Hans Freeman Student Lecture: Professor Martina Stenzel; The University of New South Wales
Monday, 25 October 4:00pm – 4:30pm
This seminar will be delivered via Zoom – Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for zoom link and password.
Speaker: Professor Martina Stenzel; UNSW
Host: Professor Liz New
Title: From a small country town to the big city and to very small polymer nanoparticles: Reflections on becoming an academic and working on plastic!
Abstract: We cannot imagine life without plastics as most items we use are partly made from plastics. Think of clothes, furniture, computers, cars and many more. This has caused environmental concerns but we should not forget that plastics are fascinating material that can be shaped to suite any application from every day items, to electronics and health. In this talk, I will take the audience on a journey from simple polymers that are widely used for commodity polymers to highly complex nanoparticles that have various shapes. These nanoparticles can now be filled with anti-cancer drugs to facilitate the delivery of therapeutic goods into cancer cells. The main purpose is to understand how the shape and size of these nanoparticle affect the interaction with healthy and cancerous cells.
Polymers have been the underlying theme during most of my life. Already in school I was fascinated by the versatility of polymer design. Later during my PhD I worked on polymer membranes before I focused on polymer design and then nanoparticles. However, my journey did not start with the aim to become an academic and to specialize on nanoparticles. Where I am right now is the result of planning, coincidence, confusion, luck and sometimes just going with the flow. I will therefore discuss my scientific pathway together with my life experiences and how I got where I am.
Biography: Martina Stenzel studied chemistry at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, before completing her PhD in 1999 at the Institute of Applied Macromolecular Chemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany. She started as a postdoctoral fellow at UNSW in 1999 and is now a Scientia Professor in the school of chemistry as well as an ARC Laureate Fellow.
Her research interest is focused on the synthesis of functional nanoparticles for drug delivery applications. Martina Stenzel published more than 350 peer reviewed papers mainly on polymer and nanoparticle design. She is the editor in chief of Materials Horizons and currently serves on a range of editorial boards. She received a range of awards including the 2011 Le Fèvre Memorial Prize of the Australian Academy of Science. She is currently the chair of the National Chemistry Committee of the Australian Academy of Science and is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science.