Our Team

Meet Our Team

Lead PIs

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much


Dr Riaz Akhtar

Senior Lecturer

Graduated from UMIST in 2003 with a First Class MEng (Hons) in Biomedical Materials Science with Industrial Experience. In 2007, he completed a PhD at The University of Manchester in ‘The micromechanical behaviour of bone’. Following this, he undertook a post-doctoral position investigating the micromechanical properties of soft tissue. In July 2008, Riaz was awarded a British Heart Foundation Advanced Training fellowship where he focussed on arterial stiffening and diabetes. He joined the University of Liverpool in October 2011 as a lecturer in Biomedical Engineering. He currently holds a RAEng/Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship investigating aortic diseases with novel approaches


Dr Jill Madine

Research Fellow

Graduated with BSc in Biochemistry from UMIST in 2002, and completed a PhD in Structural Biology at University of Manchester in 2006. Jill has been researching the role of amyloid protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases for 15 years, which has been largely funded by Alzheimer’s Research UK through a PhD studentship and Fellowship. Currently, Jill is a Research and Tenure-Track Fellow funded by British Heart Foundation investigating the role of amyloid proteins in cardiovascular disease. Her research group at the University of Liverpool has a wide interest in amyloid protein diseases and elucidating the factors that contribute to the pathogenicity associated with these diseases.


Mr Mark Field

Consultant Vascular Surgeon

Mr Field started higher education at the University of Leeds in 1986 with a BSc Hon in Biochemistry and Pharmacology. He then completed a DPhil in Biochemistry at the University of Oxford in 1993. Following this training in research methods, he moved to the University of Nottingham to complete medical training (1993-1998), being awarded a BMed Sci (First class) and BMBS. Post graduate surgical training took place within the Trent Surgical Rotation when he completed his MRCS. Cardiac Surgery training took place in Nottingham, Sheffield and Liverpool and finished in 2009. He was appointed a consultant at Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital in 2009.

Inter-disciplinary Research Group

Team Members

We are an inter-disciplinary research group spanning expertise in materials science, biochemistry, vascular surgery and applied mathematics. Our interests span a range of areas within cardiovascular medicine and science but are largely focussed on aortic dissection and ascending aortic aneurysms.

Academic Member

Dr. Diaz De la

Dr. Diaz De la O is a member of the Institute for Risk and Uncertainty and of the Centre for Engineering Dynamics in the School of Engineering, University of Liverpool. He obtained a BSc in Applied Mathematics (ITAM, Mexico), an MSc in Statistics and Operational Research (Essex, UK), and a Doctoral degree (Swansea, UK) under the supervision of Prof. Sondipon Adhikari and Dr. Jeremy Oakley. He was a post-doctoral researcher at the Civil and Computational Engineering Centre at Swansea, working in Prof. Michael Friswell’s group on morphing aircraft. From June 2013 he is a lecturer at the University of Liverpool.

PhD Student

Phakakorn Panpho

Graduated from Naresuan University, Thailand in Physics and then achieved a MSc in Biomedical Engineering from University of Liverpool in 2016. She commenced a PhD in Feb 2017 investigating the nanomechanical heterogeneity in the aortic dissection flap under the supervision of Dr Riaz Akhtar, Dr Jill Madine and Mr Mark Field.

Research Staff

Dr Ya Hua Chim

Dr Ya Hua Chim obtained her MEng(Hons) degree in Biomedical Materials Science from University of Manchester in 2010. She went on studying at University of Glasgow, where she completed her MRes studies in Cells and Proteomic Technologies before obtaining PhD in Biomedical Engineering. Currently, she is working in research on aortic biomechanics at the University of Liverpool.

Research Staff

Dr. Hannah Davies

Graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from University of Liverpool in 2009, and completed a PhD in Structural Biology at University of Liverpool in 2013. Hannah is currently interested in how amyloid proteins interact with one-another and how this can alter the disease progression and outcomes. Using a combination of biophysical and structural techniques  Hannah wishes to gain a deeper insight into how interactions between these proteins can alter their aggregation kinetics, morphology and pathology. Alongside this work Hannah also studies structural differences between model amyloid assemblies generated in vitro and the structure of plaques in the body.

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