Prof Zee Upton

Zee Upton 200x267_saliva research symposium brisbaneZee Upton joined the Institute of Medical Biology in A*STAR, Singapore, as a Research Director in July 2015 to establish, the Tissue Technologies Group. She is a biochemist by training, a tissue engineer, an inventor and entrepreneur who is highly regarded for her research in molecular, biochemical and cellular aspects related to growth factors, extracellular matrix proteins and tissue repair. She is passionate about ensuring research delivers benefits, is taken up and utilised, as well as champions interdisciplinary approaches; she believes that innovation commonly arises in the “white spaces” between disciplines. She also has an interest in “frugal”- or “constraint”-driven innovation, and to this end she is working with collaborators in India and China on projects related to tissue repair, scar remediation and diagnostic technologies.

Presentation Title:
Constraint-driven innovation and its application to molecular medicine
Australia spends $120B annually on health, an increase from 7% to 10% of GDP in a decade. The USA spends upwards on 17% of GDP on healthcare costs. Further, this rapid growth in healthcare expenditure is set to continue with an ageing population and the emergence of costly new treatments that extend and improve quality of life. The sustainability of this approach to healthcare is increasingly being questioned and has led to the emergence and application of “frugal-” and “constraint”-driven innovation concepts to healthcare; concepts underpinned by the principles of Affordability, Adoption, Access and Awareness. To date most initiatives around frugal innovation in healthcare have focussed on medical devices and on improvements to health systems and services. In this brief presentation I will provide exemplars of constraint-driven innovation in molecular medicine and its application to the development of non-invasive robust diagnostics to better detect and manage health and disease.