Eastman Dental Institute


Benchside-to-bedside: introducing new researcher, Associate Professor Dr David Chau

12 March 2019

David Chau Associate Professor

We are delighted to welcome Dr David Chau to the Institute as our new Associate Professor in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. 

Dr Chau originally trained as a chemical engineer before gaining an interest in biotechnology which resulted in the completion of a BEng and an MSc at the University of Birmingham. 

His PhD, on the modification of collagen for development of novel biomaterial, was awarded  in 2007 (Nottingham Trent/Aston University) and culminated in the publication of several papers and a worldwide patent. 

He was a Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) at the University of Nottingham, under the guidance of Professor Kevin Shakesheff, before subsequently joining the Cell and Organism Engineering Laboratory of Professor Alan Tunnacliffe, as a senior PDRA, at the University of Cambridge.

Previous projects have also included:

  • Developing biocompatible polymeric microparticle delivery systems
    … that not only can be used as a physical scaffold material but also to deliver drugs to a target site of interest. Aspects of this technology have been translated for clinical use in a wide range of applications including ophthalmology, brain repair (i.e. Alzheimer’s, stroke and TBI) and bone regeneration.
  • The mummification of human stem cells
    A novel project that looked at the feasibility of generating desiccation-tolerant human (stem) cells for exploitation in cell therapy applications and long-term storage. 
  •  The development of 3D immunocompetent tissue-engineered cell models
    …used to understand fundamental biological processes, generate tissue and organs for “off-the-shelf” applications and, more commonly, used to assess drugs and medicines. 

Dr Chau said: “I am pleased to be joining UCL Eastman and hope to expand and build upon my repertoire of “benchside-to-bedside” ethos; that is, being able to convert fundamental scientific principles into a clinical output or application for the benefits of patients – especially in the field of oral and maxillofacial medicine. 

“I also anticipate gaining additional knowledge, skills and learning of new and novel techniques which may have not be considered in a “blue-sky thinking” or cross-disciplinary manner. People don’t build planes if they don’t dream of flying!”

Dr Chau started his academic career as a Lecturer in Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery at the University of Hertfordshire in 2013 before progressing to a Senior Lecturer role and also gaining his FHEA status. 

He is a member of the Institution Chemical Engineers, with full chartered scientist and chartered engineer status and also sits on a number of grant-awarding boards.