Event postponed


  • $200

    Standard registration

  • $0

    Student registration

Event date: 04Jun 2020

Thursday 4 - Friday 5 Jun 2020

SAHMRI (South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute)

North Terrace, Adelaide, SA
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The CSIRO's cutting-edge science symposium on saliva/non-invasive diagnostics will bring the world's best saliva diagnostics researchers to Adelaide, South Australia.

Our aim is to showcase and discuss issues around emerging saliva research, technological advances and translation pathways to personalised medicine.

We will deliver content around the theme of "Liquid Biopsies", which will highlight cutting edge scientific methods and explore the commercial potential of saliva diagnostics and technologies as well as prognostic biomarkers in various areas of disease diagnostics.

The program includes two full days of international and national presentations, including a cocktail event to allow for informal collaborations.

We take great pleasure in inviting you to attend the "CSIRO cutting-edge science symposium on saliva/non-invasive diagnostics and technologies" at SAHMRI in June 2020.

Key areas

  • Salivaomics
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Health/Disease Diagnostics
  • Aging
  • Commercial and future technologies
  • International and local speakers
  • Student Awards
  • Networking


The following hotels are close to the venue:

Hotel Address Approx. cost Rating
The MAC Boutique Hotel 25 Bank St, Adelaide
SA 5000
(08) 8231 8881
$130 3-star hotel
Adelaide Riviera Hotel 31-34 North Terrace,
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8212 1700
$170 3-star hotel
Hotel Grand Chancellor 65 Hindley St,
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8231 5552
$211 4-star hotel
Adelaide Rockford 164 Hindley St,
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8211 8255
$259 4-star hotel
Holiday Inn Express 30 Blyth St,
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8112 3000
$284 4-star hotel
Stamford Plaza Adelaide 150 North Terrace,
Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8461 1111
$369 5-star hotel

If you would like to submit an oral or poster for presentation, please email your abstract (150 words) and brief bio (150 words) to wayne.leifert@csiro.au. We will get back to you very soon with more details.

Speaker Bios

  Dr Marcus Zipper

Presenter: Dr Marcus Zipper

CSIRO Executive Director Future Industries
For the last 20+ years, Dr Zipper has had senior leadership, commercial, business development and marketing roles primarily in scientific research organisations, including over 15 years in CSIRO. This includes previous roles in four CSIRO research divisions / business units, two Cooperative Research Centres, the polymer industry and a professional services firm. Currently Dr Zipper is the Executive Director Future Industries (Acting). Prior to that he led the Challenges and Digital Transformation program (10 month secondment). Before that he was the Director for the CSIRO Services Business Unit for five years. He has experience in business management, research management, science leadership, research portfolio management, strategic capability planning, business development and commercialisation experience in research organisations. He has experience in a range of research areas and sectors including chemicals, materials, mining and minerals processing, polymers / composites, metal production, manufacturing, service Industries, packaging, aerospace and automotive. He has an academic background in materials science and engineering with an emphasis on engineering materials, materials characterisation and materials processing. He has over 30 publications including national and international journal papers, conference papers, conference abstracts and chapters for books on materials science and engineering.

  Dr. Paul Slowey

Presenter: Dr. Paul Slowey

Dr. Slowey is the Founder and Owner of Oasis Diagnostics® Corporation and its subsidiary Company, Bamburgh Marrsh LLC, founded in 2002, each are pioneers in the area of oral fluid diagnostics and testing. Dr Slowey’s background is in Organic Chemistry; after being awarded his Doctorate from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (UK), he spent several years as a Post Doctoral Fellow in Canada then 5 years in the pharmaceutical industry with Sterling Drug [UK]. He has over 35 years of experience in the clinical diagnostic and pharmaceutical industries combined. Over the years he has held positions as Director of International Sales and Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Vice President of Sales and Marketing for companies that were the original pioneers in the development of saliva diagnostic rapid tests for infectious diseases, and oral fluid collection devices. He has extensive experience in structuring strategic alliances and license agreements with both start-up and Fortune 500 companies. Dr Slowey has 45 publications in peer-reviewed journals, including seven published book chapters, seventeen (17) issued patents, ten (10) filed patent applications and he has made a number of oral presentations at key scientific symposia on a variety of subjects including HIV diagnosis, liquid biopsy testing for cancer diagnosis, nucleic acid testing, the status of oral fluid testing, the Japanese Healthcare Business and Thyrotropin Receptor Antibody Assays for the Diagnosis of Graves’ Disease. Dr Slowey is the Founder and Co-Organizer of the North American Saliva Symposium [NASS, www.salivasymposium.com ] and is a Director of a small teaching college in Kampala, Uganda.

Abstract/Topic: “Saliva- the Golden Biofluid”
In the first part of the presentation, as members of the “saliva fraternity”, we all believe that saliva is the specimen of choice for the development of new diagnostic tests, consumer based genomics, hormonal assays, drugs of abuse tests and many others, but tools to quantify the size and growth in the market are often hard to find. This presentation aims to provide a background to the current market and highlight trends and market size as described in commercial marketing reports that aim to establish an approximate market size and future growth for salivary diagnostics. Also included will be a “spotlight” on several key saliva technologies to enter the market in 2019.
In the second part of the presentation, the focus will be on the “liquid biopsy” testing area and more particularly on exosomes and other extra cellular vesicles [EVs]. The number of technologies in the area of exosomes and cell free DNA are rapidly expanding and saliva may have a key role to play in the future development of diagnostics based upon EVs. In this section some original research carried out in the Oasis Research Laboratories on the characterization [size and distribution] of salivary exosomes will be described.

  Associate Professor Jeff Craig

Presenter: Associate Professor Jeff Craig

Associate Professor Jeff Craig works in the Centre for Molecular and Medical Research at the Deakin University School of Medicine, Waurn Ponds, Victoria, where he is Deputy Course Director of the B Biomed Science Honours course. Prior to this he worked at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, where he still holds an honorary position and manages a team of twin researchers. He has established a number of longitudinal cohorts, most involving twins. He is President of the International Society for twin Studies and Deputy Director of Twins Research Australia. His work focuses on epigenetic changes associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. He has a passion for wrangling genomic data from awkward samples including dried blood spots, saliva and stools, through which he is currently engaging with biotech. He has over 190 peer-reviewed publications and has held continuous NHMRC grant funding for the past 14 years. He is also a keen science communicator.

Abstract/Topic: TBA

  Mr Nathan D'Cunha  Associate Professor Andrew McKune

Presenters: Mr Nathan D'Cunha (left) and
Associate Professor Andrew McKune (right)

Salivary Bioscience in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Nathan D'Cunha Biography:
Nathan D’Cunha is a PhD candidate at the University of Canberra (UC) investigating the effects of the psychosocial interventions for people living with dementia in residential aged care. Nathan’s research interests also include non-invasive biomarkers, and ageing and nutrition, particularly interventions that may serve to prevent or delay age-related conditions such as dementia. Nathan also teaches into the UC Faculty of Health in Nutritional Science and Food Science, and currently holds a Dementia Australia Research Foundation PhD scholarship.

Andrew McKune Biography
Andrew McKune is an Associate Professor in Strength and Conditioning at the University of Canberra. He holds qualifications in sport & exercise science, medical science (physiology), strength and conditioning (CSCS) and a doctoral degree specialising in exercise immunology. Andrew’s research interests are focused towards dysfunctions in the stress-response, inflammation and bioenergetic systems in mental illness and their potential as targets for exercise and nutrition interventions. This includes measurement of non-invasive methods including saliva and heart-rate variability.

  Dr Kai Dun Tang

Presenter: Dr Kai Dun Tang

Dr Kai Dun Tang obtained a PhD degree in late 2015 from Queensland University of Technology (QUT), focusing on the study of tumour microenvironment and metastasis using both animal and tissue engineering models. He began his academic career as an early career postdoctoral researcher, concentrating on the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers for head and neck cancer using blood and saliva in the lab of A/Professor Punyadeera at QUT/ Institute of Health Biomedical Innovation (IHBI).

Abstract/Topic: HPV16-modified exosomes in the management of oropharyngeal cancer
There has been a significant rise in the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven oropharyngeal cancer (OPC) in the developed countries, including Australia. Emerging evidence supports the notion that HPV integration within the human genome has been associated with both genomic and transcriptomic alterations as well as the changes in molecular cargo of exosomes released by HNC. However, the role of exosomes in saliva derived from HPV-driven OPC is far from clear. We found an elevated protein expression of five main glycolytic enzymes in salivary exosome derived from HPV-driven OPC patients, suggesting the functional role of salivary exosome in the reciprocal interplay between HPV-driven OPC and glucose metabolism. Taken together, our data suggest that the development of a low-cost non-invasive saliva-based test using both salivary exosomal DNA and protein may offer an opportunity to detect HPV-driven OPC, thereby opening new avenues in the future for clinical and commercial translation.
A “needleless” approach to detect HPV-driven head and neck cancer.
There has been a dramatic rise in the incidence of human papillomavirus (HPV)-driven head and neck cancer (HNC) in the developed countries, including Australia. In addition, HNC biopsy collection is challenging compared to other tumor types due to the fact that the tumours are usually microscopic and inconspicuous. Owing to its close proximity to the oral cavity, saliva has been suggested as a non-invasive medium for HNC. The ultimate goal of this study is to develop a quick, affordable, and accurate test to detect individuals at risk of developing HNC using saliva samples, which may facilitate early clinical decision making.

  Chameera Ekanayake Weeramange

Presenter: Chameera Ekanayake Weeramange

Mr. Chameera Ekanayake Weeramange is a Medical Laboratory Science graduate from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Currently, he is a Ph.D. candidate attached to the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Health, Queensland University of Technology. He is investigating biomarkers to detect Human Papillomavirus driven oropharyngeal cancers.

Abstract/Topic: Salivary HPV16 Status in Oropharyngeal Cancer
Over the last two decades, the epidemiological landscape of Head and Neck Cancer (HNC) has been altered considerably, due to the declining incidence of tobacco associated HNC and increasing incidence of Human Papillomavirus (HPV) driven HNC, particularly Oropharyngeal cancers (OPC). Even though HPV driven OPC patients respond better to the treatment, patients have to experience treatment associated debilities, which may even become permanent. Unfortunately, HPV driven OPC often diagnosed after the disease is well established. The absence of a detectable pre-cancer and difficulty in locating the tumours are the main drawbacks of early detection. Salivary testing has proved to be one of the most promising options to overcome these challenges as saliva has unrestrained access to these sites allowing it to be used as a proxy to reach these sites without difficulty. In this study, 263 OPC patients were investigated for the presence of HPV16 DNA in their salivary samples using quantitative PCR. In our sample, 87.1% OPCs were p16 positive and 66.2% were salivary HPV16 positive. Viral integration was observed in 63.2 % of samples all of which were from patients with tonsillar and base of the tongue tumours. Fisher’s exact test revealed that there is a significant association (p=0.003; FET) between the site of the tumour and salivary HPV status. Inter-rater agreement between p16 status and salivary HPV16, was 0.376 (95% CI: 0.26 - 0.49). There was a 99% agreement between p16 and salivary HPV16 for the salivary HPV positive samples. However, the agreement was 68% for HPV16 negative samples. Given that p16 is an indirect marker of the HPV status and certain p16 positive OPC doesn’t necessarily drive by HPV, it can be concluded that salivary HPV testing is a reasonable substitution to p16 to determine the HPV status of OPC especially when direct access to the tumour is not available. Further, Salivary HPV testing has the potential to be used as a screening tool for the early detection of HPV driven OPC.

  Associate Professor Guozhen Liu

Presenter: Associate Professor Guozhen Liu

A/Prof Guozhen Liu, an Associate Professor and ARC Future Fellow at Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW, is leading a research team working on Integrated Devices and Intelligent Diagnostics (ID2). After finishing her PhD in Chemistry in 2006 at UNSW, Liu conducted her postdoctoral research at CSIRO and UNSW, respectively before she was appointed as an Associate Professor at Central China Normal University in 2009. In 2015 Liu moved back to Sydney and worked at Macquarie University before she was awarded the prestigious ARC Future Fellowship in 2016. Liu is recognised for her interdisciplinary and translational research with close end-user engagement in the area of biosensors, point-of-care diagnostics, and medical devices. She worked in AgaMatrix Inc. for 4 years as a R&D Manager, China, and then continues her industry engagement through a strong record of partnering with biomedical firms such as AstraZeneca, BioLegend, AgaMatrix Inc, and Regeneus Ltd. Liu has published 11 patents, 1 book chapter and 86 journal papers. She has attracted over $5M research funding from both Australian government and industry since 2016.

Abstract/Topic: Paper Device for Non-Invasive Point-of-Care Detection of Insulin in Saliva
Insulin is the main anabolic hormone which regulates the metabolism of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. Any defects in insulin production leads to development of diabetes mellitus, obesity, cardiovascular disease and may also increase the risk of cancer, infertility and aging. Therefore, it is essential to develop a point-of-care (POC) approach to monitor insulin to enable individuals for management of personal health conditions and early diagnosis of various chronic diseases. Conventional strategies for insulin detection are not suitable for POC testing as they are expensive, and require blood, sophisticated instruments and skilled personnel. Herein we developed a paper based POC technology for optical detection of insulin in saliva with a limit of detection of 0.01 ng mL-1 and detection range of 0.01-10 ng mL-1, and provides 87% correlation with insulin ELISA. This study provides a reliable, fast, cost-effective and non-invasive approach for highly sensitive and specific detection of insulin to be used in POC scenarios.

  Xi (Bob) Zhang

Presenter: Xi (Bob) Zhang

My major research interest involves using novel proteomics methods to identify novel biomarkers for systemic and local diseases. I have expertise in immunoassay, mass spectrometry, molecular biology and general chemistry. I am particularly interested in using saliva as a medium for novel biomarker discovery due to the ease of collection nature of saliva. By developing diagnostic and prognostic platform in saliva, patients can utilise these platforms in a non-clinical setting and reduce the need of routine clinical visit. My research interest focuses on early diagnosis and prognosis management heart failure. I am also interested in head and neck cancer.

Abstract/Topic: Saliva test to stratify the risk in heart failure patients
Heart Failure (HF) prevalence is two times higher in regional and rural areas compared to the metropolitan areas in Australia. This is partially due to the lack of access to equitable healthcare in the regional and rural Australia. Saliva sampling can be performed by patients at home, reducing the need for hospital visits and potentially facilitating self-management especially for patients in remote committee. We aim to develop a saliva test to identify HF patients at risk of being hospitalised and/or death due to HF. We collected saliva from HF patients with and without adverse events and analysed the protein contents using SWATH mass spectrometry. We found that salivary proteins can predict cardiovascular death and hospitalisation in 12 months after HF patients discharged from the hospital. The patients will be able to monitor their disease progression at home instead of travelling long distance to a hospital for a clinical imaging-based testing.

Science areas: Biological sciences and Health

Event type: Conference or seminar