- Design of biomaterials and nanomaterials to direct cell responses
- Biophysical analyses of protein and cell interactions with biomaterials and nanomaterials
- Extracellular matrix molecule biochemistry
- In vitro and in vivo models of angiogenesis
Fields of Research (FoR)Biomedical engineering, Regenerative medicine (incl. stem cells), Nanomaterials, Biomaterials
Megan Lord is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UNSW. She leads a research program in biomaterials (including nanomaterials) design to direct cell responses for applications in tissue repair and drug delivery. She collaborates widely with industry and international academic institutions. Her research has been supported by national grants including a prestigious Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012) and...view more
Megan Lord is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at UNSW. She leads a research program in biomaterials (including nanomaterials) design to direct cell responses for applications in tissue repair and drug delivery. She collaborates widely with industry and international academic institutions. Her research has been supported by national grants including a prestigious Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship (2010-2012) and has been recognised by delivering invited keynote lectures in Australia and internationally as well as the awarding of an NSW Young Tall Poppy Award in 2014.
Megan serves on the Standards Australia committee HE-030 Biological and Clinical Evaluation of Medical Devices that reviews and ratifies the International Standard ISO 10993 and TC 194, is the Past-President of the Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand and a Council member for the International Society for Matrix Biology. She is an Associate Editor of IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference Proceedings and on the editorial board of Cellular Signalling. She is the founding Academic Director of the Molecular Surface Interaction Laboratory in the Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre and Postgraduate Research Coordinator for the Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project with Synedgen Inc (2020-2023) Understanding glycopolymer interactions with the extracellular matrix.
Diabetes Australia General Grant (2019) Bioengineered growth factor binding scaffolds.
Australian Research Council Linkage Infrastructure, Equipment and Facilities (2019) Advanced mechanical property testing suite.
Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2015-2019) Novel biomimetic vascular biomaterials using extracellular matrix molecules.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (2014-2019) Biomimetic blood bag materials for prolonged platelet storage.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project with Cochlear Ltd (2014-2018) Biological determinants of the safety and stability of neuroprosthetic stimulation electrodes.
National Heart Foundation (2011-2012) The roles of perlecan heparan sulphate in modulating vascular intimal hyperplasia.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project with Synedgen Inc (including Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship) (2010-2014) Targeted growth factor delivery using natural polysaccharide materials for bone regeneration.
Australian Research Council Discovery Project (2010-2013) Advanced nanoparticles as biocompatible antioxidant agents with targeting functionality.
Australian Research Council Linkage Project with HemCon Medical Technologies (2007-2010) Blood component interactions with polysaccharide biomaterials for vascular applications.
In addition, Associate Professor Lord has been awarded grant funding from UNSW through the Research Infrastructure Scheme, Career Advancement Fund, Faculty of Engineering Carers Award, Faculty of Engineering Early Career Researcher fund and School project support.
Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering) (Hons I), UNSW Sydney
Master of Biomedical Engineering, UNSW Sydney
Doctor of Philosophy, UNSW Sydney
UNSW Faculty of Engineering Excellence in Leadership award (2020)
NSW Young Tall Poppy Science Award in recognition of the achievements of Australia’s outstanding young scientific researchers and communicators. (2014)
UNSW Emeritus Professor Maria Skyllas-Kazacos Young Professional Award for Outstanding Achievement Award for female alumni from UNSW Engineering in recognition of a significant achievement in their field. (2013)
Finalist in the Scopus Young Scientist of the Year Awards, Engineering and Technology Category. (2011)
Trans-continental award for a young scientist from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. (2011)
New Investigator Award from the Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand recognised the research achievements of early career researchers in the field of matrix biology with less than 10 years post-doctoral experience. (2008)
UNSW Early Career Researcher Travel Award supported attendance at an international conference. (2007)
COST Action 537 Early Career Research Short Term Scientific Mission Award. European initiative that identified emerging researchers with a capacity for independent research in areas with direct health outcomes. (2007)
Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering International Travel Award. Society award for travel to international collaborator laboratory. (2006)
Joan Waugh Scholarship. Award from Tara Anglican School for Girls Old Girls' Association for excellence in chosen field and supported doctoral studies. (2004)
Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds Award. Supported international laboratory research visits to expand research skills and build collaborations. (2003)
My Research Activities
Designing nanomaterials for drug delivery, diagnostics and cell technologies. Cell membranes are key interfaces where materials engineering meets biology. Traditionally regarded as just the location of receptors regulating the uptake of molecules, we now know that all cell membranes are ‘sugar coated’. These sugars, or glycans, form a matrix bound at the cell membrane via proteins and lipids, referred to as the glycocalyx, which modulate access to cell membrane receptors crucial for nanomaterial-cell interactions. This research program engineers nanomaterials for controlled interactions with the cell surface glycocalyx to enable advances in drug delivery, diagnostics and cell technologies.
Engineering biomimetic biomaterials for tissue regeneration. Almost all tissues require a blood supply. Thus, the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) is key to tissue repair. This research program develops biomaterials, including nanomaterials, that encourage angiogenesis via the incorporation of key biomolecules present in blood vessels, or nucleic acids encoding these molecules, to enable advances in cardiovascular devices (eg. vascular grafts, stent) and regenerative medicine.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
Megan welcomes expressions of interest to join her team at the Honours, Masters and Doctorate levels.
PhD/Masters positions available. Megan is seeking expressions of interest from talented candidates to design nanomaterials for drug delivery through understanding their interactions with the endothelial cell surface. These findings have implications for the discovery of effective drug delivery and treatments for vascular complications associated with conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. This project is suited to candidates interested in developing their skills in biomaterials, biochemistry and biophysics. Please contact Megan for more information.
PhD/Masters Research Students
Amy Jiang, In vitro and in vivo performance of perlecan coated biomaterials for vascular applications
Habib Joukhdar, Silk fibroin as a biomaterial for cardiac patches
Megan has supervised to completion 13 PhD, 2 Masters by Research, 1 Master of Philosophy, 2 Bachelor of Medical Science (Honours) and over 130 Engineering thesis students as primary supervisor. In addition, she has supervised 4 PhD and 3 Masters by Research as co-supervisor. She has also supervised and mentored 7 postdoctoral fellows and 15 international exchange students and postdoctoral fellows from countries including France, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands and UK.
University centres and affiliations
Academic Director, Molecular Surface Interaction Laboratory, Mark Wainwright Analytical Centre
Associate Member, Centre for Advanced Macromolecular Design
University administrative responsibilities
School Postgraduate Research Student Coordinator
Faculty of Engineering Higher Degree Committee
Past President, Matrix Biology Society of Australia and New Zealand
Member, Standards Australia Committee HE-030 Biological and Clinical Evaluation of Medical Devices
Council Member, International Society for Matrix Biology
Member, Australasian Society for Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Editorial Board, Cellular Signalling
Associate Editor, IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Conference Proceedings
Cellular and Tissue Engineering (BIOM9333)
Research Thesis (BIOM4951/4952/4953)
Research Thesis Biomedical Engineering (BIOM9020/9021)