Dr Mark C Allenby, Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering

Mark leads the BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Lab and is a Senior Lecturer of Biomedical Engineering in UQ's School of Chemical Engineering. Mark is an ARC DECRA Fellow (2022-2025), an Advance Queensland Fellow (2019-2022) and an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at QUT. Depite being 5 years post-PhD, Mark has published over 40 papers, principally supervised 6 PhDs and 2 MPhil/RAs, co-supervised 7 PhDs and has been awarded more than $2.8m of funding as chief investigator across 17 competitive funding rounds in 4 years. Mark received a PhD and MSc in chemical engineering from Imperial College London, UK and has undergraduate degrees in mathematics and chemistry from Pepperdine University, USA. Mark's background includes the engineering of dynamic stem cell bioreactors for tissue biomanufacturing, automated signal and image processing for tissue diagnostics, and model-based optimisation and control of 4D cell systems.

Email: m.allenby@uq.edu.au

Dr Ashley Murphy, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Ash is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, BioMimetic Systems Engineering Lab (BMSE), under the primary supervision of Dr Mark Allenby. His research primarily focusses on the development of dynamically controlled human angiogenic in vitro models for optimised tissue growth. Ash has previously worked as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the CSIRO, where his research focussed on the development of engineered in vitro retinal models for the study and treatment of retinal disorders. In 2019, Ash received his PhD from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Monash University, which explored the development of stem cell-derived 3D neural tissue models. Ash's research interests lie at the intersection of materials science, stem cell biology and device engineering which are highly aligned with a strong desire for real work impact in the medical field.

Email: ashley.murphy@uq.edu.au

Dr Rose Ann Franco, Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Rose Ann joined the BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Lab as a Graduate Research Officer in April 2023 and became a postdoc with the conferral of her PhD in September 2023. Under the supervision of Dr. Mark Allenby, she will be working on the enrichment of endothelial colony forming cells (ECFCs) from mononuclear cell (MNC) populations isolation from peripehral and umbilical cord blood, and vascularisation of organoid models derived from MNCs. Prior to this, Rose Ann worked on guided chondrogenesis of bone marrow stromal cells in micropellet cultures using signalling molecules, pathway inhibition, and gene silencing as the focus of her PhD project at the Queensland University of Technology. Her research experience also included biomaterials fabrication and evaluation of its regenerative capabilities using in vitro and animal models at Soonchunhyang University, South Korea and microbial-derived nanocellulose production for tissue-engineering applications at University of the Philippines

Email: roseann.franco@uq.edu.au

Ms Sabrina Schoenborn, 4th Year PhD Student

Sabrina is a final-year PhD Student at the UQ BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Lab and focuses her research on the numerical and experimental characterisation of lower peripheral arteries and vascular graft anastomoses. During her work, Sabrina utilises numerical simulations (FEA, CFD, FSI), computer-aided design (CAD), additive manufacturing (3D printing), medical image segmentation, and plastics and silicone processing to create and validate patient-specific vascular models. She received her Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering) and Master of Science (Plastics and Textile Technology) from RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany and has made the biomedical application of mechanical, textile, and plastics engineering methods the main focus of her work and studies. Her passion is creating real-world impact with medical engineering to improve patient outcomes via science communication and translational research.

Email: s.schoenborn@uq.edu.au

Ms Chloe De Nys, 2nd Year PhD Student

Chloe is a second-year PhD stduent, focussing her research on developing a bioengineered cerebrovascular model that can simulate the physiological mechanobiology of an intracranial aneurysm, to aid surgical decision making. She graduated in 2021 from a Chemical and Biological Engineering degree at University of Queensland, with a dual Biomedical Sciences degree. Chloe also has a background in pharmaceutical chemistry, previously working as a student chemist at Viatris where she became skilled in High Preformance Liquid Chromatography. She is interested in combining chemical engineering, stem cell biology, computational modelling, and artificial intelligence to advance tissue engineering research and development. 

Email: c.denys@uq.net.au

Mr Ryan McKinnon, 2nd Year PhD Student

In 2022, Mr Ryan McKinnon began a PhD under the supervision of Dr. Mark Allenby with the goal of manufacturing lab-grown patient-specific grafts with inbuilt vascular conduits optimally designed for defect-specific regeneration. Mr McKinnon has a Bachelor of Biomedical Science and a Master’s in Medical Research (MMR). Previously under the mentorship of Associate Professor Andrew Bulmer (Griffith University, AUS), his research was centred around developing a pre-clinical biocompatibility assessment of medical devices, in humans. Since graduating from an MMR Ryan has worked in industry, most notably, a stage IIb/IIIa clinical trial and in an industry sponsored group at Griffith University. The methods utilised in his previous projects included flow cytometry, scanning electron microscopy, biochemical analysis, and functional medical device assessments (e.g., flow set-ups), sonography, microscopy and thromboelastometry. 

Email: r.mckinnon@uq.net.au

Ms Astrid Nausa Galeano, 2nd Year PhD Student

Astrid is a second-year PhD student at the UQ BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Lab. Her project, under the supervision of Dr. Mark Allenby, seeks to understand how tridimensional tissue formation can be controlled by manipulating its environment, such as microscale structure and macroscale nutrient transport. To do so, she is studying the effect of 3D microscaffolds and culture designs on cell morphology, growth, maturation, and tissue organisation. She has a Bachelor and a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering, both at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. Previously she has worked in the production of therapeutic recombinant proteins employing mammalian cell culture and bioreactor optimization. Her motiviation is to develop high-impact biomedical engineering applications to facilitate patients' access to state-of-the-art technologies. 

Email: g.nausagaleano@uq.edu.au

Ms Susana Costas Maia, Visiting MPhil Student

Susana is a second-year Biomedical Sciences Masters Student from Maastricht University in the Netherlands, who recently joined the BioMimetic Systems Engineering (BMSE) Laboratory as a visiting researcher. She will be working under the supervision of Dr. Mark Allenby and PhD student Astrid Nausa Galeano on optimizing MEW-PCL scaffold design for blood cell therapy manufacturing. Susana has a bachelor's degreee in Forensic Laboratory Sciences from CESPU in Portugal, where she took part in a research project in pharmacognosy, evaluating if the species in pan masala counteract the carcinogenic potential and neurotoxicity of the Betel nut (Areca catechu L.).

Email: s.costamaia@uq.edu.au 

Mr Harrison Krek, Honors Thesis Researcher

Harry is undertaking a Bachelor of Engineering in Electrical Engineering, preforming his final year honours research project in programming real-time video fluorescence microscopy image analyses and models of 3D tissue angiogenesis under the supervision of Mark and Ash Murphy. 

Email:  h.krek@uq.net.au

Ms Alyssa Detterman, MBiotech Researcher

Alyssa is pursuing a Masters of Biotechnology at UQ while assisting the BioMimetic Systems Engineering Lab. She Graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science in Biology, where she assisted the Chemical Engineering Institute for Cellular and Metabolic Biology within the Alper Lab to research the enxymatic degredation of polyethylene terephthalate.

Email: a.detterman@uqconnect.edu.au


Ms. Brenna Devlin (PhD 2021-2024): Development of geometric melt electrowritten polycaprolactone scaffolds to optimise cellular growth and mechanobiology. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruff and Dr Naomi Paxton (QUT).


Mr. William Parker (BE (Hons), 2023) Honors Thesis Researcher - Unruptured intracranial aneurysm detection. Principally supervised by Mark and Ms. Chloe De Nys (UQ).

Mr. Mingyang (Aaron) Yuan (MEng, 2022-2023) Masters Research Student - Biomechanics of soft robotic bioreactors. Principally supervised by Ms. Sabrina Schoenborn (UQ).

Ms. Amé Badenhorst (BE (Hons), 2022-2023) Summer Research Student - Quantitative analysis of tissue vascularisation. Principally supervised by Dr. Ashley Murphy (UQ).

Mr. Trent Brooks-Richards (PhD, 2018-2022) - Co Supervisor - 3D printed composite biomaterials for personalised vascular implants. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruff and Dr Naomi Paxton (QUT).

Mr. Mitchell Johnson (MPhil, 2020-2021) - Principal Supervisor - Medical image analysis of intracranial aneurysms.

Mr. Cody Fell (MPhil 2019-2020) - Principal Supervisor - Soft robotic devices for emulating vascular mechanobiology.

Ms. Victoria Nguyen (MSci, 2019) - Principal Supervisor - Histological imaging techniques and flexions of femoropoliteal arteries. 

Dr. Maureen Ross (PhD 2017-2021) - Co Supervisor - Novel imaging and bioprinting approaches for auricular cartilage reconstruction. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruf (QUT).

Dr. Michael Chen (PhD 2017-2021) - Co Supervisor - Clinical applications of 3D printing in urological surgery. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruf (QUT).

Dr. Rena Cruz (PhD 2017-2021) - Co Supervisor - Advanced 3D biofabrication appraoches for the treatment of microtia. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruf (QUT).

Dr. Matthew Lanaro (PhD 2017-2021) - Co Supervisor - Multi-material multi-scale biofabrication approaches. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruf (QUT).

Dr. Naomi Paxton (PhD 2017-2020) - Co Supervisor - Additive manufacturing patient-specific porous high-density polyethylene surgical implants. Principally supervised by Prof Maria Woodruf (QUT).