Dietmar W Hutmacher

Affiliated Society: Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Country of Residence: Australia
Current Position: Professor & Chair



After receiving my PhD from the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2001, I was directly appointed to Assistant Professor in the same year. In recognition of my outstanding academic and scholarly achievements I was promoted within 3 years from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor (Tenure). In July 2007, I joined QUT as a Research Capacity Building Professor with a joint appointment between the Faculty of Science & Engineering and Faculty of Health.

I provide strong supervision and mentorship for my research team members and in so doing I am developing an excellent pool of talent. In my role as a Research Capacity Building Professor, Director of the Centre of Regenerative Medicine at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and Director of the ARC Training Centre for Additive Biomanufacturing, I mentor junior (Assistant Professor) and mid-career (Associate Professor) faculty members. The quality of my team members is reflected in their level of support: 35% of my Postdoctoral Fellows and PhD students have been awarded prestigious fellowships (ARC, Marie Curie, DFG, Endeavour Awards, Whittaker Fellowship etc.) or scholarships (ARC, NHMRC, DAAD etc). I also co-supervise Postdoctoral Fellows and PhD students at the Georgia Institute of Technology (GTECH), Technische UniversitÕ_t MÕ_nchen (TUM), CharitÕ© and Humboldt Universities. A large number of my former PhD students have been awarded prestigious Postdoctoral fellowships at leading international universities and institutes or in the biotech and medical device industry. Furthermore, several of my former PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows have been appointed as faculty members at highly-ranked universities around the world, including National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University, TUM, and Peking University.

Prior to my academic career I have had more than 10 years of experience in the medical device and biotech industry. I have collaborations within the biomedical and biotech industries and have served as a Scientific Advisor for several SME companies as well as global corporations and have undertaken numerous research projects with funding from Industry. Currently I am the chair of a number of scientific advisory boards for both large academic research consortia and centres as well as for biotech and medical device companies.

I have gained a thorough understanding of the status in the STEM and biomedical field, and a clear vision of the needs for the 21st century from both an academic and educational point of view. As a reflection of my pioneering ethos, my research efforts have resulted in traditional scientific/academic outputs as well as pivotal commercialization outcome

Areas of research interest:

I am one of the few academics who successfully translated tissue engineering concepts from fundamental research to clinical application. Over the last 3 years I have built a world leading breast tissue engineering program which follows the footsteps of the successfully translated bone tissue engineering program. My work on scaffold design and fabrication via 3D printing has created a number of new research directions/ outcomes and has resulted in thousands of subsequent papers as well as a strong commercial impact witnessed by many products brought into the market as 3D printed medical devices. I have been focusing over the last 5 years on two research themes, namely “additive biomanufacturing and “translation of tissue engineering concepts into cancer research”. I have pioneered the intellectual and academic path to provide a fresh look at the role that TE technology platforms can contribute to future cancer research, particularly with 3D in vitro and in vivo tumor modeling. My work was highly informative to the cancer research community as it showed that three dimensional (3D) in vitro and/or in vivo TE models that are designed to resemble the physiology of tissues could be used from a basic science point of view to study disease pathogenesis of tumors. From a pharmaceutical industry point of view it was acknowledged that the models can be used for drug discovery and/or personalized medicine. Most recently I started a research program on engineering humanized mice models that are better predictors of human response to drugs relative to traditional animal models. I was the first bioengineer which pioneered this innovative concept into the academic arena, which has subsequently gained global recognition.

Research keywords:

Chemical Engineering, Dental/Craniofacial Materials, Drug Delivery