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, and new protein-based foods. I am particularly interested in the development of protein biomaterials and foods from sustainably sources.

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

  1. Cell-based meat production. Funded by New Harvest (USA) and MBIE.
  2. 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. Funded by MBIE, HRC, Return on Science, and The MacDiarmid Institute.
  3. Protein-based biomaterial inks for Additive Manufacturing and 3D printing. Funded by the National Science Challenge - Science for Technological Innovation.
  4. Functional protein nanostructures. 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). Funded by The MacDiarmid Institute. 

Teaching | Current

  • CHEMMAT 757: Engineering Biotechnology (Lecturer; Course Director)
  • CHEMMAT 753: Biomaterials (Lecturer)
  • BIOSCI 348: Industrial Microbiology (Lecturer)

Postgraduate supervision

Current lab members

  • Dr Vaughan Feisst (Research Fellow): Livestock cell-sourcing and characterisation for cell-based meat production.
  • Dr Olivia Ogilvie (Research Fellow): Policy and regulatory implications of cellular agriculture in Aotearoa New Zealand.
  • Dr Manmeet Kaur: Commercialisation of protein biomaterials.
  • Anu Ansree (PhD candidate; 2018-): The design, assembly and functionalisation of protein tectons, with a view to creating functional protein nanostructures (main supervisor: Dame Prof. Juliet Gerrard).
  • 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: Dame Prof. Juliet Gerrard).
  • Judith Glasson (PhD candidate; 2020-): Bioengineered artificial corneal stronal tissue for partial or full-thickness corneal grafts.
  • Queenie Chen (PhD candidate; 2020-): Responsive materials formed from protein nanostructures.
  • Adelle Rodda (MSc candidate; 2021-): Biomolecules from spent brewer's yeast.

Final Year Project Students (Part IV)

  • Morgan Dolfing
  • Julian Sundheim
  • Issy Cowlishaw
  • Sana Patel
  • Tanvi Kemkar
  • Ella Cheng

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology - Principal Investigator
  • The Riddet Institute - Associate Investigator
  • Biomolecular Interaction Centre - Associate Investigator
  • New Harvest (USA) - Principal Investigator

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.
  • Ogilvie, O., Roberts, S., Sutton, K., Domigan, L., Larsen, N., Gerrard, J., & Demarais, N. (2020). Proteomic modelling of gluten digestion from a physiologically relevant food system: A focus on the digestion of immunogenic peptides from wheat implicated in celiac disease. Food chemistry, 33310.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127466
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • Ogilvie, O., Roberts, S., Sutton, K., Larsen, N., Gerrard, J., & Domigan, L. (2020). The use of microbial transglutaminase in a bread system: A study of gluten protein structure, deamidation state and protein digestion. Food chemistry, 34010.1016/j.foodchem.2020.127903
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • Gerrard, J. A., & Domigan, L. J. (Eds.) (2020). Protein Nanotechnology Protocols, Instrumentation, and Applications Third Edition Preface. HUMANA PRESS INC. Pages: 1.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • Gerrard, J. A., & Domigan, L. J. (2020). Preface.
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • Webster, K., Sasso, L., & Domigan, L. J. (2020). Adding Function to Protein Scaffolds. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2073, 119-147. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9869-2_8
  • Domigan, L. J., & Gerrard, J. A. (2020). Introduction to Protein Nanotechnology. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 2073, 1-13. 10.1007/978-1-4939-9869-2_1
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard
  • 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.8b02055
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Juliet Gerrard, David Williams, Jenny Malmstrom


Contact details

Primary office location

Level 10, Room 1053
New Zealand

Web links