Professor Robert Kapsa is the standing inaugural Professor, Biofabrication and Tissue Engineering at RMIT University in Melbourne. He received his PhD in 1996 on mitochondrial polymorphisms in human disease from the University of Melbourne Department of Medicine. He has published over 131 peer-reviewed research papers including three book chapters and one book focused on nerve and muscle biology and medicine. Pr Kapsa’s experience ranges from tissue regeneration, molecular biology, gene therapy, biochemistry and he has been the lead investigator on a number of national and international (USA and Europe) projects dealing with use of polymers for tissue engineering, particularly for nerve and muscle, and gene editing-based autologous regenerative medicine solutions for hereditary nerve and muscle dysfunction (particularly DMD and more recently, FSHD).
Prof Kapsa’s team pioneered first generation gene editing technologies as part of a worldwide consortium and were among the first to carry out in vivo gene editing of the dystrophin mutation in muscle of the mdx mouse model of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. From these gene editing activities for over two decades, he has pursued the development and optimization of autologous cell replacement therapies for hereditary muscle dysfunction.He holds an adjunct honorary appointment as Head of Research at the Department of Neuroscience, St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.