The 2012 Oxford Medtronic Lecture – Thursday, 21st June

For the last five years Medtronic, the global leader in medical technology, has supported the education and research of biomedical engineering across the Atlantic. Medtronic graduate scholarships, especially promoting women, and the Oxford Medtronic Lectureship have played a key part in encouraging the exchange of ideas in biomedical engineering between universities in the United States and Europe.

Medtronic 2012 - main photo
Standing left to right: Professor Lionel Tarassenko (Director of the Institute of Biomedical Engineering); Professor Brian Bellhouse; Eleonora Mylonopoulou (2007 Medtronic Scholar); Professor Constantin Coussios; Professor Alison Noble; Professor Zhanfeng Cui; Professor Molly Shoichet (Guest Lecturer); Dr David Dunham (Medtronic); Mr Steve Mahle (Retired Chair, Medtronic Foundation); Professor Andrew Carr (Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics); Ioanna Zafeiri (2010 Medtronic Scholar).

At this year’s Oxford Medtronic lecture over 120 academics, students and representatives from industry and government came to the Sir Martin Wood Lecture in the Department of Physics, Oxford, to hear Professor Molly Shoichet’s, talk titled: “Regenerative Medicine Strategies to Promote Repair in the Central Nervous System”. Professor Shoichet PhD, FRSC, Order of Ontario,  holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering and is Professor of Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto.

Professor Molly ShoichetAn eloquent speaker, Professor Shoichet focussed on three areas of regenerative medicine strategies namely, spinal cord injury, blindness and stoke.  She highlighted the significance of regenerative medicine to restore, maintain and improve tissue function, and said there were ‘opportunities to make a real difference in these three areas’.  However, Professor Shoichet stressed that although there is ‘the potential to arrest or regenerate tissue, pharmacological treatments won’t stop or overcome disease’.

Dr David Dunham, Medtronic’s Regulatory Affairs and Quality Manager for UK & Ireland, said: “…we have a wonderful culture, which is mission-driven. It’s about alleviating pain, restoring health and extending life. This is one of the reasons why we’re developing new technologies in the med-tech area and this lectureship is an integral part of that”.


  • Professor Shoichet’s lecture will be available to view online shortly.

Photographs from this year’s Oxford Medtronic event

With special thanks to the Medtronic Foundation for supporting this prestigious lectureship.

Medtronic scholarships

Medtronic 2012 - receptionMedtronic scholars (Eleonora Mylonopoulou and Ioanna Zafeiri) enjoy tea at Keble College and give an update on their careers since finishing their scholarships.

In addition to the Medtronic lectureship, the graduate scholarships - funded by the Medtronic Foundation - have played a vital role in promoting women in engineering science.  The following Medtronic scholars have benefitted enormously…

Eleonora Mylonopoulou – Eleonora recently finished her PhD in Oxford. Her work was on targeted drug release from thermosensitive liposomes with therapeutic ultrasound, for the treatment of liver cancer. Currently she is working as a researcher in the University of Oxford, on imaging tumour response to therapy. She is also involved in the design and execution of clinical trials of the combination of therapeutic ultrasound with liposomes for metastatic liver cancer - recently launched and based on her PhD work.

Ioanna Zafeiri - after completing her MSc in Oxford, Ioanna returned to Greece to work for a start-up healthcare company based in Athens. Ioanna’s role involved providing scientific support to the consumer health care and the medical equipment & device units of the company. Today, Ioanna is in Birmingham (UK) studying for an Engineering Doctorate in Formulation Engineering. This combines PhD study with a high level of interaction with different industries.

Stéphanie Trine joined Merck Serono two and a half years ago after an initial internship with BioAlps in Geneva. She joined their Technical Operations Graduate Training Scheme which included ‘continuous improvement on a biotech production site in Switzerland’ and the ‘customisation of injection devices’ based in Switzerland. Since then she has joined the Operational Excellence unit and is working with external consultants to put together a cost savings plan for key production sites in Europe.

Berenika Luczak has moved to New York, USA, where she is working as a management consultant focusing on life sciences. Berenika’s work allows her to help pharmaceutical, medical device and biotechnology organisations implement the best business models to deal with today’s ever-changing world, and ultimately deliver the highest quality healthcare to patients.

Lauriane Sermet completed another Masters in Mathematics in France. She is in France right now, attending pre-med lectures as well as working at the Lyon Neuroscience Research Centre, on brain computer interfaces. Lauriane said: “I hope to get into Medical School next year and I would love to be able to combine biomedical research with clinical practice in the future”.

With special thanks to the Medtronic Foundation for supporting graduate biomedical engineering scholarships.