Dr Laura Joy Domigan

BSc (Hons), PhD


Laura Domigan joined the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering in 2019. Prior to this she was a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences (2015-2019). She received both her BSc (Hons) (2008), and PhD in Biochemistry (2012) from The University of Canterbury. Following this she was a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University (Massachusetts, USA).

Research | Current

My research broadly focuses on the use of fundamental knowledge underlying protein structure and function, and the application of this to create new materials and devices for biomedical engineering. I am particularly interested in the development of protein biomaterials from sustainably sourced materials.

My research at the University of Auckland is focused in the following areas:

  1. Lens protein biomaterials for use in ocular surgery (in collaboration with Prof. Trevor Sherwin, FMHS, University of Auckland). Current work is investigating protein thin films for the delivery of ocular stem cells and the development of a bio-adhesive for use in ocular surgery.
  2. Protein nanofibers formed from agricultural bi-products. This includes haemoglobin extracted from slaughterhouse blood, and whey protein isolate (in collaboration with Prof. Juliet Gerrard).
  3. Functional protein nanostructures (funded by The MacDiarmid Institute). This is a collaborative research project with Prof. David Williams and Prof. Duncan McGillivary (Department of Chemistry, UoA), and Dr Jenny Malmstrom (Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, UoA).
  4. Development of serum-free culture media for use in cellular agriculture (funded by the Riddet Institute and New Harvest).

Teaching | Current

  • CHEMMAT 757: Engineering Biotechnology (Lecturer)
  • BIOSCI 348: Industrial Microbiology (Lecturer)

Postgraduate supervision

Current lab members

  • Dr Manmeet Kaur (Research Fellow): Lens protein adhesives for ocular surgery
  • Judith Glasson (Research Assistant): Lens protein thin films for ocular stem cell delivery
  • Queenie Chen (Research Assistant): Haemoglobin protein nanofibers
  • Kai Steinmetz (PhD candidate; 2018-): Serum replacement for cultured meat production
  • Zainab Makinde (PhD candidate; 2018-): The fabrication, deposition and study of self-assembled layers of peptides and proteins, with a view to new functional nanostructures (main supervisor: Prof. David Williams)
  • Heiana Agnieray (PhD candidate; 2018-): Printing 3D and 4D materials from sustainably sourced proteins (main supervisor: Prof. Juliet Gerrard)
  • Olivia Ogilvie (PhD candidate; 2017-): Food protein peptides – Controlling texture and bioactivity with structure (main supervisor: Prof. Juliet Gerrard)
  • Noemie Petit (PhD candidate; 2017-): Food protein peptides – controlling texture and bioactivity with structure (main supervisor: Prof. Juliet Gerrard)
  • Melody Tang (MSc candidate; 2019-): Lens protein hydrogels for ocular drug delivery

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology - Associate Investigator
  • Biomolecular Interaction Centre - Associate Investigator
  • The Riddet Institute - Affiliated Researcher

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 4, Room 401
New Zealand

Web links