Dr. Ciro Chiappini
Principal Investigator


I am Lecturer in Nanomaterials and Biointerfaces at King’s College London since 2016. My research blends nanotechnology, bioengineering and cell biology to develop functional materials that direct cell behaviour. I was Marie Curie Fellow and Newton International Fellow at Imperial College London from 2011 until 2016, and I hold a doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin. In 2018 I was awarded an ERC Starting Grant. I authored more than 30 publications with over 2000 citations and I hold an international patent.

Dr. Valeria Caprettini
ERC Postdoc

Valeria_photoI joined the Chiappini Lab to exploit 3D nanotechnology for addressing cells behaviour and stem cell differentiation by engineering their environment. I did my PhD in Bioengineering and Robotics with focus in bio-nanotechnology at Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) in Genoa, Italy. During the Phd I studied the interface between cultured cells and multifunctional three-dimensional nanostructured surfaces with several applications, such as opto- and electro-poration, drug delivery, recording of action potentials and spectroscopic analysis. I received my BSc in Physics and my MSc in Physics of the biosystems at Sapienza – University of Rome, Italy with the thesis “Synthesis and Characterization of Virus-Like Nanoparticles”.

Dr. Salman Mustfa

CureEB Postdoc

Salman Pic I did my PhD from UNESCO-Regional Centre for Biotechnology, India and worked on investigating the role of PTM’s like SUMOylation in intestinal mucosal biology. My work was particularly focused on understanding the involvement of SUMO enzymes in controlling intestinal infections and inflammation associated disorders. I have gained extensive research experience in molecular biology, cellular biology, immunology and gene therapy.  I have published peer-reviewed research articles in Nanoscale, Royal Society of Open Biology and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Post PhD, I have worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Yale University, School of Medicine. My work was focused on investigating the role of autophagy in mucosal biology. At King’s College London, my work involves in-vitro characterisation and optimisation of nanoneedle mediated delivery of COL7A1 gene in skin fibroblasts, keratinocytes and organoids for treating recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB). Main aim of this project is to develop a rapid, minimally invasive and novel method for treating rare and non-curable disease like RDEB.

Dr. Cong Wang
ERC Postdoc

CongWI joined the Chiappini Lab in June 2020 as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, my work is to develop new approaches to design nanomaterials for topical delivery of biologicals. I did my PhD in Northumbria University (UK) worked on developing elastic instabilities induced super-flexible sensors and advanced 3D morphing transducers. I am particularly focused on developing the control mechanisms of elastic instabilities and manufacturing the micro and nano soft devices, to exploit their applications in sensing and actuation systems. My PhD is in collaboration with Scottish Microelectronics Centre, University of Edinburgh, and Newcastle Bio-imaging centre. I have published seven first-authored papers and won an outstanding student paper award at the international flexible electronics technology conference during my PhD.

Dr. Martti Kaasalainen
KHP Postdoc
KaasalainenI’m a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. I’m focused on biomaterials fabrication, characterization, and their utilization in biomedical and pharmaceutical applications. I did my PhD in Prof. Jarno Salonen’s group in University of Turku, Finland. I studied the characterization of porous silicon nanoparticles, more specifically, the fabrication of these nanoparticles and light scattering methods for their characterization. During my PhD studies I took actively part in several collaborative projects with Prof. Helder Santos in University of Helsinki, Finland. I have in total 26 publication from which three I have first-authored. After my PhD, I worked a year in a biotech startup company called Medicortex Finland Oy developing a diagnostic device for traumatic brain injury.

Mr. Davide Martella
Ph.D. Student


I graduated in Physics at University of Milan. In Italy, I approached the study of self-assembled nanostructured surfaces as bioactive materials and for applications in the field of microelectronics. Currently, I am a PhD student in the Centre for Craniofacial and Regenerative Biology. My activity is focused on the synthesis of nanostructured materials, jointed to the use of spectroscopic methods, for the development of new non-invasive strategies of tissue analysis and imaging.

Ms. Mary Okesola
Rosetrees Trust Ph.D. Student

I completed my BSc (Hons) Bioscience degree at University of Suffolk and went on to study the MSc Immunology at King’s College London. Following this, I remained at King’s as a Research Assistant in translational tumour immunology where I worked on a preclinical Cancer Research UK project to establish pharmacodynamic markers for the use of a novel small molecule inhibitor in combination with chemotherapy. I joined the Chiappini lab in October 2017 as a PhD student, my project aims to develop nanoscale approaches to regulate the phenotype of stem cells for the engineering of mini-livers.

Ms. Chantelle Spiteri
ERC PhD Student
Chantelle photoI joined the Chiappini group as a Ph.D. student in October 2019. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Hons.) in biology and chemistry from the University of Malta and subsequently completed my master’s degree in Drug Discovery and Development at Imperial College London. I conducted my research project at the Francis Crick Institute, where I synthesised molecules that could serve as potential inhibitors for the cancer-related glycosyltransferases. Inspired by the work within the Chiappini group, my current project aims to explore nanoparticles for selective delivery of relatively large biomolecules (such as mRNA) into 3D tissue cultures.

Ms. Victoria Tsang
Wellcome Trust PhD Student
image001I completed my MRes in Cancer Biology at Imperial College London. Whilst there, I investigated the immune profile of Kras driven lung tumours from mice using imaging mass cytometry and explored how Ras signalling modulates inflammation in macrophages. Following my degree, I worked on the effects of UV irradiation on immune cells in mice models as a research assistant with Dr Emanuel Rognoni.

My PhD project aims to define the relevant signals which guide the migration of Gliobastoma cells by co-culturing them onto relevant migratory substrates: stem cell-derived axon bundles and bio-funtionalised electrospun nanofibers.

MRC DTP iCase PhD Student

119993894_1258484017839387_6034439832224046322_nI graduated from the University of Surrey in 2019 with a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry. My research project focused on the potential for the production of a universal ‘off-the-shelf’ CAR T-cell therapy for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. As part of my undergraduate degree, I also spent an Erasmus year at the Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, where I worked with an animal model of Multiple Sclerosis. I then went on to study an MPhil in Translational Biomedical Research at the University of Cambridge, where I investigated the genetic basis of certain auto-inflammatory diseases. I joined the Chiappini Lab in September 2020 as a PhD student, with an ambition of developing a microfluidics-based platform for cell and gene therapy manufacturing applications, as part of a collaborative effort with MicrofluidX.