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Meet the Team

The core team at NBF is comprised of individuals spanning decades of successful translation of biologics research and development through to clinical and commercial outcomes.

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Susie Nilsson PhD


Susie has an extensive history in biologics and specifically haematopoietic stem cell research. She completed her post-doctoral studies at the University of Massachusetts prior to taking up a position at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute then the Australian Stem Cell Centre. Shen moved to CSIRO in 2009 and was appointed as an ARC Future Fellow. She became a group leader at ARMI, Monash University in 2013 and a CSIRO OCE Science Leader in 2014. Currently she is the Biology Group leader in Biomedical Manufacturing CSIRO, covering the activities of the Victorian NBF node.

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John Power PhD


John leads the GMP facility within CSIRO’s manufacturing group with over 25 years of industrial GMP experience for manufacture of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals. He has successfully industrialised cell culture products, recombinant proteins and monoclonal antibodies, as well as developed and scaled up manufacturing systems for viral vaccines, bacterial vaccines, live, killed, inactivated and subunit vaccines. John has worked nationally and internationally at CSL, Pfizer and Zoetis and passion lies in the system design for cost-effective manufacture of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals for regulated global markets. Rewards come via the application of leading-edge science across the entire scope of CMC development through cell line generation, bioprocess development, scale up, and technology transfer into GMP operations.

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Ben Hughes

TIA and Queensland

Ben is the Director of Strategic Development, for the National Biologics Facility within TIA (Therapeutic Innovation Australia), and is the current Interim Director at the Queensland node of NBF.  Ben brings over 20 years of experience in commercializing biologics with a proven track record of developing successful teams and implementing compliant systems for cGMP manufacturing in both Australia and the US.  Ben has extensive experience in facility design and start-up, as well as delivering a broad range of vaccines and biologics products through process development and tech transfer to GMP and commercial manufacture. Ben previously worked at Patheon by Thermo Fisher, The University of Queensland, Merck and Co, Inc., and CSL, and is a graduate of the University of New South Wales Bioprocess (Chemical) Engineering.


Martina Jones PhD


Martina received her PhD from the University of Queensland in the area of antibody engineering for diagnostic purposes. She joined the QLD node of the National Biologics Facility in 2008 where she was instrumental in establishing capabilities in antibody discovery using phage display. She has experience in isolating and developing clinically-relevant antibodies. Martina is the Operations Manager for the QLD node of NBF and also the Deputy Director of the ARC Centre for Biopharmaceutical Innovation where she supervises a number of PhD students undertaking antibody discovery projects.


Tim Mercer PhD


Assistant Professor Tim Mercer leads a research team in genomics and bioinformatics at the AIBN, University of Queensland (, and is Director of the BASE, a national facility for manufacture and research into mRNA technologies ( Tim Mercer and his team have made fundamental discoveries in genomics, noncoding RNAs and splicing that have been translated into biotechnologies widely adopted for research and clinical applications, including targeted RNA sequencing for cancer diagnosis, and synthetic NGS controls for clinical genomics.

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David Rickards

New South Wales

David Rickards is the Biologics Innovation Facility manager at the University of Technology Sydney, representing the NSW node of the NBF. He has 10 years of experience in biologics R&D at Teva Pharmaceuticals. He has gained extensive knowledge in cell line development, high throughput screening technologies, protein production, protein purification, process development and bio-analytics. David is passionate about biotech innovation and aims to support the workforce with a strong background in both upstream and downstream bioprocessing.

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Andrew Groth PhD

New South Wales

Andrew Groth is Faculty Business Development Manager for the Faculty of Science at University of Technology Sydney.  Andrew holds a PhD in Chemistry and has previously held the roles of Global Director of Research and Development at Memcor Products in Siemens Water Technologies as well as Research Group Leader in Nanostructured Materials and Stream Leader of High Throughput Polymer Science at CSIRO.  He has expertise in polymer and synthetic chemistry, materials science, water and waste water treatment, membranes and manufacturing technology.   Andrew has always been driven by a desire to see his and other’s research applied such that it benefits the economy, employment and the environment.  This is why he is so passionate about bringing much needed skills to the biotech work force of Australia and Asia in the UTS GMP Biologics Innovation Facility

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