Professor Justin Cooper-White is the Head of the School of Chemical Engineering at The University of Queensland (UQ) and Professor of Bioengineering in the UQ School of Chemical Engineering.

He is Senior Group Leader in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (UQ), Director of the Australian National Fabrication Facility - Queensland Node (ANFF-Q), Co-Director of the UQ Centre in Stem Cell Ageing and Regenerative Engineering (UQ-StemCARE), Chief Scientific Officer of Scaled Biolabs Inc., a lab-on-a chip start-up based in San Francisco, and Editor-in-Chief of APL Bioengineering, published by American Institute of Physics Publishing (New York).

Professor Cooper-White has over 200 journal papers, published in high impact journals in the field of Bioengineering (including ACS Nano, Science Advances, Nature Communications, Nature Protocols, Nature Microbiol., Biomaterials, Lab on a Chip, Cell Stem Cell, Stem Cells Trans. Med., Integrative Biology and APL Bioengineering). He has produced six Worldwide patent families that have reached National Phase Entry in USA, Europe, and Australia in the areas of formulation design for agriproducts, microbioreactor arrays and tissue engineering scaffolds.

He has received numerous awards, including most recently CSIRO OCE Science Leader Fellowship (2013-2018), the AON Insurance and Life Sciences Queensland Regenerative Medicine Award (2015) and the NHMRC Marshall and Warren Award for Research Excellence (2015). His research is focused on understanding the role of mechano-sensing and mechano-transduction in stem cell commitment and tissue genesis, and applying this understanding to developing engineered solutions to replace or repair damaged or diseased tissues. Most recently, he has turned his attention to understanding how the mechanics of our organs and tissues change as we age and the critical roles that stem cells and their niches play in this systemic loss of function.

Researcher biography

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 the Associate Dean (Research) Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology at UQ. He is a past President of both the Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering and the Australian Society of Rheology. Professor Cooper-White has been appointed a CSIRO Office of the Chief Executive (OCE) Science Leader.

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; and Inion, Finland since 2001. He has previously held a Visiting Professor Fellowship (2007) at ETH Zurich and currently holds a Politecnico di Milano Visiting Professor Fellowship for 2012-2013. He is the associate editor of the Korean-Australian Rheology Journal; serves or has served on the editorial boards of Rheological Acta, Soft Materials, Biomicrofluidics and the Open Biomedical Engineering Journal; and is a reviewer of major international journals, including Nature Methods, Advanced Materials, Lab on a Chip, Stem Cells, Stem Cells and Development, Biomacromolecules, Tissue Engineering, Langmuir, Biomaterials and Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics.

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. He 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.

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.