About us

Denteric

Management

Larisa Chisholm

Larisa Chisholm

Chief Operating Officer

An accomplished life sciences executive, Larisa brings cross-functional expertise from ASX, academia, not for profit and startup companies.   Larisa spent 14 years at ASX listed Immutep (formerly Prima BioMed) and excels in strategically aligning vaccine research, clinical trials, manufacturing, and commercialisation.

An active contributor to advancing education, she supports aspiring students, scientists, and women entrepreneurs through her involvement with the Life Science Springboard program, RMIT Biomedical Science Industry Advisory Committee and Central Pharmacy Logistics.

Bachelor of Science (Honours), MBA La Trobe, Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Paul Cockle

Dr Paul Cockle

Chief Scientific Officer

With over 25 years vaccine research experience, in both the prophylactic and therapeutic settings, Paul has held pharmaceutical and biotechnology roles in the US, UK and Australia.  His recent focus has been in the field of oncology, with positions at Silverback Therapeutics, PsiOxus Therapeutics, and Gritstone Bio.

Prior to joining Denteric, he was head of Immunology within the Vaccine Research Group and a Research Project Leader for the VBIR cancer vaccine program at Pfizer.  His postdoctoral training in developing a vaccine against tuberculosis was at the Animal and Plant Health Agency (UK).

PhD in Clinical Medicine from the University of Oxford (UK).

Dr Gerhard Rank

Dr Gerhard Rank

Director Product Development

Gerhard previously worked for Boehringer Ingelheim (BI) in Germany where he led CMC teams in the contract manufacturing business before becoming the biologics R&D Project Leader responsible for developing BI in the immunology, cardiovascular, ophthalmology and oncology therapeutic areas.

Gerhard currently holds an honorary Melbourne Dental School Senior Fellow position, with the University of Melbourne. At the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute he led the team developing a rotavirus vaccine for neonates and at Immuron he managed Travelan R&D and manufacturing.

PhD in molecular biology from the Center of Molecular Biology, University of Heidelberg, Germany.

Dr Balaji Somasundaram

Dr Balaji Somasundaram

Associate Director of CMC

With 12 years research experience in protein expression, recovery and characterisation, Balaji has delivered a significant body of industry-relevant research, including- human enterovirus-like particle vaccine development, downstream bioprocess development for biosimilars, design & production of SARS-CoV-2 spike, nucleocapsid proteins to accelerate diagnostics development and bioprocess intensification through the development of continuous chromatography and membrane-based protein separation.

Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical and Process Engineering from The University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Dr Michal Pasternak

Dr Michal Pasternak

Research Project Manager

Prior to joining Denteric, Michal was a postdoctoral scientist at WEHI and while in this role, he completed an internship at the WEHI’s Business Development Office and the Bridge Program.  His fellowships include an Innovation Fellowship with Israeli VC fund aMoon, Boehringer-Ingelheim Fonds, EMBO and Wellcome Trust.

Michal’s diversity and inclusion accomplishments have been recognised with several awards and he’s passionate about translating scientific discoveries into therapies that save, and improve, people’s lives. He has 13 years of research experience in molecular biology, developmental biology, and infectious diseases.  At Denteric, he manages the mRNA vaccine and Alzheimer’s disease research programs.

PhD from the University of Cambridge (UK), MBA from the Melbourne Business School (currently studying).

Nicole Kruger

Nicole Kruger

Director of Clinical Operations

Nicole has over 25 years’ experience in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, with over 20 years in the clinical research field.

Starting as a Clinical Trial Assistant and progressing through Clinical Research Associate, Project Manager and Operations Manager roles, she has worked with major pharmaceutical companies, Contract Research Organisations and medium to small biotechnology companies to implement and manage their clinical research programs and projects.  Nicole is responsible for ensuring delivery of high quality clinical trials at Denteric.

Board

Dr Anne-Laure Puaux

Dr Anne-Laure Puaux

Director

Anne-Laure possesses extensive academic and commercial research experience.  As a research scientist in academic institutions in France (Institut Pasteur, Inserm) and Singapore (A*STAR), as a staff scientist at Flamel Technologies in France (now Avadel Pharmaceuticals) and within the global Vaccines business unit at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), in Belgium.

During her time at GSK, she transitioned from Research and Development to Business Development and Licensing. Since then, she’s established a track record in successful technology transfer and collaborative projects with emphasis on early-stage assets (discovery / preclinical to phase I/II).

Anne-Laure completed her PhD in Immunology from INAPG (now AgroParisTech) at Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, and gained her Global Executive MBA from IE Business School in Madrid, Spain.

Dr Andrew Nash

Dr Andrew Nash

Director

Andrew is Chief Scientific Officer at CSL, responsible for five therapeutic areas and three strategic platforms: plasma fractionation, recombinant protein technology and cell & gene therapy.  In his role, Andrew provides overarching scientific leadership at CSL and is directly responsible for its large global effort focused on the discovery of new medicines to treat rare and serious human disease.

Prior to CSL his appointments included CEO of ASX listed Zenyth Therapeutics (formerly Amrad Corporation) and an appointment at the Centre for Animal Biotechnology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Melbourne, where he founded and led a research group focused on basic and applied aspects of cytokine biology.  Andrew is an honourary Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne.

PhD in Immunology from The University of Melbourne

Laureate Professor Eric C. Reynolds

Laureate Professor Eric C. Reynolds

Founder & Director

Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO is a world recognised expert in the field of Porphyromonas ginigvalis research.  Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Oral Health at Melbourne Dental School at the University of Melbourne, Eric is a former Head of the Melbourne Dental School and past President of the International Association of Dental Research (IADR).  He has lectured and published extensively and has chaired and participated in a wide range of professional committees and panels.

Eric was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to community dental health in 2005.  He has also been awarded the Clunies Ross National Science and Technology award in 2002 and the Victoria Prize for Science in 2005.  In 2011 he was awarded the Distinguished Scientist Award by the IADR, and in 2015 the Leach Medal for research excellence and the Global Health Impact Award from the University of Melbourne.

In 2016 he received the Award of Merit from the Australian Dental Association and in 2017 he received the Prime Minister’s Prize for Innovation.  In 2019 he was elected Vice-President of the International Association for Dental Research.

Dr Ruth Park-Jones

Dr Ruth Park-Jones

Alternate Director and Observer for UoM

Ruth is the Director of Commercialisation at the University of Melbourne.  She is focussed on delivering a comprehensive innovation and translation agenda across the Biomedical Precinct.

Ruth has been focused on commercialising Life Sciences technologies and capabilities for over 15 years.  With a background in Immunology and a PhD in Pharmacology, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Intellectual Property Law, Ruth has successfully managed many interesting and significant transactions over the years, with research groups from across the University, committed to adding value and building productive relationships with industry, academic and colleagues alike.

Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist

Dr Ingmar Wahlqvist

Director

Ingmar is a Senior Investment Manager with Brandon Capital, Australia’s largest life-science VC, who manage the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). A medical doctor by training, Ingmar completed an MBA at Melbourne Business School before joining the Boston Consulting Group.

Following time with several health-related startup companies he worked for Sanofi in Commercial Operations and on Plavix in the Cardiovascular Franchise of Global Marketing.  During his tenure, Plavix grew to be the 2nd-biggest selling drug in the world.

Returning to Australia, Ingmar joined Melbourne Ventures, commercialising technology from the University of Melbourne, a position which included a part-time secondment to GBS Venture Partners, before joining Brandon Capital.

Dr Chris Smith

Dr Chris Smith

Director

Chris is a Partner at Brandon Capital, Australia’s largest life-science Venture Capital firm, who manage the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF). He currently sits on the boards of several drug and medical device companies and before joining Brandon Capital, Chris was a Business Development Manager with CSL.

He has a first-class honours degree in science from the University of Melbourne, a PhD in Immunology conducted at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and spent three years as a postdoctoral immunologist and virologist at The University of Cambridge.  Most recently he attained an MBA specialising in innovation and entrepreneurship, also at the University of Cambridge.