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Our visiting international interns and guests

Ezgi Bakirci

Ezgi Bakirci image 2Ezgi is visiting with us for two months in order to engage in collaborative research – a visit made possible by support from the Royal Society of New Zealand’s International Research Scientist Exchange Scheme.

She comes to us from the University of Wurzburg where she is a PhD student researching the development of an in vitro model for nerve regeneration using Melt electrowriting, under the supervision of Professor Paul Dalton.

Whilst here Ezgi is working closely with Dr Gabriella Lindberg on a project to produce clinically relevant orthopaedic replacement grafts by converging new generation bioinks and automated micro- and nano-scale 3D-bioassembly strategies. In this hybrid approach, living bioinks can be accurately placed within a polymer mesh to endure high mechanical loads while simultaneously guiding tissue repair.

Dr Lindberg will make a reciprocal visit to the University of Wurzburg later this year when the pair will continue their collaboration.

Laura Veenendaal

Laura Veenendaal (2018)

After completing an internship with us, Laura had an opportunity to stay on in New Zealand for an additional six months, enabling her to join us for a short period as a Research Assistant.

Her internship placement was the final requirement for the Masters of Biomedical Engineering degree that she is completing through the University of Twente, in the east of the Netherlands.

Laura chose to have her international study experience in New Zealand after learning from close friends and family about what the country has to offer. “While I’m here I want to travel around and experience the whole country”.

And the working ties that exist between the Developmental Bioengineering programme leader in Twente and our own lead researcher, Associate Professor Tim Woodfield, made the CReaTE research group a natural choice of destination in New Zealand for Laura.

During her internship, Laura completed a successful project on Bioinstructive Vitreous Humour Hydrogels for Cartilage Engineering, working under the supervision of Dr Khoon Lim and Dr Gabriella Lindberg.

Kai-Hung Yang

Kai-Hung Yang (2019)Kai-Hung is a PhD candidate within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at North Carolina State University in the US. He's recently returned there after visiting with us for six months.

Whilst with us he had an ambitious three-fold focus. He's researching the use of GelAGE incorporated with different photoiniators; he's looking for a possible formulation of hydrogel to use in the two-photon polymerisation application for fabricating 3D structures; and he aims to encapsulate cancer in hydrogel, providing a 3D construct as a model to study cellular behaviour.

We first connected with Kai-Hung through his supervisor, Professor Roger Narayan, who visited us in late 2017 as a Fullbright Scholar.

Bram Soliman

Bram Soliman (2018)Bram is one of our own PhD candidates in the CReaTE research group, but we’re featuring him here because he first came to us as a visiting international intern back in 2016.

After completing his intern project he returned to Utrecht University in the Netherlands to complete his Masters of Regenerative Medicine and Technology degree.

In 2018 Bram returned to us because he had both enjoyed the culture of the group and recognised it as an excellent research environment. “The group has an unique edge, combining expertise in biofabrication and biomaterial design”.

He is supervised by Dr Khoon Lim, Associate Professor Tim Woodfield, Dr Gabriella Lindberg and Professor Gary Hooper.