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Personal profile

Biography

I joined the School of Life & Health Sciences at Aston University in April 2018, having spent the previous two years as a Teaching Fellow in the Department of Biochemical Engineering at UCL. I had a leading role in developing and delivering the Regenerative Medicines Manufacturing Minor and the new undergraduate degree on Medical Sciences and Engineering. Prior to that, I spent 18 months at the University of Bath as a Postdoctoral Researcher in collaboration with Unilever, developing an improved way of predicting how much of a cosmetic or chemical penetrates the skin and reaches the blood stream.

After graduating as a Chemical Engineer at the University of Salamanca (Spain) I moved to Bath to continue my studies and obtained my PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath in 2015.

Research Interests

My primary research interests can be divided into two main topics, both intimately related to human health: development of tissue-engineered in vitro models of disease, specifically wound infections, and optimisation of bioprocesses for the advance of cellular therapies.

In the first stages of my career I focused on the study of alternatives to typical antibiotics to treat burn wound infections, particularly bacteriophage. My research revolved around the use of engineered materials for controlled release and stabilisation of bacteriophage in order to provide more effective, sustained and lasting treatments. Contemplating the utilisation of tailored synthetic polymeric materials and biomaterials as common ground for my research activities, I moved towards the fields of tissue engineering and bioprocessing. I am particularly interested in artificial vascularisation of tissues and optimisation of bioprocess parameters and methods for the efficient isolation and expansion of cells with regenerative and therapeutic potential, with an emphasis on neuro-regenerative cells and T-cells for immunotherapies.

Additionally, I have an interest in mathematical modelling of biological systems emerging from my engineering background. The applications of differential calculus are practically unlimited since it provides a powerful predictive tool when experimental conditions are difficult to reproduce or even achieve in the first instance.

Teaching Activity

I lead the innovative module Industrial Biotechnology (BB6INB) in the final year of our Biochemistry and Biological Sciences Undergraduate programmes. The purpose of this module is to introduce students to biological principles and technologies that underpin the manufacture of a range of industrially relevant bioproducts, for example biofuels and vaccines. This module includes new forms of assessment, such as a “Dragon’s Den”-style showcase, which helps students acquire several non-quantifiable skills and benefits: leadership, increased motivation, increased employability and teamwork. 

I also teach Statistics in all our undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, introducing innovative tools, such as coding, that are relevant to our technology-oriented generation of graduates, enhancing their performance in statistics, and providing invaluable tools for their future careers.

My research interests allow me to contribute to the teaching of several modules in our MSc Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine, mainly on topics related to the use of biomaterials for in vitro modelling and regeneration.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, University of Bath (UK), 2015
  • MSc in Analytical Chemistry, University of Salamanca (Spain), 2011
  • MSc in Biochemical Engineering, University of Salamanca (Spain), 2011

Employment

2018 – date: Lecturer in Regenerative Medicine, School of Life & Health Sciences, Aston University.
2016 – 2018: Teaching Fellow in Regenerative Medicines Manufacturing, Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London.
2015 – 2016: Postdoctoral Research Assistant, University of Bath.

Membership of Professional Bodies

  • Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE).
  • International Society for Viruses of Microorganisms (ISVM).
  • Society of Chemical Industry (SCI).

Contact Details

Phone number    +44 (0) 121 204 4941
Email    p.perez-esteban@aston.ac.uk
Room number    MB433B

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