As a consequence of our activities, the Neuromathix project involves the international cooperation of cutting-edge researchers in a number of diverse fields: from endocrinology and pharmacology to aerospace-sourced guidance and control mathematics, from clinical care of patients suffering degenerative diseases to the programming of sophisticated software applications. Some of these skills, particularly in mathematical modelling, control algorithm design and programming are available within Australia. Others are sourced from overseas. Like any other modern high-technology enterprise, our structure also involves expert legal and corporate advisers.
Our senior figures include:
Nigel is a mathematician and inventor of the Neuromathix technology and patents. Holding first class honours in pure mathematics and a PhD in differential game theory, he is a former Honorary Senior Fellow of the School of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Queensland. A former senior analyst in the Australian Government, he is experienced in running research programmes in both public and private sectors. He is one of Australia’s Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellows.
In 2001 NeuroTech Research Pty Ltd (NTR) was awarded a Queensland Government Innovation Start-Up Scheme (ISUS) grant for the development of software to aid medication of a number of chronic diseases, leading to the Neuromathix software. The company was a member of the Queensland Government's i.lab Incubator, a technology incubator for promising start-ups.
At that time practical deployment of the Neuromathix algorithms had been delayed until cheap, scalable massively-parallel computing platforms became available. With the advent of Nvidia's CUDA-enabled GPU computing architectures, a suitable computing platform now exists.
In other scientific fields, he has been awarded the 2004 and 2007 Spitfire Memorial Defence Fellowships by the University of New South Wales for ongoing research in machine intelligence in aerospace.
Nigel is also a director and CEO of Diabetes Neuromathix Pty Ltd (DNx), the spin-off company dedicated to the commercialisation of the Neuromathix artificial pancreas software.
Professor Jenny Gunton is the main medical collaborator in Neuromathix's current development of prototype Artificial Pancreas software.
She holds a Chair in Medicine at Westmead Hospital, Sydney. Previously she has been a Senior Research Officer and Group leader, Diabetes and Transcription Factors, at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, where she was a JDRF/NHMRC Fellow. She is a former President of the Australian Diabetes Society.
Her qualifications also include a post-doctoral Fellowship at the Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School; a PhD from the University of Sydney; FRACP (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, subspecialty endocrinology and diabetes); and a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery).
Jenny is also a director-elect of Diabetes Neuromathix Pty Ltd.
John Greenwood is a constitutional, military and commercial lawyer (he has appeared before the Privy Council in London and Australia’s High Court, been counsel for the Australian Tax Office and lectured in Commercial Law at the University of Queensland). A former Queensland parliamentarian and Cabinet Minister, and a former colonel and Reviewing Judge Advocate in the Australian Army Legal Corps, he is experienced in public administration and governance.
John is also chairman of Diabetes Neuromathix Pty Ltd.
Elizabeth (Liz) Greenwood is an experienced Executive Director with 15-year track record of diverse leadership roles with a peak industry association, specialising in taxation and business compliance. With qualifications in commerce and law and a professional services background in turnaround management and commercial litigation, Liz’s specialty is helping businesses, especially those operating in highly-regulated industries, develop and implement their business strategies.
The Neuromathix project and companies have an international advisory panel of eminent business and scientific figures, including:
Dr Murray qualified in medicine and surgery from Charing Cross Hospital, London. In 1986, Dr Murray co-founded, with Harry Stratford, Shire Pharmaceuticals Ltd, a company originally founded to in-license, develop, market and/or out-license prescription medicines for metabolic bone diseases with special emphasis on osteoporosis. At Shire, Dr Murray supervised the UK development of the first licensed treatment for Alzheimer's disease, tacrine. This was followed by galantamine, also for Alzheimer's (marketed by Johnson and Johnson as Reminyl). He also supervised the early development of Fosrenol. Shire Pharmaceuticals subsequently floated on the London Stock Exchange and became the UK's 3rd largest pharmaceutical company (at the end of 2007 it had an annual revenue of $US2,436 million). Dr Murray left Shire Pharmaceuticals in 1999 to set up Hunter-Fleming. Based in Bristol, this was a biopharmaceutical company focussed on novel treatments for degenerative disorders, with particular emphasis on Alzheimer's disease, spinal cord injury and neuropathic pain. Hunter-Fleming set up Trident Pharmaceuticals Inc in Boston USA with Advent International to focus on the development of a novel treatment for asthma that came from Bristol University. In 2008 Hunter-Fleming was acquired by Newron, a Swiss pharmaceutical company.
Dr Murray has a broad experience of the pharmaceutical industry worldwide in clinical and preclinical research and development, strategic planning, licensing, marketing and sales support. His therapeutic areas of expertise include metabolic bone disease, gastro-enterology, dermatology and CNS disorders. He is on the Science and Industry Council of the South West of England Regional Development Agency.
Dr Burnet is founder and managing director of Synovo GmbH.
He is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the University of Adelaide (PhD Biochemistry 1992). He completed postdoctoral research at the University of Montreal, University of Florida and the Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique a Versailles. In 1998 he became a project manager at Zeneca (formerly ICI) in the UK. In 2001 he became the Chief Scientific officer of Sympore GmbH based in Germany, and in 2004, he founded Synovo, a preclinical services and drug discovery company based in Tübingen, Germany. In 2005 he founded Hi-Cap formulations Ltd to develop intellectual property in the field of controlled release formulations. Both companies are profitable and have licensed intellectual property to multi-national enterprises. Michael is currently spinning out an oncology-focused company developing immune modulators.
Janelle Mason is a financial services executive with experience gained in the United Kingdom and Australia across a wide range of areas including relationship management, credit risk, product development, strategy and project management. She is currently employed by ANZ to manage and develop relationships with the Australian superannuation and funds management industries across a broad range of finance sector products and services. Janelle has held directorships across a number of boards and advisory positions in various industries. Janelle holds a Masters Business Administration from the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a Bachelor of Business from Queensland University of Technology.
George is Associate Professor at the School of Biomolecular and Physical Sciences, Eskitis Institute for Cell and Molecular Therapies, Griffith University and lecturer in the School of Medicine, Princess Alexandra Hospital. With particular research interests in Parkinson's Disease, he was awarded a 2003 Brain Foundation grant as Chief Investigator, examining genetic and environmental interactions in Parkinson's, and has been heavily involved in research into Parkinson's Disease since 1997, with 27 peer-reviewed publications explicitly addressing aspects of the disease, including dopamine transport, genetic and environmental factors. He has also published on broader issues that impact on this project, including pharmacokinetics, hepatic elimination and bioinformatics-based analysis. His bioinformatics experience includes being Team Leader/Visiting Fellow to the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, and his involvement in the application of neural networks for detecting high-order gene-gene interactions.
New members of the Advisory Panel for Diabetes Neuromathix will be unveiled shortly.
In late 2009 the company was awarded funding from Queensland Health's Office of Health and Medical Research for development and testing of an application of the Neuromathix algorithms to type-1 diabetes, followed by funding in 2010 by the Queensland Government's Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, and the JDRF in 2011. This demonstration was successfully achieved in late 2012 in collaboration with Associate Professor Gunton (see News).
In late 2013 JDRF Australia, via its Clinical Research Network, awarded a further grant to this team to help fund a proof-of-concept clinical study demonstrating the Neuromathix artificial pancreas in human subjects with diabetes. Initially administered by the Garvan Institute, this study is now underway at Westmead Hospital, Sydney.
NTR has two sets of patents pending internationally. The first patent application has been granted in the US, Australia and Singapore and is pending in the EU, with another Continuation patent pending in the US. The second patent application has been granted in Australia and is pending in the US.
In June 2014 a sister company, Evolving Machine Intelligence (EMI), lodged a provisional patent over a new proprietary machine-intelligence platform, called phi-Textured Evolutionary Algorithms (phi-TEA). In September 2015 the International Examiner issued a preliminary ruling finding each of the 70 claims of this patent application globally novel and inventive, so it is expected to give rise to a further raft of basic patents on machine intelligence throughout the world, including medical applications.
All commercial diabetes-related applications of these patents are permanently exclusively licensed to DNx worldwide, including the rights to sub-licence and independently prosecute or defend the patents.