Professor Carsten Werner heads the group here at the Max Bergmann Center of Biomaterials (part of the Leibniz Institute for Polymer Research). Through his generosity and my additional funding, I have brought together a small sub-team. The projects undertaken are quite varied, but generally revolve around building new microscale or nanoscale materials for use in neurodegenerative diseases or cancer therapeutics. Professors Anne Rosser and Stephen Dunnett co-head the Brain Repair Group in Cardiff, my Wellcome Trust host institution.

Since the summer of 2015 the group is now somewhat smaller (see “Past Members” below). Here are the current group members:

Wellcome Fellow

Ben Newland




Ben Newland – Developing new materials for applications in neurodegenerative disorders.

Kindly funded by the Wellcome Trust: Wellcome-Trust-Logo


PhD Students





Heike Newland – Shape memory injectable hydrogels for neuron delivery










Dimitri Eigel – Designing focal delivery systems for use in the brain (funded via the Deutsche Forshungsgemeinschaft)

Research Technician

UK  Parkinson's UK logo for researchers

Rachel Hills – Funded by Parkinson’s UK to analyze biohybrid microcarriers for cell delivery


Master’s Student





Franziska Hoppe –  Microcarriers for cell and protein delivery





Christian 2




Christian Taplan – Polymer nanotubes for drug delivery

Student Assistant




Marcel Baeger – Modification of natural polysaccharides to make new hydrogel materials


Group Photographs

Summer 2016

Summer 2016 on the roof of the IPF in Dresden


The "last supper" for the group before Francesca departed for Italy and Johannes finished his undergraduate degree.

The “last supper” (2015) for the group before Francesca departed for Italy and Johannes finished his undergraduate degree.

Past Members

Yvonne Körner (2017) GERMANY Shape memory cryogel microcarriers for anti-glioblastoma applications


PORTUGALSimão Teixeira (2016) – Developing an in vitro model of Parkinson’s Disease for testing growth factor delivery systems.



Laurent Thomas (2016) – Synthesis and characterization of polymer nanotubes – Internship from the University of Strasbourg, top guy and top student. In 2016 he returned to Strasbourg to complete his Master’s course. His work was published in        Scientific Reports in 2016.


ITALYFrancesca Lorenzi (2015) – Preparation of elongated shape memory scaffolds for neurotrophic delivery. Francesca completed her Master’s thesis with us, in collaboration with Dr Silvia Gross at the University of Padova. An excellent thesis during which she made template synthesized cryogels, work that we need to finish off.


CZECHPetr Kolář (2015) – In vitro analysis of different cell delivery platforms. Petr finished his Master’s thesis with excellent grades, and his work can be seen in Small, with more yet to be written up!


GERMANY Paul Wolff (2015) – Developing ROS scavenging materials – Master’s completed with top grades, now in TU Munich for a PhD! 2015. Paul’s work is published in Biomaterials Science and it was recognised for the cover issue image.


GERMANY Daniel Leupelt (2015) – visiting Master’s student from the Universität Osnabrück, as part of a collaboration with Prof. Martin Steinhart to develop methods for filling polymer nanotubes, 2015. We finally published the work in Scientific Reports in 2016.


GERMANY Johannes Starke (2015) – Microscale hydrogels for controlled doxorubicin delivery, bachelor completed with top grades and certificate of outstanding academic achievement, 2015 .


GERMANY Jochen Krattenmacher (2014) – Project as part of his Master’s course, analysing the toxicity of the polymer nanotubes developed in our group.



Some of the project collaborators, colleagues or previous people I have published with, with a general idea of the work we are doing:

Dr. Wenxin Wang. University College Dublin (UCD). Wenxin continues to help and guide me with my work and projects. We collaborate closely with all matters related to polymer synthesis and characterization for many of my projects.

Dr. Yu Zheng. Oxford University. My go to man for technical advice, any time, any day!

Prof. Martin Steinhart. Universität Osnabrück. Synthesis of polymer nanotubes.

Dr. Eilís Dowd. NUI Galway. Previous PhD co-supervisor and current co author of a review we wrote together.

Dr Leo Breydo. University of South Florida. The interaction of hyperbranched polymers with α-synuclein.

Prof. Alexander Storch. Dresden University of Technology (TUD). The provision of primary brain tissue for in vitro analysis of our materials.



Internships/Master Projects

The group leader Prof Werner regularly accepts intern students to work in the labs here, and if you are interested in completing your Master’s thesis in one of my current research areas please get in contact.

Looking for a PhD Position?

If you are, or know of any budding young scientists who are finishing up undergraduate or masters studies, who would be keen to join me on this journey, please get in touch, and we can write for grants/studentships together.

Similarly, please get in touch if you have ideas or would like to form a collaboration.