Although I couldn't pinpoint the beginnings of my passion for natural sciences, it was the end my Master of Chemistry degree, when I realised the
unrealised possibilities at the interfaces of different disciplines. Since I was a child I've developed a hobby like interest for electronics, engineering
and software, which combined with my Chemistry degree and the recent move into biological research, creates a rather strange researcher's profile.
Thankfully, soon after joining the programme I realised, that the growing vibrant field of tissue engineering requires such a profile, which made my decision to
pursue the DPhil degree.
If a car breaks down because of a malfunctioning part, the function can be restored by replacing the part. Unfortunately, the same analogy does not apply to our
body parts, which cannot be replaced by man-made analogues, as they are increadibly complex. This complexity emerges during embryo development when proliferate and
specialise depending on the context they find themselves in. Fundamental understanding of how their environment provides developmental cues is central to successful
stem cell culture in vitro and their applications to regenerate lost body functions.
To date, many chemical factors are already known to drive cell differentiation, which is due to the rise of modern molecular biology techniques. In addition,
geometry itself has been proposed to play important roles, albeit without any evidence, because there aren't convenient and reliable methods to manipulate tissues
mechanically. Thus my DPhil project centres on using gel-like materials to create conditions, which would reproducibly deform developing tissues in order to study
how geometry affects stem cell development into tissues.