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Dr Carmel O'Brien

Pronouns: she,her,hers

Senior Manager Global Strategic Partnerships, CSIRO Growth


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Carmel O’Brien (MSc, PhD) is an accomplished Principal Scientist with more than 20 years Program Management and Leadership experience from her diverse roles in STEM industries, services and scientific research organisations. Her roles have encompassed public, private, Government, start-up tech and not-for-profit sectors. Carmel has a strong track record in the design, implementation and delivery of impact outcomes from cross-organisation and globally-partnered innovation R&D programs developing human stem cell technologies. From her postdoctoral Program/project Management roles with Stem Cell Sciences P/L (UK, Aus, Japan, US 2001-2009) then the CSIRO (2009-), and with her various Corporate Governance roles, she applies her strengths in stakeholder engagement, strategic program management, adaptive processes and the development of people, to lead and support partnered teams in the delivery of science outcomes.

Carmel holds an adjunct Associate Professor appointment with Monash University, and an accredited HDR External Supervisor appointment with Swinburne University of Technology.

Other Interests

Partnering through open innovation ecosystems to achieve societal impact outcomes from science

Leveraging diversity to foster an innovation culture in the STEMM workforce

Current Roles

  • Senior Program Manager
    Australia-Singapore Low Emissions Maritime Initiative

Academic Qualifications

  • 2001

    PhD (stem cells)
    Monash University (Faculty Medicine) & University of Edinburgh UK (Institute for Stem Cell Research)

  • 1993

    Master of Science (Faculty Med)
    Monash University (Hudson Institute) & Mercy Hospital for Women

  • 1984

    BSc (clinical biochemistry)
    RMIT University & Alfred Hospital internship (1983-84)

Other highlights

  • --2015

    Selection for Academy of Science, Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank

  • 2015-2017

    Derivation of novel human stem cell models & implementation of new Future Sci/Tech capability across CSIRO (Manufacturing, H&B, ACDP, FSP)

  • 2015-2017

    Licensing & first author publication for 7 novel CSIRO antibodies detecting human stem cell subsets. Recommended for licence following presentation to Asia-Pacific BD (Thermofisher Life Scientific US); Further licence 2022 (Merck Millipore)

  • 2002-2004

    Led the pioneering Aus Gov licence and derivation of Australia's research stem cell lines from the consented donation of human embryos; global banking distribution.

  • 2002-2003

    Transgenic demonstration of the novel pluripotency marker gene Nanog (company patent filing)

  • --2001

    Successful generation of gene-targeted dopamine expressing neuronal cells for foundation SCS P/L UK-University Edinburgh

  • --1999

    Keith Dixon award in Developmental Biology

We have publications by Dr Carmel O'Brien