I am an Associate Professor in Regenerative Medicine at the Institute of Bioengineering, Queen Mary University of London and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
In my research role, I lead a team of researchers in regenerative medicine which aims to identify therapeutics that slow down inflammation and repair damage to tissues. For example, thousands of people in the UK undertake knee replacement surgery at the Royal London Hospital and are participating in our research and we have identified 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.
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) and Prof Jan Deprest (Leuven). Our research is developing new ways to repair and heal defects in the 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, Newcastle and Sheffield to develop a therapy that can be used in the clinic to prevent premature births. We are very greatful to the charities who are funding our research in fetal medicine (Rosetrees Trust, Sparks, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Prenatal Charity).
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, 2014 Times Higher Education Award; 2016 Reimagine Award; 2018 SF Adept) and project grants totalling £200K in developing platforms to support teaching enhancements (eg. Student Experience Investment Fund, Westfield Trust, EPSRC Innovation Fund, Royal Society). In 2018, I was appointed Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
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 educational technologies that shares good practice with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary research to broader audiences as well as the public (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2z6ISAFjnE4). The virtual lab is a good example of how I have improved the efficiency of learning and transformed the student experience.
At home, I have two beautiful daughters age 4 and 9 and we attend conferences and travel the world.
I enjoy teaching science to young people and in the past I 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 the team at the Centre for Public Engagement at QMUL. These activities have reached primary and secondary school children from all over the country. My children enjoy taking part in the STEM activities and together, we have organised several workshops and community festival events to inspire and engage young people with STEM.