Professor Traian Chirila

Professor Traian Chirila

Chief Scientist

BEng PhD DHC FRACI CChem

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Professor Traian Chirila, our Chief Scientist, was born and educated in Romania, where he obtained a BEng in polymer technology and a PhD in organic chemistry. After ten years of research in polymers and organic chemistry, he relocated in 1983 to Australia, and in 1986 he joined Lions Eye Institute in Perth as a Senior Scientist where he established a department for research and development of polymeric biomaterials for ophthalmology, and ran it for nearly 20 years.

Traian was made a Fellow of Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI) in 1992 and received the RACI Polymer Division Citation in 1993 and the RACI Applied Research Medal in 1999.

In 2005, he joined the Queensland Eye Institute (QEI) in Brisbane, where he was offered a position of Senior Scientist to continue his research and to establish a department of ophthalmic biomaterials and tissue engineering. Currently, Traian is the Chief Scientist at QEI, and also holds three adjunct/honorary professorships at the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland (in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and in the Faculty of Health Sciences), and a Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Western Australia. He is a member of Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering, New York Academy of Sciences, and American Chemical Society, and on the editorial boards of 10 journals.

Professor Chirila was awarded in 2002 the Diploma of Excellence by the Euro-Asia Promotion & Cultural Foundation, and in 2014 the SRB Excellence Award by the Romanian Society for Biomaterials.

Traian’s main research interests include polymer science, hydrogels, ophthalmic biomaterials, tissue engineering of the eye, supramolecular polymers, and sustained drug release. His work and publications contributed seminally to several areas such as biomaterials and biocompatibility, development of hydrophilic sponges, artificial cornea, and artificial vitreous.

He is the inventor of the AlphaCor™ artificial cornea, and the AlphaSphere™ orbital implant, both in current clinical practice. He and his colleagues at QEI have been the first to use silk proteins as biomaterials in ophthalmic tissue engineering.

Traian’s activity has resulted to date in about 180 journal articles and book chapters, the same number of conference presentations, and 13 patents; he is currently editing his third book on ophthalmic biomaterials. Since 1987, he has obtained over AU$13 million in research funding and has supervised 14 doctoral students.

Professor Chirila has been invited to present lectures in China, USA, Japan, Romania, Italy, France, Switzerland, Korea, Germany and The Netherlands.