Meet our Members
Here we celebrate some of our fantastic members and the work that they are doing. A great chance to find out more about our community. If you would like to highlight your research or skills please get in touch.
Mark Allenby, UQ
What is your area of research?
Our group is called the BioMimetic Systems Engineering Laboratory, and we combine Tissue Engineering, Biomedical Image Analysis, and Computational Biology to study and solve biological and medical problems by mimicking physiological systems. Some of our current applications include blood vessel engineering, stromal culture systems, and blood cell therapy manufacturing. Other recent industry-applied work includes bioreactor engineering and upstream bioprocess modelling to design, characterise, optimise, automate, or control advanced culture systems to manufacture cell and tissue therapies.
What technological skill sets do you have?
Our group tries to bridge both experimental and computational work. This has been advantageous for us because tissue engineering and biomaterials research often focusses on lab work, and we find that by bringing in our own computational models and programmed analyses we are able to derive new mechanistic understandings and predict optimal future conditions for our experiments, saving time and money. Individually, I have undergraduate degrees in mathematics and chemistry and postgraduate degrees in chemical engineering where I engineered new biomaterials reactor systems to generate cell and tissue therapies.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
I’m a pretty anxious person. I easily get stressed when I feel like there is a lot to do or if I have a temporary setback, and young Mark found it difficult to separate his personal life from these professional anxieties. Especially during my PhD would often take my work, and these stresses, home with me, and stay awake at night worrying about them. And I think this can be a problem for many PhDs, ECRs, and academics generally. I would advise my younger self to do your best work at work, but then ensure you isolate personal time every day that distances your mind from work. For me this includes social sports, catching up with friends, jogging, or recently, spending time with my growing family.