Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook is a Senior Research Fellow (2021-) at the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute (IPRI), Australian Institute for Innovative Materials, University of Wollongong, where she was until recently, Research Fellow (2014-2021) and Associate Theme Leader (2020-2021) with the Synthetic Biosystems Theme of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES). She also holds an appointment as a Senior Research Scientist with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse Hospital’s Biomedical Innovation Hub (BMIH) (2021-). Eva completed her PhD in 2008 at the Ludwig Institute of Cancer Research, University of Melbourne in the field of cancer cell biology and targeted nanotherapeutics. As a Postdoctoral Fellow at A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore, and St Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne, her research in cancer cell biology continued, to identify therapeutic targets of metastatic breast cancer using applied bioinformatic approaches. Prior to her PhD studies, Eva was a Senior Research Assistant in the field of Schizophrenia neurobiology and drug discovery at the Mental Health Research Institute in Melbourne, and the Clinical Brain Disorders Branch of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA.
Eva’s research brings together front-line technologies in human stem cells with cell instructive bio- and electro-materials for next generation tissue building. Her approach includes novel 3D-printing, stem-cell derived organoidogenesis, combined with electro-stimulation, particularly for neural tissue engineering and application, but also extending to cardiac tissue and tumour modelling. She has devised and demonstrated novel platforms to build and electrify human stem cells in two-dimensional (2D) and 3D to accelerate their development to specialised, mature and functionally interconnected cells and tissues, with increased responsivity to drug treatment. The platforms apply to both fundamental research and clinical translation: to model tissue development, function and dysfunction; to generate clinically relevant tissues for drug/toxicity testing and diagnostics; for tissue replacement and regenerative medicine; and, as models for medical device development, including advanced electroceuticals (electric pharmaceuticals), and to augment traditional pharmaceutical responsivity. Her work at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in the Biomedical Innovation Hub is to enable the advancement of fundamental research to transform these innovations into clinical solutions including for cancer diagnostics, therapeutics, and regenerative medicine (tissue) therapy after cancer.