Graduate Students

Matthew Foster

Research Interests

Computational and Mathematical Modelling
Clonal Hematopoiesis
Single Cell Analysis



BEng (Hons) Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Queensland, 2017


Matthew completed his undergraduate studies (BEng) in 2017 at the University of Queensland, School of Chemical Engineering. In parallel to his studies, he held a part-time research position at the Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, focused upon electrochemical platforms for breast cancer detection from patient samples under Prof. Matt Trau. Matthew was awarded a scholarship to study the final year of his undergraduate at Imperial College London, where he shifted focus of his studies towards mathematical modelling, completing a thesis for ‘Mathematical Modelling of Heterogeneity within Acute Myeloid Leukemia’ in the Biological Systems Engineering Laboratory (BSEL) with Prof.Mantalaris and Dr.Panoskaltsis.


In 2018, Matthew returned to London to work as a research assistant in the BSEL where he worked upon a predictive computational model for therapy optimisation in AML patient cohorts. During this time, Matthew also become involved within the Imperial College start-up incubator and at wider scientific start-up scene in London at large, with specific interest upon cancer detection and treatment technologies. In late 2018, Matthew relocated with the BSEL group to Atlanta, Georgia studying a PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the joint Georgia Tech/Emory University and Peking University program. His PhD research focuses upon novel experimental and computational models for interrogating clonal hematopoiesis and microenvironmental interactions to shed light upon mechanisms of pathogenesis in a range of hematological malignancies.

Akaash Kumar

Research Interests

Tissue Engineering
Bioreactor Design and Development
Cell Therapy Manufacturing/ Bioprocessing


BEng (Hons) Biochemical Engineering, University College London, 2017

MSc (Hons) Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology, Imperial College London, 2018


Akaash graduated with a BEng in Biochemical Engineering from the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering, University College London (UCL). While there, he worked on bacterial and mammalian cell bioprocesses, carried out economic assessments on tissue engineered constructs, and completed a thesis in the development of a bioprocess/plant design for the production of a generic monoclonal antibody. He also undertook a Minor in Regenerative Medicine.


After attaining his Bachelors, he went on to study an MSc at Imperial College London in Advanced Chemical Engineering with Biotechnology; he joined the Biological Systems Engineering Lab (BSEL) under Prof. Sakis Mantalaris. His research involved the development of a three dimensional bioprocess for bone tissue engineering using a novel bioreactor. Now based in Atlanta, Akaash has moved with the Biological Systems Engineering Lab from Imperial College London and is conducting his PhD in Biomedical Engineering in the joint department between Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. His research will include novel bioreactor/bioprocess development for tissue engineering/cell therapy manufacturing applications.

Esther Chen

Research Interests

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering
Reaction Engineering
Continuous Manufacturing


BSc Chemical Engineering, ETH Zurich, 2017

MSc Chemical and Bioengineering, ETH Zurich, 2019



Esther received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from ETH Zurich, in Switzerland. During her undergraduate studies she worked in the field of green chemistry. Her semester project focused on kinetic studies of ring-opening polymerization of polyethylene furanoate (PEF) using bio-compatible initiators. Before graduating, she also completed a 6-month internship in API manufacturing at Janssen-Cilag (Johnson&Johnson).
Continuing with her Master’s in Chemical and Bioengineering at ETH, Esther deepened her knowledge on process design and simulation. She completed her thesis in the group of Prof. Klavs Jensen at MIT (Cambridge, MA) on the continuous end-to-end synthesis of ciprofloxacin hydrochloride. Once back in Zurich, she worked in the Macromolecular Engineering Lab led by Prof. Mark Tibbitt on the preparation of photodegradable hydrogels.
To join the Biological Systems Engineering Lab led by Prof. Mantalaris and Dr. Panoskaltsis, she moved to Atlanta, GA where she will pursue her PhD in the joint Biomedical Engineering department of Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University. Her research will be focused on the development of a 3D model of leukaemia.