Research Overview

My interest in research began during my undergraduate studies in Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway, where I learned to use both modern and classical engineering skills to investigate diseases of the human body. Using this approach, I seek to solve problems in the fields of biomechanics, how our bodies interact with our physical surroundings, and mechanobiology, how our bodies adapt and respond to physical stimuli. These areas of research encompass all areas of the human body, and lie at the interface of engineering and medicine. During my Ph.D. studies at NUI Galway, under the supervision of Prof. Laoise McNamara, I developed a keen interest in the skeletal system and investigate bone cell mechanobiology and osteoporosis.

Timeline 2020

Following my Ph.D., I applied my engineering skills in industry as an Engineering Consultant at Shibumi Consulting, developing innovative solutions to complex technical problems for a range of clients in the medical devices industry. My enthusiasm for fundamental research led me to join the Developmental Biomechanics Lab at Imperial College London to investigate the biomechanics of fetal kicking and its role in disease.

I was subsequently awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship to expand my mechanobiology research into the field of cancer metastasis. This fellowship involved a range of multidisciplinary techniques to investigate how cancer cells spread to bone, and took place at Columbia University, New York, and Queen Mary University of London.

Starting my own lab at the INSIGNEO Institute for in silico Medicine and the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield, my research continues to focus on the mechanobiology of the musculoskeletal system and metastatic cancer.

Fetal Kicking & Hip Dysplasia

Dr. Verbruggen’s postdoctoral research in developmental biomechanics, exploring the strength of fetal kicking during pregnancy, and it’s link with diseases.

Bone Cancer Mechanobiology

Dr. Verbruggen was recently awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Research Fellowship to continue expanding his research in the field of mechanobiology. In January 2018 he joined Prof. Chris Jacobs’ research group at Columbia University, to learn more about how cancer metastasises and spreads to bone. This process is very poorly understood, with tumour cells appearing to … Continue reading Bone Cancer Mechanobiology