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. Mark has principally supervised 5 PhDs and 2 MPhil/RAs, co-supervised 7 PhDs and has been awarded more than $2.5M of funding as chief investigator across 17 competitive funding rounds in 3 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 has recently commenced as Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, BioMimetic Systems Engineering Lab (BMSE), under the primary supervision of Dr Mark Allenby. His research will primarily focus 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

Ms Sabrina Schoenborn, 3rd Year PhD Student

Sabrina is a third-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, 1st Year PhD Student

Chloe is a first-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 recently 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, 1st 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, 1st Year PhD Student

Astrid is a first-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

April 2022: Ash, Chloe, Sabrina, Mark, and Ryan
Mark, Sabrina, and Ash in front of the new Andrew N. Liveris building of UQ's School of Chemical Engineering (we are on floor 8)!


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


Mr. Mitchell Johnson (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).


Mitchell, Mark, and Sabrina catching a beer after a first week at UQ!
Sabrina, Cody, Trent, and Mark after winning the Bionics Queensland Accelerator Grand Challenge (2020)
Trent, Cody, Sabrina, Mark and others after Sabrina won the 2020 Movember Poker Tournament