Please find details of our plenary, keynote and invited speakers below.


Plenary Speakers


Prof. Chris Hunter

University of Cambridge, UK

Chris Hunter was born in New Zealand and educated at the University of Cambridge, graduating with a PhD in 1989.  He was a lecturer at the University of Otago till 1991, when he moved to the University of Sheffield.  He was promoted to a chair in 1997, and in 2014, he took up the Herchel Smith Professorship of Organic Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. In 2008, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and he is an Honorary Member of the Royal Irish Academy. His research focuses on using synthetic supramolecular systems to develop a quantitative understanding of the chemistry of weak non-covalent interactions.



Prof. Gwendolyn Lawrie

University of Queensland, Australia

Gwen Lawrie is a Teaching-Focused Professor in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences (SCMB) at the University of Queensland (UQ). She is also a Principal Practitioner (Professional Learning & Inclusive Education) with the Institute for Teaching and Learning Innovation at UQ. Her work, at the nexus between chemistry education and higher education research, has enabled the embedding of research outcomes into empirical, evidence-based teaching practices. Gwen is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and is recent past Chair of the RACI Chemistry Education Division. She has received recognition for her teaching and research through multiple institutional and national awards including the RACI Fensham Medal in 2021. Gwen is the current Editor in Chief of Chemistry Education & Research Practice (RSC Journal).


Prof. Philippe Renaud

University of Bern, Switzerland

Philippe Renaud was born in Neuchâtel (Switzerland). After undergraduate study at the University of Neuchâtel, he continued his education at the ETH Zürich through to Ph.D. in 1986 under the supervision of Prof. D. Seebach. In 1987, he was a postdoctoral associate of Prof. M.A. Fox at the University of Texas at Austin. He started in 1988 an independent research program at the University of Lausanne. He moved in 1993 to the University of Fribourg as an associate professor. Since 2001, he is professor of organic chemistry at the University of Bern. His research interests include the development of synthetic methods with particular emphasis on radical reactions and the synthesis of alkaloids and other biologically active compounds.


Prof. Deanna D’Alessandro

University of Sydney, Australia

Deanna obtained her BSc from James Cook University followed by PhD research with Em/Prof. Richard Keene which received the 2006 RACI Cornforth Medal and a 2007 IUPAC Prize for Young Chemists. Following postdoctoral work with Prof. Jeff Long at the University of California, Berkeley (2007-9) as the Dow Chemical Company Fellow (American-Australian Association) and an 1851 Fellow, she returned to Australia to build her independent research exploring emergent electronic phenomena in framework materials and more recently, their applications in Direct Air Capture of carbon dioxide. She has held various fellowships (L’Oréal Australia for Women in Science Fellowship (2010), ARC QEII Fellowship (2011-16) and an ARC Future Fellowship (2018-)) and is the 2023 RSC Australasian Lecturer.


Prof. Phil Baran

Scripps Research Institute, USA

Phil Baran received his B.S. in chemistry from NYU in 1997, his Ph.D. from The Scripps Research Institute in 2001, and from 2001-2003 he was an NIH-postdoctoral fellow at Harvard. His independent career began at Scripps in the summer of 2003. Phil has published over 220 scientific articles, several patents, and has been the recipient of several ACS awards such as the Corey (2015), Pure Chemistry (2010), Fresenius (2006), and Nobel Laureate Signature (2003), and several international distinctions such as the Hirata Gold Medal and Mukaiyama Prize (Japan), the RSC award in Synthesis (UK), the Sackler Prize (Israel), and the Janssen Prize (Belgium). In 2013 he was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, in 2015 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, in 2016 he was awarded the Blavatnik National Award, and in 2017, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, USA. He co-founded Sirenas Marine Discovery (2012), Vividion Therapeutics (2016), Elsie Biotechnologies (2021), and Elima Therapeutics (2022).The Baran laboratory is committed to identifying areas of chemical synthesis that can have a dramatic impact on the rate of drug discovery and development. This is achieved both through the development of practical total syntheses of complex natural products (such as terpenes, alkaloids, peptides, and oligonucleotides) and by inventing reactions which can dramatically simplify retrosynthesis.


Prof. Megan O’Mara

University of Queensland, Australia

Prof ​Megan O’Mara and her research group joined AIBN in April 2022. Megan completed her PhD in Physical Sciences at the Australian National University in 2005 before moving to the University of Calgary, Canada, to take up a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Postdoctoral Fellowship working on membrane protein structural dynamics. Since returning to Australia in 2009, she has held positions and fellowships at both the University of Queensland and the Australian National University. In September 2019 she accepted a two-year appointment Associate Director (Education) at ANU’s Research School of Chemistry. She is an Associate Editor for RSC Advances and Vice-President of the Association of Molecular Modellers of Australasia (AMMA). Megan’s work aims to understand how membrane chemical biology influences the physical properties of the cell membrane to modulates membrane protein function and drug uptake.


Prof. Phil Gale

University of Sydney, Australia

Phil Gale is Professor and Head of the School (Chemistry) and Associate Dean (International) in the Faculty of Science at the University of Sydney. He also served as Interim Dean of Science at the University of Sydney in 2022.  Phil’s research interests focus on the supramolecular chemistry of anionic species and in particular the molecular recognition, sensing and lipid bilayer transport of anions. His research group’s contributions to these areas were recognised in 2018 by the award of the International Izatt-Christensen Award in Macrocyclic and Supramolecular Chemistry.


Keynote Speakers

Prof. Christian Hartinger, University of Auckland

Prof. Patricia Hunt, Victoria University of Wellington

Assoc. Prof. Daniel Southam, Curtin University

Prof. Sally Gaw, University of Canterbury

Assoc. Prof. Bill Hawkins, University of Otago


Invited Speakers

Dr Ivanhoe Leung, University of Melbourne

Assoc. Prof. Sarah Masters, University of Canterbury

Prof. Nicola Brasch, Auckland University of Technology

Assoc. Prof. Nigel Lucas, University of Otago

Dr Lisa Pilkington, University of Auckland

Assoc. Prof. Michele Prinsep, University of Waikato

Dr Taniela Lolohea, Auckland University of Technology

Prof. Jadranka Travas-Sejdic, University of Auckland

Prof. James Crowley, University of Otago

Dr Julie Spicer, University of Auckland

Assoc. Prof. Catherine Whitby, Massey University

Prof. Paul Kilmartin, University of Auckland

Dr Andrea Vernall, University of Otago

Dr Joel Rindelaub, University of Auckland

Assoc. Prof. Christopher Fitchett, University of Canterbury

Assoc. Prof. Joanne Harvey, Victoria University of Wellington

Prof. Nigel Perry, University of Otago / Plant and Food Research

Dr Cassandra Fleming, Auckland University of Technology

Assoc. Prof. Jenny Malmström, University of Auckland

Dr Nick Green, University of Otago