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:
- 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.
- Protein nanofibers formed from agricultural bi-products. This includes haemoglobin extracted from slaughterhouse blood, and whey protein isolate (in collaboration with Prof. Juliet Gerrard).
- 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).
- 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)
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
- 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)
- Raynes, J. K., Domigan, L. J., Pearce, F. G., & Gerrard, J. A. (2018). Immobilization of tobacco etch virus (TEV) protease on a high surface area protein nanofibril scaffold. Biotechnology progress, 34 (6), 1506-1512. 10.1002/btpr.2670
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
- Manuguri, S., Webster, K., Yewdall, N. A., An, Y., Venugopal, H., Bhugra, V., ... Williams, D. E. (2018). Assembly of Protein Stacks With in Situ Synthesized Nanoparticle Cargo. NANO LETTERS, 18 (8), 5138-5145. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02066
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard, David Williams, Jenny Malmstrom, Sesha Manuguri
- Manuguri, S., Webster, K., Yewdall, N. A., An, Y., Venugopal, H., Bhugra, V., ... Williams, D. E. (2018). Assembly of Protein Stacks With in Situ Synthesized Nanoparticle Cargo. Nano letters, 18 (8), 5138-5145. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02055
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jenny Malmstrom, David Williams, Juliet Gerrard, Adrian Turner, Sesha Manuguri
- Domigan, L. J., Ashmead, H., Dimartino, S., Malmstrom, J., Grant Pearce, F., Blunt, M., ... Gerrard, J. A. (2017). Formation of supramolecular protein structures on gold surfaces. Biointerphases, 12 (4)10.1116/1.4986053
Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Williams, Juliet Gerrard, Jenny Malmstrom
- Jayawardena, N., Kaur, M., Nair, S., Malmstrom, J., Goldstone, D., Negron, L., ... Domigan, L. J. (2017). Amyloid Fibrils from Hemoglobin. Biomolecules, 7 (2).10.3390/biom7020037
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jenny Malmstrom, David Goldstone, Juliet Gerrard, Smitha Nair, Manmeet Kaur
- Domigan, L. J., Andersson, M., Alberti, K. A., Chesler, M., Xu, Q., Johansson, J., ... Kaplan, D. L. (2015). Carbonic anhydrase generates a pH gradient in Bombyx mori silk glands. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 65, 100-106. 10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.09.001
- Kaur, M., Roberts, S., Healy, J., Domigan, L., Vasudevamurthy, M., Gerrard, J. A., & Sasso, L. (2015). Crystallin Nanofibrils: A Functionalizable Nanoscaffold with Broad Applications Manufactured from Waste. ChemPlusChem, 80 (5), 810-819. 10.1002/cplu.201500033
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard, Manmeet Kaur
- Baryshyan, A. L., Domigan, L. J., Hunt, B., Trimmer, B. A., & Kaplan, D. L. (2014). Self-assembled insect muscle bioactuators with long term function under a range of environmental conditions. RSC Advances, 4 (75), 39962-39968. 10.1039/c4ra08438a