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Welcoming the second TRAM Track cohort of 2023: a new wave of innovators

Mikayla Rayside · September 19th, 2023

As the second semester of TRAM Track kicks off, we are thrilled to introduce our newest 2023 cohort of bright and innovative researchers.

This semester, our dedicated teams of researchers are set to tackle a diverse range of challenges, from the treatment of teeth grinding and cartilage injuries to accessible city design and fostering meaningful connections between university students and industry partners.

The 10 teams span across five University of Melbourne faculties, including the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, the Faculty of Science and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. Six of our teams this semester are female led – we're stoked to have so many incredible women leading teams and embedding innovation in research culture.

Empowering innovation

TRAM Track remains dedicated to nurturing innovation by guiding researchers through a journey of problem validation and customer discovery. Our teams will walk away from Track with confidence in what problem their research solves and who their research can create the most impact and value for. We believe that understanding the needs of your target audience, identifying their core problems, and offering tailored research-led solutions are the key ingredients to successfully translating research.

Bonnie Zhang, TRAM Track’s esteemed Program Manager, is thrilled to see the diversity of backgrounds in this semester's cohort:

It’s surreal and exciting to see more and more researchers knocking on TRAM's door wanting to start their entrepreneurial journey, so much so that we are delivering another semester of TRAM Track this year! What I'm really delighted about this semester is just how diverse our teams are, coming from five different faculties. The diversity in thought mixed with community and collaboration is the perfect mix to create a space where researchers think in different ways to what they're used to. That's what TRAM Track is all about.”

The 11-week program will finish with a bang at our 2023 'TRAMaganza,' an event dedicated to celebrating the profound positive effects of research impact and showcasing the remarkable achievements and journeys of both our TRAM Track and Runway teams.

TRAMaganza will be held on Thursday 16 November – make sure you’re signed up to our newsletter for information on how to secure your tickets.

Meet the 2023 TRAM Track teams

Let's take a closer look at the exciting projects our teams are diving into this semester:

Accessible City

Cities often overlook the needs of people with disabilities in their design. Accessible City is a dynamic team of six creative individuals, including writers, designers, musicians, and performers. Together, they are crafting a video game that empowers people with disability to shape urban spaces with the kind of accessibility they want to see.

Eddie Paterson, Radha O'Meara, Qambar Ali Akhteyari and Timothy Williams (Faculty of Arts).


At a time when schools are grappling with a shortage of staff, recent graduates face challenges in feeling adequately prepared for the workforce. Committed to enhancing the experiences of both tertiary students and education providers, the UniConnectEd team is in the process of creating a matching platform. This platform will seamlessly connect schools with the incredible pool of talent residing within our university.

Amanda Samson and Kintara Phillips (Faculty of Education (MGSE)).


Diabetic kidney disease is the leading cause of irreversible kidney damage worldwide, however methods to easily detect kidney function accurately are lacking. RenoTrue is developing a machine learning algorithm to better detect, delay and manage diabetic kidney disease before it is too late.

Rodney Kwok and Mariam Hachem (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).

Solutions 2 Bruxism

In the world where stress is pervasive teeth grinding and clenching (Bruxism) are a major concern as it causes non-carious tooth loss and affects smiles. This innovation prototype tested on innovator-self as there was urgent need to find a solution due to lack of treatment options with Bruxism. The heavy occlusal loading of nearly 20kg over repeated nights can cause tooth damage, painful joints/ muscles and loss of sleep. The idea is to eliminate the heavy forces rather than buffer with traditional splints. Nature, physics and biomechanics are at the core of this novel treatment modality to improve the quality of life at all ages.

Shazia Naseruddin (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).


One of the most significant challenges in gene therapy is delivering genetic materials effectively to their target within the body. The LipoX team is currently in the process of developing a product called lipid nanoparticles (LNPs) to address this challenge. These LNPs will efficiently and selectively transport gene-based drugs throughout the body.

Stanislav Kan, Abdalla Ali and Wei Zhao (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).


Cartilage injuries can result from various causes, including sports injuries, jumps and falls on the knee, leading to osteoarthritis that is often difficult to treat through complex surgeries. The Axcelda team has harnessed the potential of stem cell technology, engineering, and surgical innovation, utilising a patient's own stem cells to repair cartilage injuries.

Peter Choong, Camilla Tuttle, Carmine Onofrillo and Serena Duchi (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).


Crafting a digital health tool that is both safe and effective can be a difficult task and 44% of people building these tools, launch them before knowing if they have any clinical benefit. The Validitron team is developing a suite of services catered to researchers, developers, and medical professionals that will enable rigorous testing of their tools under conditions that closely resemble real-world scenarios.

Omar Dabash, Kit Huckvale and Olivia Metcalf (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences).


Oxygen delivery to cells is a pivotal challenge in stem cell transplantation. The GelOx team has pioneered an oxygen delivery technology using biomaterials, harnessing the body’s natural oxygen storage mechanism to significantly enhance the survival rate of stem cells.

Lilith Caballero, Elizabeth Zoneff and Yi Wang (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology).


Skin cancer is a prevalent health issue in Australia, yet current diagnostic options are invasive, costly, and time-consuming. The ThermAI team is prototyping a point-and-shoot camera system with thermal imaging sensors and artificial intelligence to achieve non-invasive detection of skin cancer.

Noor E Karishma Shaik and Nandakishor Desai (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology).

K9 Sensory Lab

The field of biosecurity and conservation dog training is rapidly growing, but it lacks a centralised resource for collecting, storing and supplying target odours for dog training. K9 Sensory Lab aims to become the premier hub for the supply and validation of detection dog target odours.

Sonja Needs (Faculty of Science).

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