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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Dr John Connelly, PhD, MS, BS


Reader in Bioengineering

Centre: Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research

Telephone: +44 (0)207 882 7160
Twitter: @QMCREATE


I received my B.S. in Biological and Environmental Engineering in 2002 from Cornell University and my Ph.D. in Bioengineering in 2007 from the Georgia Institute of Technology where I investigated the chondrogenesis of mesenchymal progenitors within engineered hydrogels. I then completed my postdoctoral training in Professor Fiona Watt’s laboratory at the University of Cambridge where I developed micro-patterned substrates to study the roles of cell shape and the actin cytoskeleton in keratinocyte terminal differentiation. I joined Queen Mary University of London in 2010 and lead an interdisciplinary research group in skin bioengineering and mechanobiology.

Centre: Cell Biology and Cutaneous Research.


MSc Regenerative Medicine: Co-course director; Module lead for ICM7143 (Biomaterials in Regenerative Medicine)

MBBS: Facilitator for Problem Based Learning

BSc Biomedical Sciences: Lecturer for BMD115/Bio110 (Human Cell)


Research Interests:

My laboratory is interested in how cells within the skin sense and respond to changes in their physical microenvironment. We employ engineered materials and model systems to precisely control the signals presented to cells.

Key projects include:

  1. The role of biophysical cues in nuclear mechanotransduction and epidermal fate decisions
  2. The influence of matrix mechanics in skin ageing and scar formation
  3. Development of advanced 3D skin models using 3D bioprinting

I am also the academic lead for the CREATE Biofabrication Lab, and have an on-going interest in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering and the development of next-generation in vitro models of human tissues and diseases.


Key Publications

Laly AC, Sliogeryte K, Keeling MC, Avisetti D, Waseem A, Gavara N, Connelly JT. “The keratin network of intermediate filaments regulates keratinocyte rigidity sensing and nuclear mechanotransduction”. Science Advances. 2021; 7(5):eabd6187.

Almeida FV, Gamon L, Laly AC, Pundel OJ, Bishop CL, Connelly JT. “High-content analysis of cell migration dynamics within a micropatterned screening platform”. Advanced Biosystems. 2019; 3(8):e1900011.

Kenny FN, Drymoussi Z, Delaine-Smith R, Kao AP, Laly AC, Knight MM, Philpott MP, Connelly JT. “Tissue stiffening promotes keratinocyte proliferation through activation of epidermal growth factor signalling” Journal of Cell Science, 2018; 131(10).

Theocharidis G, Drymoussi Z, Kao AP, Barber AH, Lee DA, Braun KM, Connelly JT. “Type VI collagen regulates dermal matrix assembly and fibroblast motility” Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2016; 136(1): 74-83.

Almeida FV, Walko G, McMillan JR, McGrath JA, Wiche G, Barber AH, Connelly JT. “The cytolinker plectin regulates nuclear mechanotransduction in keratinocytes” Journal of Cell Science. 2015; 128(24): 4475-86.

All Publications


  • Ms Rosie Ross
  • Ms Atiya Sarmin
  • Mr Durotimi Dina
  • Ms Sarah Hindle
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