I am Associate Professor in Regenerative Medicine and Drapers Teaching Fellow at the Institute of Bioengineering, Queen Mary University of London.
In my research role, I lead the regenerative medicine research group which aims to identify therapeutics that slow down inflammation and repair tissues in osteoarthritis. Thousands of people in the UK undertake knee replacement surgery at the Royal London Hospital and are participating in our research, which has been highly successful in identifying new molecules and mechanisms that cause osteoarthritis. I serve on the editorial board and referee panel for several journals (eg. Osteoarthritis & Cartilage, Plus One) and charities (Arthritis Research UK, AO Foundation) and I am a member of the prestigious Orthopaedic Research Society (ORS) and Osteoarthritis Research Society International (OARSI). I have been invited to contribute to seminars, review articles and expert opinions by journals including Arthritis or Osteoarthritis and Cartilage and attracted funding worth £1.5M, through ongoing collaborations with Malaysia, USA and Europe. My research in osteoarthritis funded by the AO Foundation has been nominated for the 2015 Berton Rahn Research Fund Prize Award.
I have appeared on a number of radio programmes with the BBC or ABC to talk about our research in fetal medicine with pioneeering clinicians and scientists such as Prof Anna David (UCL). Our research is developing new ways to repair and heal defects in fetal membranes after premature rupture (PPROM). In England, 1 in 9 women experience PPROM where their fetal membranes that protect the baby during growth break too early, and the baby has to be born too early otherwise she will die. We are working with scientists, engineers and clinicans from QMUL, UCL, Singapore, Belgium and Southamton to develop a therapy that can be used in the clinic to prevent premature births. We are very greatful to the charities who have funded our research in fetal medicine (RoseTrees Trust, Sparks, Great Ormond Street Hospital, #TeamZoe).
I am advertising for a PhD student to develop therapeutics to heal the fetal membrane defects – if you are interested, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (4th Jan 2018).
In my teaching role, I am responsible for organising six modules at the School of Engineering and Material Science (SEMS). I am Programme Director for the intercalated BSc in Biomedical Engineering and Clinical Materials which attracts medical students (MBBS) from the School of Medicine and Dentistry at Barts and The Royal London Hospital, or from elsewhere.
In teaching innovations, I have been awarded several prizes (eg. 2010 Drapers Award, Finalist for 2013 S-Lab Award, shortlisted for the 2014 THE Award; 2016 Reimagine Award) and project grants totalling £200K in developing platforms to support teaching enhancements (eg. Student Experience Investment Fund, Westfield Trust, EPSRC Innovation Fund, Royal Society).
For example, I developed the 3D virtual science lab in collaboration with Solvexx (Learnexx 3D) and I was shortlisted for the 2014 Times Higher Education awards www.qmul.ac.uk/media/news/items/138799.html
I have also made podcasts that help young people improve their skills in writing STEM research/technology driven documents suitable for university and industry. This educational activity was part of the STEM wishees project funded by JISC.
In activities involving science communication and public engagement, I am committed to the development of learning technologies and communicate STEM with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary research to broader audiences as well as the general public (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z6ISAFjnE4). The virtual science lab is a good example of how I have improved the efficiency of learning and transformed the student experience.
I have two beautiful girls age 3 and 8. See if you can spot the children hiding in the photos taken during our visit to California below!
I love teaching science to young people and in the past have set up initiatives such as “the bioengineering experience” or “staying strong-joints in space” with the UK Space Agency, Centre of the Cell and Centre for Public Engagement, QMUL. These activities have reached both primary and secondary school children from different age groups all over the country. My daughters enjoy taking part in the STEM activities and together, we have organised workshops at St Joseph’s in the Park, Hertfordshire with Dr Rhiannon Lowe (GSK) and Mrs Jane Elson (Head of Science).