Dr Apostolos (Lee) Alissandratos, 2021–22

Lee Alissandratos

Dr Apostolos (Lee) Alissandratos

Lee is a biotechnologist with a highly inter-disciplinary background in applied and commercial research. His research has focussed on the development of practical and adoptable biotechnological solutions to pressing societal issues, including the detection of infectious disease in remote and low-resource settings, and the sustainable production of fertilisers and other chemicals. Lee has led commercially funded research projects and been awarded a CSIRO Future Science Fellowship in Synthetic Biology and a Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

What were you researching before you started as a Science Policy Fellow?
Throughout my research career, I have aimed to develop practical and adoptable biotechnological solutions to real-world problems. This has included the development of biotechnologies for the chemical storage of hydrogen energy, renewable fertilisers from carbon dioxide and waste, and inexpensive diagnostic tests for infectious diseases that are suitable for low-resource settings. 

How has your research background helped you contribute to policy development?
The communication and conceptual skills developed through a career in research have been vitally important in my new role. Moreover, my cross-disciplinary and commercial research experience has been particularly useful when engaging with policy makers and other stakeholders with different backgrounds and expertise.

How has the program changed your career aspirations?
Having worked on research problems that relate to complex issues, I was already aware of the importance of well-informed government policy in addressing these. Nevertheless, this program has opened my eyes to the endless opportunities at the APS for impactful work. I am particularly attracted to areas of policy with the potential to accelerate technological progress and its translation into outputs that benefit society.

What is your favourite part about working in a policy role in the Australian Public Service?
As a researcher, I have always been interested in developing solutions to real-world problems. Fully cognisant of the roles of government policy and evidence-based decision making in shaping Australia’s response to pressing societal issues, I am thrilled about the opportunity to be involved at the centre of this process.