Pia has worked across sustainable marine industry development and academia for the past 20 years. Her focus has gone from fundamental ecosystems research, to applied technology development in integrating marine sourced materials into biotechnology applications with a focus on wound healing.
Currently Pia is in the commercialisation phase and scaling up a refinery for the production of a specific marine molecule. This molecule from seaweeds is a close mimic to the connective-tissue glycans in human skin. Together with researchers at the University of Wollongong, a 3D printable ink has been developed from this molecule and is currently in pre-clinical trials for surgical wound healing applications.
Ironically, Pia personally experienced the need for wound healing scaffolds after a scalping injury in the workplace. After 18 months, split grafts and 6 reconstructive surgeries of her scalp, the journey of skin scaffolds from seaweed has much more purpose.