Group members



Prof. Aline F. Miller is a Professor of Biomolecular Engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science having joined the University of Manchester in 2002. Prior to this she held a New Hall College Junior Research Fellowship at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge University working with Professor Dame Athene Donald FRS. She is a chemist by training (B.Sc. and Ph.D.) and during this time gained several awards, including the Sir George Beilby Medal and the Hackman Research Fellowship. She has also gained several awards while in Manchester including the Exxon Mobil Teaching Fellowship in 2004 and in 2008 was awarded The Royal Society of Chemistry MacroGroup UK Young Researchers Medal and also The Institute of Physics, Polymer Physics Group Young Researchers Lecture Award for her work on self-assembling materials. More recently she won the 2014 Philip Leverhulme Prize for Engineering and was shortlisted for the 2014 WISE Research Award.Prof. Saiani ORCID


Prof. Alberto Saiani was awarded an European PhD in 1997 by the University Louis Pasteur, (Strasbourg, France). Following his PhD he was awarded a Fellowship by the Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS), which allowed him to spend one year as postdoctoral research fellow at Osaka University (Japan). In 1998 he was recruited as postdoctoral research associate at Imperial College in the Chemical Engineering department where he stayed two years. In September 2000 he was appointed to a lectureship at the Université Blaise Pascal (Clermont-Ferrand, France) and in September 2002 he was appointed to a lectureship in Molecular Materials in the School of Materials, The University of Manchester. In 2013 Alberto was awarded an EPSRC Research Fellowship. Prof. Saiani ORCID



Dr. Vicki Workman graduated from the University of Leicester with a BSc in Biological Sciences (Genetics) in 2000. After working in industry and academia on expression profiling (microarrays), she went on to complete a PhD at Cardiff University graduating in 2010. Her PhD involved developing a microfluidic method to encapsulate cells. Prior to joining the group in October 2013, Vicki worked in many labs, industrial and academic, and has experience of 3D cell culture, technology transfer and optimisation of protocols.Prof. Saiani ORCID


Illida Mohd Nawi obtained a BSc in Biomedical Engineering (Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering concentrations) from Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA in 2006. Back in college, she worked on “Minimal Invasive Cancer Targeted Drug Delivery Device” as her final year project. Later, she secured a job as a tutor at the Faculty of Engineering, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia which gave her the opportunity to further her studies. In November 2011, she was awarded MSc in Tissue Engineering upon acceptance of her thesis entitiled “Characterisation of Chondrocyte Matrix Responses under Biaxial Loading”. After securing a scholarship from the government of Malaysia, she joined the group in January 2014 to pursue her PhD focusing on designing nano-structured hydrogel for cartilage engineering.Prof. Saiani ORCID


Eva Adamidou graduated in 2012 from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece with a BSc in Chemistry. In 2014 she obtained a MSc (First-Class Honours) in Polymer Chemistry and Technology from the same University. In July 2014 Eva joined our group at the University of Manchester, where she is currently working towards a PhD focusing on the effect of responsive copolymers on the structure of phospholipids and their applications as drug carriers.Prof. Saiani ORCID


Kyle Burgess: graduated from the University of Manchester in 2014 with a BSc (Hons) in Biology, during which he undertook a final year project looking at ion transport across the lung epithelium and its subsequent implications in Cystic Fibrosis. In September 2014, he joined Manchester’s centre for doctoral training in Regenerative Medicine and in April 2015 began working on a collaborative project between our group and Manchester’s Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences. The focus of his PhD is to use an integrated approach, from material design to in-vivo testing via cell engineering, to develop a novel regenerative approach for the repair of the myocardium after infarction.


Beenish Siddique graduated with a BSc in Chemistry in 2011 from Aston University. After graduation she worked as a R & D chemist in industry on a wide range of projects raging from adhesive hydrogels for biomedical electrodes, wound and burn dressing to low volatile organic compounds for pressure sensitive adhesives and thermal interface materials. Beenish joined Polymer and Peptide research group in September 2014 to pursue a PhD, focusing on the design of polymer-peptide hydrogels for biomedical applications.


Haneen Naji graduated in 1998 with a BSc in Materials Engineering from the University of Babylon in Iraq and then obtained an MSc degree in Composite Materials from the same university in 2002.  Following her  an MSc she was appointed lecturer in materials engineering from 2003 to 2005 and then moved to be lecturer in electrochemical department in college of engineering. In 2013 she was awarded a PhD scholarship by the Iraqi government and in September 2015 she joined our group and is currently working towards a PhD on the design of PU resins for fibre composite.


Xinyi Zhu graduated from Changzhou University, China in 2016 with BEng in chemical engineering & technology. In September 2016, Xinyi joined our research group to pursue a MPhil focusing on peptide based materials for biomedical applications.


Natalie Parsons graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2016 with a degree in Chemistry (MChem). During her degree she spent a year at Unilever, Port Sunlight as an industrial placement student where she developed hair shampoos.  In September 2016 she joined the Graphene NOWNANO Centre for Doctoral Training and in April 2017 she join Dr. A. Vijayaraghavan and our groups to work towards the development graphene- biopolymer hydrogel composites for biomedical applications.


Cosimo Ligorio graduated from the University of Pisa (Italy) in 2015 with a BEng in Biomedical Engineering. His final project, developed within the Biofabrication Group at the Research Center "E. Piaggio", dealt with the design and characterization of an open-source progressive cavity pump for biofabrication purposes. In September 2016, he moved to The University of Manchester where he graduated with a MSc in Biomaterials (Distinction) studying the process of viscous flow sintering in bioactive glass scaffolds through X-ray micro-computed tomography at the Diamond Light Source. In September 2016, Cosimo was awarded a PhD scholarship at the CDT in Regenerative Medicine and he joined the Polymers and Peptides research group in April 2017 to study mesenchymal stem cell differentiation onto peptide-graphene hydrogel composites for musculoskeletal tissue engineering strategies.


Helen Clough graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016 with an MBiol in Medical Sciences (first class). Her project was based in the Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and was developing an organ culture system of porcine arteries using a bioreactor for research into the cause and treatment of cardiovascular disease. She joined the CDT in Regenerative Medicine in September 2016 and the group in April 2017 to develop a 3D cell culture model of tumours using self-assembling peptide hydrogels.


Xiaoxia Huang graduated from Beijing University in 2014 with a BEng in Biomaterials. Following her graduation she took on a research assistant position in a company in Chengdu and work on developing and characterizing coating materials for pipelines. In 2016 she went to study at The University of Sheffield and graduated with an MSc in Polymers for Advanced Technologies in January 2017. In September 2017, she joined our group to do a PhD on designing multi-functional peptide hydrogels for biosensing applications.

For past group members see the Alumni page


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