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Theana Johnson

DPhil student

I received my Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from Imperial College London. During my undergraduate degree, I spent a year in the Bio21 Institute, at the University of Melbourne, investigating the mechanism of action of a novel drug against the malaria parasite. Subsequently, I pursued a Masters in Biomedical Engineering, specialising in Biomaterials and Biodevices, at the Université de Paris. Throughout my Masters, I conducted research on friction-reducing coatings to implantable neural bioelectronics to reduce surgical trauma in the Bioelectronics lab at the University of Cambridge. My Masters thesis looked at developing biosensors based on organic electrochemical transistors for immediate blood tests. 

I have been awarded a Kennedy Trust Prize Studentship to pursue a DPhil in Molecular and Cellular Medicine in the Wann group. My project aims to build cellular models of the osteochondral interface, using gradient biomaterial and tissue engineering strategies. These will be used to explore the role of primary cilia and mechanics in tissue mineralisation. This will provide insights into the disrupted molecular mechanisms that lead to diseases such as ciliopathies and osteoarthritis.