Former Lab Members

Postdoctoral Research Fellows

  • Dr. Emily McDonnell, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Feb 2023-Sep 2023)-Preclinical and in silico models for personalised regeneration of the intervertebral disc. Funded by European Research Council, Consolidator Award (CoG) (2020-2025). Currently a Quality Engineer at Proverum, Ireland.
  • Dr. Marcos Barcellona, Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Mar 2021-April 2023)- Development and Characterisation of Injectable Gene Activated Biomaterials. Funded by European Research Council, Consolidator Award (CoG) (2020-2025). Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  • Dr. Soraya Salinas (April 2021-Oct 2022)- Development of Bioinks and Biomaterials for Musculoskeletal Regeneration. Funded by Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER)/Science Foundation Ireland, Industry Partnership- DePuy Synthes / Johnson and Johnson (2018-2023). Currently a Research and Development Engineer at Cerenovus, Galway. 
  • Dr. Kevin Behan (Oct 2020 - Jan 2022)- Injectable Biomaterials for Musculoskeletal Regeneration. Funded by European Research Council, Consolidator Award (CoG) (2020-2025). Currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Galway, Ireland.
  • Dr. Shani Samuel (Sep 2018 - Oct 2021)- Effect of Growth Factors and Acidic Microenvironments on Discogenic Differentiation. Funded by Science Foundation Ireland, Career Development Award (CDA) (2015-2020). Currently Senior Analyst, Eurofins BioPharma Product Testing Ireland Ltd, Waterford, Ireland.
  • Dr. Leyla Zilic (Apr 2017- May 19)- Decellularized grafts for peripheral nerve repair. Funded by Advanced Materials and Bioengineering Research (AMBER)/Science Foundation Ireland, Industry Partnership- Integra Life Sciences. (2017-2020) Currently a Research Advisor at ConvaTec, United Kingdom.
  • Dr. Olivier Guillaume (Sep 2012 - Jan 14)- Decellularized injectable biomaterials for intervertebral disc repair. Funded by Enterprise Ireland Commercialisation Grant (2012-2014). Currently a University Assistant in  3D Printing and Biofabrication at TU WIEN, Austria.

Research Assistants 

  • Ross King (May-Sep 2023)- Extracellular Matrix Biomaterials for Wound Healing. Funded by Horizon Europe CSA-Twinning Project 101079123
  • Jennifer Gansau (Oct 2019 - Feb 2020)- Intraoperative Single Stage Procedure for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration


PhD (Biomedical Engineering)

  • Dr. Emily McDonnell (2023)- From “Bench to Bedside”: In-Silico Modelling to Inform the Assessment of Intervertebral Disc Cell-Based Therapies. Currently a Quality Engineer at Proverum, Ireland.
  • Dr. Chiara Borrelli (2021)- Development and Functional Assessment of a Decellularised Injectable Biomaterial Combined with Nasal Chondrocytes for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration. Medical Inforamtion Specialist, IQVIA.
  • Dr. Jennifer Gansau (2020)- On the Effect of Primed Cellular Microcapsules and pH Neutralizing Biomaterials to Augment Regeneration of the Intervertebral Disc. Currently Postdoctoral Researcher at Iatridis Lab, Mount Sinai, New York, USA
  • Dr. Masooma Naqvi (2016)- Towards Stem Cell Regeneration of the Nucleus Pulposus of the Intervertebral Disc. Currently Postdoctoral Researcher at McNamara Lab, NUIG, Ireland
  • Dr. Simon Carroll (2016)- Probing the Role of Joint Specific Environmental Cues in Guiding Stem Cell Fate Currently. Senior Technical Officer at Trinity Centre for Biomedical Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
  • Dr. Henrique Vazão Almeida (2016)- Cartilage extracellular matrix-derived scaffolds for joint regeneration. Currently Postdoctoral Researcher at iBET - Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica | iBET · Animal Cell Technology Unit, Oeiras, Portugal
  • Dr. Lu Luo (2015)- Engineering tissues with a zonal structure and composition mimicking native articular cartilage using mesenchymal stem cells. Currently Postdoctoral Research Associate at University of Rochester, New York, USA

Postgraduate MSc (Bioengineering)

  • Caoimhe Murphy MSc (2021)- 4 Axis Printing for Tissue Engineering Intervertebral Disc Replacements
  • Peter Hyatt MSc (2020)- Investigating the Effect of Print Orientation and Heat Treatment on Spinal Cages Manufactured from Polyether Ether Ketone and Polycaprolactone Utilising Fused Deposition Modelling
  • Suraj Panigrahi MSc (2020)- Biofabrication and Engineering of Patient-Specific Constructs for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration
  • Juan Carlos Cao Yao MSc (2019)- Multiphysical Principles of Cell Culturing Philosophy
  • Brooke Tornifoglio MSc (2018)- Non-Invasive Characterisation of the Intervertebral Disc Microenvironment through Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Finite Element Analysis
  • Tatiana Ryan MSc (2018)- Transportation of Chondrocytes at Ambient Temperature for Cell Therapies
  • Padraig Irwin, MSc  (2017)- Towards Physiologically Relevant Culture of Organ Disc Explants Through Manipulation of the Glucose Microenvironment
  • Pooja Mandal, MSc (2017)- Comparison of Nasal Chondrocytes and Bone Marrow Stem Cells for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration
  • Megan Cloughley, MSc (2016)- Cryopreservation, Storage, and Cell Isolation of Nasal Cartilaginous Tissue
  • Elena Sedano Santos, MSc (2016)-  Direct Printing of Scaffolds for Bone Repair - Effect of Hydroxyapatite Incorporation into Poly(lactic acid) for Fused Deposition Modeling
  • Alethea Nair, (2016)-  Maximising Cellular Augmentation of Meniscal Scaffolds for single-stage surgical applications
  • Yasmine Roden, (2016)-  Comparison of Rapidly Isolated Chondrocytes and Minced Cartilage Tissue Combined with Fibrin for Orthobiologic Applications
  • Aoife Gaffney, (2016)-  The Response of Articular Chondrocytes to the Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β in an In Vitro, Intervertebral Disc-Like Environment
  • Denys Gibbons, (2016)-  A Comparative Study Between Nasal and Articular Chondrocytes using a Rapid Digestion Protocol for the Treatment of Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Srujana Vedicherla, (2015)- Towards a Single Stage Procedure for Intervertebral Disc Repair using Nasal Chondrocytes
  • Darina Gilroy, (2015)- Magnetically Responsive Biomaterials for Stem Cell Stimulation
  • Sam Holt, (2015)- Fibrin-Based Hydrogels for Annulus Fibrosus Repair
  • Ivan Dudurych, (2015)- Fabrication and In Vitro Characterisation of Glyoxal Cross-linked Collagen Type II Scaffolds and Hydrogels
  • Tom McIntyre, (2015)- Magnetic Based Core Shell Microcarriers
  • Lara Kelly, BA, BAI, MSc (2014)- NP Cell Microencapsulation using Electrohydrodynamic Spraying for Minimally Invasive Tissue Repair of the Intervertebral Disc
  • Cristina Freire, MSc (2014)- Growth and Metabolism of BM-MSCs In Response to Altered Microenvironments
  • Miloš Kaćanski, BSc, MSc (2014)- Response of Bovine 3D Seeded Nucleus Pulposus Cells to Expansion Conditions
  • Rodolfo Molina, BSc, MSc (2014)- Fabrication and Characterisation of Porous Scaffolds Derived from Processed Cartilage Extracellular Matrix
  • Rukmani Sridharan, B.Tech., MSc (2013)- Freeze Dried, Acellular Nerve Scaffolds with Longitudinal Channels for Peripheral Nerve Regeneration
  • Shane Buckley, BA, BAI, MSc (2013)- Bioactive Alginate Hydrogels and Shape-Memory Scaffolds for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration
  • Kerri Lennon, BA, BAI, MSc (2013)- Bioactive Engineered Scaffolds for Regeneration of Degenerated Annulus Fibrosus
  • Darragh Boylan, BA, BAI, MSc (2013)- Investigation into the Development of Porous Hydroxyapatite Cages for Spinal Fusion
  • Sean Maguire (2012)- Prospective Strategies to Repair the Nucleus Pulposus of the Degenerated Intervertebral Disc using Mesenchymal Stem Cells

Postgraduate MAI (Engineering)

  • Meabh Doran BA, BAI, MAI (2023)- Towards Engineering Hybrid Intervertebral Disc Replacements – Mechanical Characterisation and 3D Printing of an Extracellular Matrix-Based Bio-ink
  • Megan Tracey BA, BAI, MAI (2023)- Mapping of Glucose and Lactate Metabolite Concentrations in Biological Tissue
  • Jessica Bagnall BA, BAI, MAI (2022)- Development of Patient-specific in Silico Models Based on Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Data to Predict Nutrient Microenvironment Profiles in Human Intervertebral Discs
  • Bella Salajeva BA, BAI, MAI (2022)- Region and Strain Dependent Nutrient Transport Properties in Intervertebral Disc Tissue
  • Niamh Wilson BA, BAI, MAI (2021)- Design, Fabrication, and Modelling of a High-Throughput Organoid-on-a-Chip to Assess Nutrient Microenvironmental Effects for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration
  • Brian O’Sullivan BA, BAI, MAI (2020)- 3D Printed Structures for Tissue Engineering Intervertebral Disc Replacements 
  • Eimear Magennis BA, BAI, MAI (2020)- Injectable Self-Healing Hydrogel for Intervertebral Disc Repair
  • Tom MacIntyre, BA, BAI, MAI (2019)-  The Effects of Varying Capsule Architecture on the Release Profiles of Implantable Drug Delivery Systems
  • Emily McDonnell, BA, BAI, MAI (2018)- Simulating Nutrient Distribution within Degenerative Discs and Optimising Physiological Culturing Conditions for Organ Models – An Experimental and Numerical Analysis
  • Conor Hayden, BA, BAI, MAI (2018)-  On the Mechanical Properties of Visible On the Mechanical Properties of Visible On the Mechanical Properties of Visible Light Crosslinked PEGDA-Alginate Hydrogels
  • Aidrus James, BA, BAI, MAI (2018)- Development and Fabrication of a Direct Print Biopen for Use in Orthopaedic Applications, and the Characterisation of Melt Blended Hydroxyapatite and Polycaprolactone Composite Biomaterials
  • Padraig Maree, BA, BAI, MAI (2017)- Development of Glucose Loaded Microcapsules for IVD Regeneration
  • Adam Quinlan, BA, BAI, MAI (2017)- Development of an Intervertebral Disc Defect Model for use in Hydrostatic Pressure Investigations.
  • Áine McConville, BA, BAI, MAI (2016)-  Optimising Processing Parameters for Fused Deposition Modelling of PLA and PET for use in Disposable Medical Devices
  • Aaron Walsh, BA, BAI, MAI (2016)-  Design, Development and Emulation of an Intraoperative Device for Micro-Encapsulation
  • Ciaran Giles, BA, BAI, MAI (2015)- Fabrication of Injectable High Density Crosslinked Fibrin Hydrogels to Seal Ruptured Annulus Fibrosus Tissue of the Intervertebral Disc
  • Kate Gillen, BA, BAI, MAI (2014)- Investigation of a Minimally Invasive Strategy for Nucleus Pulposus Regeneration
  • Tara Mooney, BA, BAI, MAI (2014)- Investigation into the Delivery and Fixation of Implants in the Intervertebral Disc
  • Ciaran Moen, BA, BAI, MAI (2014)- Development of a Hydrostatic Pressure Bioreactor System
  • Orla O'Brien, BA, BAI, MAI (2013)- Development of Injectable Porous Micro-Carriers (PMCs) for Intervertebral Disc Regeneration

Undergraduate BAI (Engineering)

  • Jennifer Fitzpatrick BA, BAI (2020)- Effects of Fibre Diameter on Mechanical Properties of 3D Printed Polymer Scaffold Structures
  • Sophie Cairns BA, BAI (2020)- 3D Printing of Cartilage Endplates of the Intervertebral Disc using Polycaprolactone
  • Arlinol Xhezaj BA, BAI (2019)- In Situ Deposition of Nanofibers via Solution Blow Spinning
  • Stephen Quinn, BA, BAI (2014)- Fabrication and Characterisation of Porous Scaffolds Derived from Decellularized Annulus Fibrosus Extracellular Matrix
  • Andrew Daly, BA BAI (2013)- Development of Shape Memory Scaffolds to Repair the Annulus Fibrosus
  • Katie Gordon, BA BAI (2013)- Bioreactor Systems for IVD Organ Culture Stimulation
  • Alan Irvine, BA BAI (2012)- Development of Bioactive Scaffolds as a Template for Tissue Regeneration
  • Patrick Stewart, BA BAI (2012)- Engineering the Intervertebral Disc
  • Darragh Boylan, BA BAI (2012)- Factors Influencing the Transport of Oxygen, and the Effect of Cellular Treatment Methods, in the Intervertebral Disc: a Finite Element Study
  • Simon McCoy, BSc (2012)- Anatomically Shaped Tissue Engineered Grafts
  • Ciaran Dooley, BA BAI (2012)-Development of a Bioreactor System to Mimic Physiological Loading Regimes of the Intervertebral Disc

Visiting Internships

  • Isabelle Imhof. University of Utrecht (Oct 2022-Aug 2023)- Development of electroconductive bioinks for peripheral nerve repair. Funded by ERASMUS+.
  • Daniela Silva Fischer, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. ERASMUS+ Visiting Internship Student (Jun-Oct 2022)- Development and Characterisation of Disc Derived Extracellular Matrix Bioinks
  • Jennifer Gansau, Technical University Berlin (April-Aug 2013) and (April-Sep 2014)- Decellularisation of Annulus Fibrosus Tissue
  • Miroslava Rysova, University of Liberic in the Czech Republic (Nov 2013- Sep 2014)- Collagen Based Biomaterials for Intervertebral Disc Repair
  • Milena Tryfon, Warsaw University of Life Sciences (April-Aug 2012) - Investigation of mesenchymal stem cells for intervertebral disc regeneration strategies – an in vitro model