Brisbane Scientists Develop World’s First 3D-Printed Body Parts
One out of every 6,000 to 12,000 children born worldwide are affected by microtia, a condition where a baby is born without an ear or with an underdeveloped ear. While the ear canal isn’t usually affected, children with microtia suffer from moderate to severe hearing loss.
For years, researchers have been looking for a better solution to the current treatment — a silicone prosthesis or reconstructive surgery, which can lead to infection and scarring. Now, a revolutionary treatment is under development in Brisbane, where Mia Woodruff, associate professor at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is developing the world’s first 3D-printed body parts.
Two years ago, Woodruff began using 3D-printed body tissue to heal patients with bone and cartilage injuries. “What we can do with our 3D-printing technology,” Woodruff explained, “is create a customized implant … which will fit perfectly and anatomically.” Instead of a plastic or silicone implant, Woodruff and her team at the Biofabrication and Tissue Morphology Group create body tissue with a 3D printer, “And, at the same time, we can add growth factors, which stimulate new tissue formation, and we can add stem cells from the same patient.”
Woodruff and QUT have teamed up with the non-profit Hear and Say to create the 3D prosthetic ears. Woodruff hopes to offer the prosthetic ears for sale within a couple of years, and eventually for less than the cost of a pair of glasses. The next step will be to create ears using 3D printing and including cartilage cells from the child’s own ear, which may be implanted into the body for a permanent ear construction. Woodruff also wants to use specially designed 3D printers to print biocompatible materials to augment other parts of the body and its organs.
It is life-changing technology, and the fact that this cutting-edge research is happening in Brisbane helps cement the city’s growing reputation as a global hub for groundbreaking, world-first medical research. When hosting a meeting in Brisbane, event organizers have access to the rich knowledge economy of the city, including some of the world’s top minds and institutions.
The work done by Woodruff and her team, and other leaders in the field, is forging the path toward a future where one day, we’ll see routine, on-the-spot 3D printing of anatomically precise replacement body parts, enabling a cost-effective, immediate solution to tissue loss.
At the end of 2016, the Herston Health Precinct in Brisbane announced the opening of a new Biofabrication Institute, which will image, model, and manufacture 3D patient-specific tissues in partnership with QUT and Metro North Hospital and Health Service. Co-located within the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and Herston Health Precinct, the institute is predicted to change the face of healthcare.
“The Herston Precinct is one of the largest integrated health, education and training, and research precincts in Australia and is currently undergoing large investment into clinical services expansion and clinically driven research institutes,” Woodruff said. “This is a truly innovative approach which ensures that scientists, clinicians, patients, industry partners, educators, and entrepreneurs are working closely together to really impact and improve healthcare solutions and ensure Australia is leading the world in this space. There’s simply no other place to be right now to realize this opportunity. It’s exciting times.”
Brisbane’s aptitude for attracting and encouraging innovation, industry leadership and emerging talent presents a unique chance to access world-class thought leaders who can enrich a conference experience with their expert knowledge, global networks and on-the-ground support.
Sherrif Karamat, President and Chief Executive Officer
Sherrif Karamat, CAE, is President and Chief Executive Officer of PCMA. Karamat also serves as President of the PCMA Foundation and Publisher of Convene magazine.
As CEO, Karamat leads the vision, mission and promise for PCMA’s global family of brands. Karamat serves the greater business events industry as a prominent business architect, enabling our community to become a catalyst for economic and social progress, organizational success, and personal and professional development.
In his previous role as Chief Operating Officer, Karamat led the development and implementation of PCMA’s new vision: driving global economic and social transformation through business events. In addition to his responsibilities at executive level, Karamat also directed streamlining of PCMA’s content creation and delivery channels into one organization. He oversaw partnership, business services, membership, business development and technology teams.
As part of PCMA’s growth strategy, Karamat has led a major data intelligence program and played a key role in the 2017 acquisition of Incentive Conference & Event Society Asia Pacific (ICESAP).
A leader in the business events industry, Karamat previously served as Vice President of Business Sales and Services for Toronto Convention & Visitors (Tourism Toronto). He has served on various boards and is currently a director on the Destination International Board of Trustees.
Karamat is a life-long learner. In addition to completing his bachelor’s degree and Masters of Business Administration from York University in Toronto, Canada, he has completed postgraduate certificate programs at Wharton School of Business at University of Pennsylvania, Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago. At Harvard Business and Law School, he completed a program on strategic negotiations for senior executives and a program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), one on data intelligence and big data.
Robert Haas, Chief Administrative Officer
Robert Haas is responsible for PCMA’s IT, human resources, data and finance departments as its first Chief Administrative Officer. He utilizes data, content and personalized experiences to help PCMA better understand its members’ needs and develop an audience-focused strategy.
Haas has more than 15 years of database marketing, product development and consulting experience from working in business-to-business and business-to-consumer industries. He understands how innovation, research and technology intersect and evaluates what is leading edge versus cutting edge.
Haas will leverage data to determine best practices in business events and how the industry can drive global economic and social transformation.
He previously served as PCMA’s Chief Innovation Officer. He joined PCMA as Vice President of Business Development and Data Intelligence. His previous roles include Senior Vice President of Strategic Product Development and Marketing at Scranton Gillette Communications Inc. and in direct response marketing for Tribune Direct.
He has a bachelor’s degree in international business from St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Mona Cotton, Chief Business Officer
As Chief Business Officer, Mona Cotton leads the Business Development, Client and Member Services, and Business Services teams. She has more than 20 years of business leadership experience in the areas of partnership, sponsorship, business development, media publishing and business services.
Cotton, a PCMA leader for more than 15 years, takes a strategic approach to transforming PCMA’s client relationships and business opportunities. Her role at PCMA is to facilitate connections between business-to-business organizations and business-to-consumer operations, identifying opportunities to fuel economic and social progress and success for PCMA and its members, customers and clients.
While she has watched as business events shifted from logistics to engagement, Cotton said the value of relationships remains steadfast in the industry.
Prior to PCMA, Cotton led and supported various sales efforts at the National Association of REALTORS, Airborne Express (now DHL) and Fox Associates, a Chicago-based magazine representative firm. She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing and advertising from Indiana University.
Michelle Crowley oversees regional brand development, content outreach and innovation as PCMA’s first Chief Growth & Innovation Officer. She is responsible for regional and revenue development in the Americas, Asia Pacific (APAC) and Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. In addition, Crowley is responsible for education and product development.
She leads PCMA’s global growth strategy by evaluating and identifying how the organization can deliver value to its members through new and existing business models, education programs and new products.
Crowley began her career at PCMA and continues to work with global travel brands, build strategic relationships and partnerships with key markets, and design year-round engagement campaigns. She has held various positions at PCMA including Vice President for Global Growth and Business Transformation.
Crowley is 2019 MBA graduate of the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Meredith Rollins, Chief Community Officer
As PCMA’s first Chief Community Officer, Meredith Rollins leads the community engagement team.
The team delivers programs and services that strengthen the connections between PCMA members, facilitate knowledge sharing and advance the network of professionals in the global business events industry. Her key areas of responsibility include community and chapter engagement, research, social impact and volunteerism. She remains Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation.
Rollins joined PCMA in 2007 and held roles in project management, global development and account management with the PCMA partnership program. She was Director of Strategic Development for the Association for Corporate Growth, a global community for middle-market M&A business leaders from 2012 to 2015. Rollins became Executive Director of the PCMA Foundation in 2015.
Rollins received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Gina Meier, Director, Human Resources
Gina Meier is Director of Human Resources for PCMA, a position she has held since 2006. She is responsible for helping PCMA execute its vision of driving global economic and social transformation through its human capital.
Her responsibilities including professional development, culture, talent development, employee integration and employee engagement.
Meier began her human resources career in 1999 as human resources manager for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide LLC, now a subsidiary of Marriott International Inc. She previously worked as director and manager in Starwood’s housekeeping division.
Meier received a bachelor’s degree in hotel/motel administration and management from Eastern Illinois University.
Bruce MacMillan, Chief Marketing Officer
Bruce MacMillan is responsible for PCMA’s global brand development and marketing strategies as PCMA’s Chief Marketing Officer. He leads the marketing, events and print and digital teams, which includes Convene magazine.
MacMillan has more than 30 years of experience in the global business events and tourism industry and has worked with business enterprises on every continent. His past leadership roles include CEO of VisitDFW, a regional consumer content marketing venture, CEO of Meeting Professionals International and CEO of Tourism Toronto.
He developed and led Vancouver, B.C.’s successful national bid for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. MacMillan also runs BANDWIDTH consultancy, advising destinations on event sales and marketing strategies and served as consortium consulting partner in the Destinations International DestinationNEXT global initiative.
MacMillan has received numerous awards including twice being named one of the Top Twenty most influential people in the global MICE industry.