Dr June-Chiew Han

BE(Hons), PhD in Bioengineering

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Senior Research Fellow


June-Chiew Han received a Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Auckland. His PhD thesis included the simultaneous measurement of the heat output and force production of rat cardiac trabeculae (a muscle of radial dimensions about the size of a human hair and about 3 mm long) to investigate their mechanoenergetics properties using the work-loop calorimeter. His post-doctoral research extended the study to include heart disease arises from conditions of diabetes, and hypertension. The experimental technique has also been extended from isolated muscle tissue to include working-heart experiments using the working-heart rig, intracellular Ca2+ transient and tissue geometrical change using the cardiomyometer, and tissue structural imaging and analyses using high-resolution confocal microscropy.

Research | Current

June-Chiew's current post-doc research focuses on the effects of hypertension, hypertrophy, diabetes, and diet on cardiac energetics; specifically, how they affect myocardial mechanical efficiency in utilising energy. Energetic experiments are performed at the whole-heart level and at the tissue level. Experiments are also performed at the sub-cellular level.

His research has formed several international collaborative partnerships, in which he led the experiments. These include projects on high‑salt diet (U. Michigan), a new rat strain of hypertrophy without hypertension (U. Melbourne), heat output of skinned tissue strips from failing human hearts (U. Kentucky), force‑frequency response (U. Inje), passive force contribution from connective proteins (U. Stuttgart), and cardio‑renal complications (U. Utrecht).

Teaching | Current

2019 –      Undergraduate Engineering Science Part IV project as supervisor & assessor

2016 –      New Zealand MedTech CoRE Doctoral Training Programme on module ‘Experimental Design & Methods (https://www.cmdt.org.nz/dtp)

2016 –      Undergraduate (Year 3) biomedical science course MEDSCI 309 – Biophysics of nerve and muscle, module on “Energetics of Contraction”

Postgraduate supervision

Completed: 3 Summer Students, 1 Honours Student, 1 Masters Student, and 2 Research Assistants

Completing: 3 Masters students, 3 PhD students


Distinctive Awards

2020  Best Research Paper Award – Auckland Bioengineering Institute

2019  International Young Scientist Masao Ito Memorial Award for research excellence – Federation of the Asian and Oceanian Physiological Societies (FAOPS), Japan

2019  International Young Scientist Travel Award – FAOPS, Japan

2018  Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) Emerging Researcher Fellowship

2017   Best Conference Paper Award - IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society

2017   Best Post‑doc Presentation Award - Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI)  

2016   Early Career Research Excellence Award - University of Auckland

2014  Inaugural winner of the New & Emerging Researcher Prize for Outstanding Research - Physiological Society of New Zealand (PSNZ)

2012  Winner of the John Hubbard Memorial Prize for the Excellence in Studies towards a PhD - PSNZ


Contestable National Grant Funds

2020 – 2024   HRC Sir Charles Hercus Health Research Fellowship (PI)

2019 – 2021   Heart Foundation of NZ Small Project Grant (PI)

2016 – 2019   HRC NZ Emerging Researcher First Grant (PI)

2016 – 2019   RSNZ Marsden Fast-Start (PI)

2014 – 2017   Heart Foundation of NZ Research Fellowship (PI)

2014 – 2017   Heart Foundation of NZ Project Grant (AI)


Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Choi, D. H., Pham, T., Loiselle, D. S., Taberner, A. J., Han, J.-C., & Tran, K. (2020). The Inverse Relationship between Cardiac Muscle Stress and Cross-Sectional Area Is Preserved in Ba(2+)Contracture and in Chemically-Permeabilised Ca(2+)Contracture. EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS10.1007/s11340-020-00652-y
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Toan Pham, Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner, Kenneth Tran
  • Mellor, N. G., Pham, T., Tran, K., Loiselle, D. S., Ward, M.-L., Taberner, A. J., ... Han, J.-C. (2020). Disruption of transverse-tubular network reduces energy efficiency in cardiac muscle contraction. Acta physiologica (Oxford, England)10.1111/apha.13545
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Toan Pham, Kenneth Tran, Denis Loiselle, Marie-Louise Ward, Andrew Taberner, David Crossman
  • Cheuk, M. L., Lam Po Tang, E. J., HajiRassouliha, A., Han, J.-C., Nielsen, P. M. F., & Taberner, A. J. (2020). A Method for Markerless Tracking of the Strain Distribution of Actively Contracting Cardiac Muscle Preparations. EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS10.1007/s11340-020-00646-w
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Poul Nielsen, Andrew Taberner
  • Garrett, A. S., Loiselle, D. S., Han, J. C., & Taberner, A. J. (2020). Compensating for changes in heart muscle resting heat production in a microcalorimeter. Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS. 10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9175474
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner
  • Tran, K., Taberner, A. J., Loiselle, D. S., & Han, J.-C. (2020). Energetics Equivalent of the Cardiac Force-Length End-Systolic Zone: Implications forContractility and Economy of Contraction. FRONTIERS IN PHYSIOLOGY, 1010.3389/fphys.2019.01633
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Denis Loiselle, Kenneth Tran, Andrew Taberner
  • Garrett, A. S., Pham, T., Loiselle, D., Han, J.-C., & Taberner, A. (2019). Mechanical loading of isolated cardiac muscle with a real-time computed Windkessel model of the vasculature impedance. Physiological reports, 7 (17)10.14814/phy2.14184
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Andrew Taberner, Denis Loiselle, Toan Pham
  • Pham, T., Zgierski-Johnston, C. M., Tran, K., Taberner, A. J., Loiselle, D. S., & Han, J.-C. (2019). Energy expenditure for isometric contractions of right and left ventricular trabeculae over a wide range of frequencies at body temperature. Scientific reports, 9 (1)10.1038/s41598-019-45273-1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Toan Pham, Kenneth Tran, Denis Loiselle, Andrew Taberner
  • Tomalka, A., Röhrle O, Han, J.-C., Pham, T., Taberner, A. J., & Siebert, T. (2019). Extensive eccentric contractions in intact cardiac trabeculae: revealing compelling differences in contractile behaviour compared to skeletal muscles. Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286 (1903)10.1098/rspb.2019.0719
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Toan Pham, Andrew Taberner


Contact details

Primary office location

Level G, Room G12
New Zealand

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