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Niamh Nowlan, Principal Investigator

Niamh Nowlan

Dr Niamh Nowlan is a lecturer in the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London, UK. Dr. Nowlan’s research is in the area of developmental mechanobiology, with particular focus on skeletogenesis; the study of how mechanical forces induced by prenatal movements affect bone and joint formation before birth. Prior to joining Imperial College, Dr. Nowlan held two postdoctoral fellowships in Trinity College Dublin, Ireland and in the Centre for Genomic Research, Barcelona, Spain. In 2009, Dr. Nowlan travelled to the USA as a Fulbright scholar, and spent six months working in Boston University. Dr. Nowlan obtained a PhD in Bioengineering from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland in 2007, and holds a degree in Computer Engineering.

Lisa Abela, PhD Student

Lisa Abela

Lisa Abela is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering. Her research is about joint morphogenesis in developing muscleless limb mice. During her Masters degree at Imperial College, Lisa worked on measuring the strain in mouse bone using digital image correlation. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Malta and has also spent a number of months working in industry.

Vikesh Chandaria, PhD Student

Vikesh Chandaria

Vikesh Chandaria is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering. His current research is in the area of skeletogenesis, in particular the influence of biophysical stimuli on embryonic joint development. Before joining the Developmental Biomechanics Lab, Vikesh graduated from Imperial College London with a Masters in Biomedical Engineering in 2012. Vikesh also completed an MRes in Biomedical Research at Imperial College London, with one of his two research projects completed in the Developmental Biomechanics Lab.

Mario Giorgi, PhD Student

Mario Giorgi

Mario Giorgi is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London, UK. The aim of his PhD project is to understand how mechanical forces influence joint shape development, especially those caused by pre-natal movement during hip joint morphogenesis. Before joining Imperial College Mario worked in the Department of Mechanics of Politecnico di Torino (Italy). From April 2009 to June 2010, Mario worked at the European Centre for Knee Research in Leuven (Belgium). Mario holds a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering and a master degree in Biomedical Engineering.

Tyler Kim, UROP Researcher

Tyler Kim

Tyler Kim is a UROP researcher in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London and is also working towards an MSc in Medical Humanities at King's College London. His current research is focused on the relationship between fetal movement and spine development in the chick embryo model system. Before joining the Developmental Biomechanics Lab, Tyler graduated from the Johns Hopkins University with a BA in Neuroscience.

Samantha Martin, Research Technician

Samantha Martin

Samantha Martin is a Research Technician in the Department of Bioengineering. She provides support for molecular biology, imaging and histology techniques and for the coordination and maintenance of the laboratory. Previously she worked within the department for Dr Simon Schultz in the Neural Coding Laboratory, providing research expertise for the project to understand information processing in the mammalian cerebral cortical circuit and laboratory management. Before joining Imperial College Samantha worked as a Neuroscience Research Technician at King’s College London. Samantha holds a bachelor degree in Biochemistry.

Stefaan Verbruggen, Postdoctoral Researcher

Stefaan Verbruggen

Dr. Stefaan Verbruggen is a postdoctoral Research Associate in the Department of Bioengineering of Imperial College London, UK. Dr. Verbruggen’s research is in the area of developmental biomechanics, focusing on how the prenatal biomechanical environment affects the development of musculoskeletal diseases in later life. The project is funded by Arthritis Research UK. Prior to joining the Developmental Biomechanics Lab at Imperial College, Dr. Verbruggen conducted postdoctoral research in the Biomechanics Research Centre at the National University of Ireland Galway. Dr. Verbruggen holds a bachelor degree and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Ireland Galway in 2013, where his research focused on the mechanobiology of bone cells in both health and disease.


Cecilia Kan, Daniel Ko, Akajla Logeswaran & Jessica Loo, UROP Researchers (Summer 2014).

Susana Ramos, MRes student (2013-2014). Project title: "Characterisation of mechanical properties of developing skeletal tissues"

Hannah Thompson, MRes student (2013-2014). Project title: "How does movement affect embryonic skeletal development?"

Pyry Helkkula, UROP Researcher (Summer 2013). Project title: "3D classification of joint shapes using computational methods"

Vikesh Chandaria, MRes Student (2012-2013). Project title: " The Influence Of Biophysical Stimuli On Joint Morphogenesis"

Vinayak Nambiar, MSc Student (2011-2012). Project title: "Synovial Joint Morphogenesis in Developing Animal Models"

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