Biotech start-up, Inventia Lifescience, is collaborating with PhD candidates who have experience in cancer research to provide cutting-edge solutions to real-world challenges.

Former APR Intern, Lionel Leck

Inventia Life Science – specialists in 3D bioprinting technology for drug discovery and biomed research – has engaged eight PhD student interns through the APR.Intern program and found the student placements a key to innovation.

The short-term, results-driven nature of APR.Intern projects has allowed Inventia Life Science to collaborate with universities, nationally, and tap into high-end academic resources. The access to Australia’s brightest emerging research talent has also been a pathway for Inventia Life Science to identify, attract and retain high-level research talent, with seven full-time hires made following successful projects.

One former intern is Lionel Leck from The University of Sydney, who worked primarily with the research and development team, where he actively engaged with institutions and industry partners to develop and establish novel and highly functional advanced 3D cell models.

“Inventia Lifescience, based in Sydney, provides a 3D cell culture platform empowering global scientists in their research. During a six-month period with our multidisciplinary R&D team, Lionel was instrumental in developing our most advanced model, which was made available to customers before the end of his internship.

Lionel’s expertise in cancer stem cells and customer-centric product insights significantly contributed to our work.”


Dr Marie Besnier, Head of Life Science at Inventia Lifescience

Lionel was a recipient of the MTP Connect voucher.

For Lionel, the internship was a solid learning platform that enhanced his adaptability, communication, problem-solving and project management skills, all of which he considers to be essential for success in both academic research and industry settings.

“My most significant learning outcomes from this internship experience have been the substantial improvement of my communication skills and the ability to collaborate within multidisciplinary teams effectively. This internship has also provided me with opportunities to engage with stakeholders from diverse backgrounds, where I could actively contribute my ideas and experiences to the team.

Another crucial aspect of this experience has been the opportunity to work on projects that directly address the scientific area or specific needs of the company, The focus on creating solutions with real-world applications has been highly valuable and rewarding. The opportunity to conduct a product-focused and customer-centric approach to research and development vastly different from an academic setting has also been a valuable aspect of my learning journey.”


Lionel Leck, Former Intern at Inventia Life Science

One of Lionel’s most notable achievements during his internship was the rapid development of numerous gel models for our clients. Witnessing the successful development and deployment of these models to clients, which they used in their studies, was a highly rewarding and incredibly fulfilling experience for Lionel.

His background in cancer research and experience with diverse tumour types allowed him to make valuable contributions to the team. Furthermore, beyond his designated role as an intern at, Lionel pitched and established a joint collaborative research project between his PhD host lab/institute and Inventia Lifescience. This collaboration was instrumental in conducting experiments (with support from Inventia) for an upcoming research manuscript that Lionel anticipate’s will be published in late 2023.