Our People


Brendan M Leung, PhD

Principle Investigator, Assistant Professor – Department of Applied Oral Sciences, School of Biomedical Engineering , BSc Hon. – Biochem (University of Ottawa), BASc – Chem. Eng. (University of Ottawa), MASc and PhD – Biomedical Engineering (University of Toronto)

My research program focuses on the development of advanced tissue construct platforms and cell-based assay technologies to understand fundamental phenomenon that govern tissue homeostasis and responses in human diseases. Specifically I’m interested in creating in vitro tools to understand the role of human associated microbes in chronic disease, including metabolic syndrome, fibrosis and cancers. When not in my office or in the lab, you can find me hiking on one of many scenic Nova Scotia coastline trails with my camera.


BH pic

Breagh Devereaux

MASc candidate – Biomedical Engineering, BSc – Medical Sciences (Dalhousie University) 

I am a proud Cape Bretoner who loves to paint as well as kayak and stand up paddle board with my miniature schnauzer Sophie. I attended Dalhousie University for my undergraduate degree in Medical Sciences and completed the directed project in Medical Sciences under the supervision of Dr. Brendan Leung. This project looked at the affects of e-cigarettes on lung epithelium wound healing. Currently, I am working in Dr. Leung’s lab to study bacterial growth in Aqueous two-phase systems. I will continue my work with Dr. Leung as I pursue my Master of Applied Science degree at Dalhousie in the fall.


Andy Huang

MASc candidate – Biomedical Engineering, BSc Hon. – Biology (Dalhousie University) 

I am a recent graduate from a BSc in Honours Biology at Dalhousie University. I have always had a particular interest in oral health which lead me to focus my Honours research on a strain of oral bacterium, known as Streptococcus mutans, and how extracellular protein disulfide bond formation affects various virulence factors of S. mutans. This summer I will be teaming up with some colleagues, under the supervision of Dr. Brendan Leung, to test the stability of a polyethylene glycol (PEG) and dextran (DEX) aqueous two-phase system (ATPS) by analyzing the effects of bacteria loading and maturation in the ATPS with different strains of bacteria, such as E. coli and S. mutans. By testing the limits of this ATPS, we hope to gain a better understanding of the ATPS parameters and optimize this ATPS for application to studying different microbe-mammalian cell interaction.

Being from a small fishing town in Cape Breton, NS, I’ve always had a love for the environment and being outdoors. Other interests outside of the lab include: sports, cooking, travelling, and reading.


Matt Kelvey

Summer Research Student (NSERC – USRA), Medical Sciences – Dalhousie University 

I am currently a fourth year BSc student majoring in Medical Sciences at Dalhousie University. I was born and raised in Dartmouth Nova Scotia and actively participate in jujitsu, snowboarding and hike various trails around the HRM. I am currently working in Dr. Brendan Leung’s lab through an NSERC – URSA summer research grant and will continue with this research into the fall and winter as I strive to complete an Honours project. My current research involves manipulating the mechanical environment in which cells are grown to gain better insight into how these parameters affect experimental outcomes. I hope to apply these results to generate improved in-vitro epithelial models which better represent in-vivo conditions for improved predictability in studying disease.


Lab Alumni

Sarah Spencer – Dalhousie Integrated Science Program, 2019

Brianna MacKinnon – Dalhousie Integrated Science Program, 2019

Artem Soroka – Experiential learning student , Chemical Engineering, 2019

Kajanan Sivapalan – Experiential learning student , Medical Sciences, 2019

Gavin Raddall – Honour thesis student, Medical Science, 2018

Jessica Grant-Burt – Summer student 2017

Emily Bishop – DDS summer student, 2017

Claire Jurgens – Undergraduate research student, 2017

Michaela Kember – Undergraduate research student, Dalhousie Integrated Science Program (DISP), 2017

Lauren Kelly – Undergraduate research student, Dalhousie Integrated Science Program (DISP), 2017

Jacob Nickerson – DDS summer student, 2016