Dr Kenneth Tran

BE(Hons) PhD

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Senior Research Fellow


Kenneth Tran is a Research Fellow with the Cardiac Energetics research group at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute. He is currently supported by the Heart Foundation of NZ Research Fellowship and the Marsden Fast-start award from the Royal Society of New Zealand.His research focusses on using bio-instrumentation, experimentation and mathematical modelling to undertand disease mechanisms underlying heart failure, with a particular focus on diabetic heart disease. 

Research | Current

My research interest focusses on computational physiology to understand the systems biology of heart muscle bioenergetics. All cellular functions are intricately connected to energy metabolism. This is particularly important for the heart where a constant and adequate supply of energy is required for it to beat continuously. The focus of my research is to understand the mechanisms that link metabolism to excitation-contraction processes in the cardiac myocyte, and to investigate how these mechanisms are perturbed in heart disease.

My research focus on diabetic heart failure is supported by grants from the Health Research Council (Explorer Grant) Heart Foundation of NZ (Research Fellowship) and the Royal Society of NZ (Marsden Fast-start). This work involves collaborations with local and international experts in the fields of cardiac and mitochondrial physiology and mathematical modelling. Experimental data from the work are used to develop a novel model of diabetic cardiac cellular bioenergetics using a bond graph framework to ensure thermodynamic consistency. The models will be used to simulate potential therapeutic treatments to alleviate the effects of diabetes on cardiac function. As with my previous work, all models will be made available in cellML and shared with the community on the Physiome Model Repository.


Teaching | Current

Biomeng 341 - Bioinstrumentation and Design

Postgraduate supervision

Current PhD students:

  • Jarrah Dowrick, The transient dynamic performance of cardiac muscle during interventions.
  • Niloofar Shahidi, Biophysically and Thermodynamically Consistent Modularisation of Physiology.


  • Kevin Choi (Masters, 2019), Mechanical testing of chemically-permeabilised cardiac tissues.
  • Alison Schroeder (Masters, 2018), Modelling cardiac excitation-contraction mechanics based on trabecula myometry.
  • Megan Guidry (Masters, 2016), Modelling cardiac mechano-energetics.
  • Lauren Dupuis (Masters, 2014), The mechano-energetics of the heart.

Areas of expertise

  • Cardiac mechano-energetics
  • Experimental physiology
  • Computational modelling
  • Cardiac electrophysiology


Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • 2019 - present: Chair of the ABI Animal Ethics Advisory Committee
  • 2019 - present: ABI Research Committee member
  • 2019 - present: ABI Postgraduate Advisory Committee member
  • 2018 - Organising committee for the International cellML Workshop, March 26-27, Auckland
  • 2017 - Organising committee for the International cellML Workshop, April 10-11, Auckland
  • 2017 - Organising committee ABI Research Forum, Feb 23, Auckland
  • 2015 - Organising committee for the International cellML Workshop, April 8-10, Auckland

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Primary office location

Level G, Room G01
New Zealand

Web links