Researcher biography

Professor Simon Cool is Professor of Bioengineering and Director of the UQ Advanced Cell Therapy Manufacturing Initiative in the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland.

Professor Cool began his scientific career at the University of Queensland more than 20 years ago. He received his BSc (hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Queensland, where he subsequently held a faculty position in the School of Biomedical Sciences. His areas of studies have included age-related changes in the structure of bone and teeth and the extracellular matrix compartment of skeletal tissue that guide stem cell behaviour and wound repair. Professor Cool was invited to join the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Singapore in 2003 as a Principal Investigator. He then joined A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology (IMB) in 2008, shortly after its inception, to further his research in regenerative medicine, serving as Senior Principal Investigator of the Glycotherapeutics Group. In October 2020, Professor Cool re-joined the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB) as a Research Director, Glycotherapeutics, where he focused on developing novel glycosaminoglycan biomolecules that enhance wound repair and control adult human mesenchymal stem cell activity.

Professor Cool has 117 patent applications across 26 families with 51 granted in the fields of glycosaminoglycan biochemistry, regenerative medicine and stem cell science. He has more than 150 publications and continues to foster strong strategic collaborations both nationally and internationally with academic and industry groups. He has a strong biomanufacturing and translational focus with experience in taking glycosaminoglycan-based devices through discovery RnD on to pre-clinical and clinical testing. Professor Cool also has an entrepreneurial and licensing background having successfully spun-off some of his technology to a US-based regenerative medicine start-up company, SMC Biotechnology Ltd. Professor Cool holds a Visiting Professor appointment at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, Singapore and an Adjunct Professor (Research) appointment in the Orthopaedic Department at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Prior to his move back to UQ, he previously held the position of Treasurer, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society, Asia Pacific Chapter (TERMIS-AP) and Treasurer, Stem Cell Society Singapore (SCSS). He also held senior leadership positions in several Singapore-based R&D programmes, notably as Director, Allogeneic Stem Cell Manufacturing (ASTEM) and Theme Leader in Advanced Manufacturing for Biological Materials (AMBM). Prof Cool currently serves on the Editorial Board of the journals Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, and is Asia-Pacific Regional Editor for Stem Cells and Development.