements to this proposal ** ** My research is multidisciplinary, focusing on new concepts and ideas to engineer novel materials and devices at nanoscale. As a polymer chemist I have developed a broad range of expertise in the application of nanotechnology in biotechnology. I have made a significant contribution to the field of nanotechnology for biomedical applications, which is likely to have a high impact on improved therapy of life-threatening diseases including biofilm-related infectious diseases. I have a strong international reputation for research in nanomedicine, as demonstrated by my publication record (45 peer-reviewed publications, three patents, one book chapter and 8 fully refereed conference proceedings). My leadership is evident by the number of publications with me as first and corresponding authors.

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