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School of Engineering and Materials Science

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Prof Martin Knight BEng, MSc, PhD

 
Prof Knight
Position: Professor of Mechanobiology, Associate Director of Institute of Bioengineering, Director of Public Engagement
Tel: +44 (0)20 7882 8868
Location: Mile End, Eng, 303b
Email: m.m.knight@qmul.ac.uk
Expertise: My research is focussed on 'mechanobiology' or how living cells and tissues respond to physical forces. In particular I am interested in the mechanical properties of living cells and the role of the fascinating cellular structure known as the primary cilium (cilia in plural). I work with a variety of different cell types including cartilage cells, tendon cells, neurons and stem cells helping to understand important diseases such as osteoarthritis, tendonopathy and ovarian cancer. As programme director for the medical engineering degree and having worked in science communication, I am able to talk about many aspects of bioengineering including medical implants, tissue engineering, biomaterials and biomechanics.
Research keywords: cartilage, primary cilia, cell mechanics, tissue mechanics, actin, cytoskeleton, mechanobiology, mechanotransduction, confocal microscopy, micropipette aspiration

Brief Biography

Martin Knight is a Professor of Mechanobiology. He is also the Programme Director for the Medical Engineering undergraduate degrees and the Director of Public Engagement and Communications for the School of Engineering and Materials Science. Prof Knight is one of the directors of the Institute of Bioengineering (www.bioengineering.qmul.ac.uk) and a member of the Biomedical Engineering and Materials research group within the School of Engineering and Materials Science. Prof Knight previously held a prostigeous EPSRC Advanced Research Fellowship in cartilage mechanobiology and tissue engineering (2000-2006) and was promoted to Reader in 2009 and Professor in 2012.

Martin Knight has a strong interest in promoting the public understanding of science and has been involved in a wide range of science communication activities. He has participated in many public events including National Science week and Big Bang and has also held an EPSRC Partnership for Public Awareness grant. This involved working with school groups producing animated films on a range of medical science related topics. One such film won the Planet SciCast best biology film award (www.planet-scicast.com/view_clip.cfm?cit_id=2628). He is a scientific content advisor to the Centre of the Cell (www.centreofthecell.org) and has developed various physical and virtual interactive games exploring areas of bioengineering and tissue engineering
(www.xplorehealth.eu/en/media/become-medical-engineer)
(www.centreofthecell.org/interactives/bioengineering)

The following is a short school outreach film about Prof Knight's work. It is aimed at primary school kids and was made by the YES Programme as part of a series of films explaining the importance of maths and science in a wide variety of jobs.
player.vimeo.com/external/54440977.sd.mp4?s=02fab9aab6923389b31112311bbc7cc3

Outside work Martin enjoys the 'great outdoors' and has had many enjoyable trips to wilderness areas all over the world including Alpine treks, conservation work in Costa Rica, canoeing expeditions in the Everglades, cycling in the Hebrides and others, many of these with his family. He is interested in wildlife and environmental issues. He has also tried his hand at creative ceramics and fly fishing!
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