Dr Matthew Walker
- Research Assistant (Biomedical Engineering)
In 2019, I joined the Biomedical Engineering Research Division at the University of Glasgow to work as a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Marco Cantini as part of a UKRI Rutherford Fund Fellowship granted by the MRC in alignment with the UK Regenerative Medicine Platform (UKRMP) initiative.
My work is carried out within the Centre for the Cellular Microenvironment (CeMi), a multidisciplinary university initiative combining the expertise of cell biologists and bioengineers across the James Watt School of Engineering and College of Medical, Vetinary and Life Sciences (MVLS). The CeMi is co-directed by Prof. Matt Dalby and Prof. Manuel Salmeron-Sanchez and is part of the Acellular/Smart Materials Hub of the UKRMP.
My research currently focuses on developing viscoelastic hydrogels, functionalised with peptide motifs, that support the chondrogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs). By modifying the hydrogel mechanical and biochemical properties, we aim to generate a novel 3D platform for MSC-driven regeneration of cartilage tissue. I am also interested in mechanotransduction and cell-matrix interactions with viscoelastic microenvironments.
My broader research interests involve the use of biomaterials for tissue engineering/regenerative medicine applications, as well as understanding underlying disease mechanisms associated with cell behaviour and interactions within their microenvironment, particularly involving the extracellular matrix.
In 2014 I recieved my Bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Hull with upper second class honors (68.5%)
In 2014 I joined the research group of Dr. Daniel Ungar at the University of York to undertake an MRes involving the characterisation of glycosylation mutants in Drosophila melanogaster. Following the completion of my MRes in 2015, I was accepted onto an EPSRC-funded studentship at the University of York to undertake a 3-year PhD supervised by Dr. Daniel Ungar, Prof. Paul Genever, Dr. Victor Chechik and Dr. Andrew Pratt. This was a highly interdisciplinary project across the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Electronics focusing on the development of magnetically-responsive nanoparticles for the delivery of bioactive therapeutics in joint diease.
The introduction of biomaterials and tissue engineering during my PhD research sparked my interest in their possibilties for cross-disciplinary translational research and motivated me to continue researching in these fields.
Co-supervision of PhD candidates:
- Haoming Wang - Viscosity in the integrin-growth factor cross-talk (expected 2022)
- Eonan William Pringle - Dissipative microenvironments to understand cell response to viscosity (expected 2024)