Our People


Brendan M Leung, PhD

Brendan Leung, 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.


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Breagh Devereaux

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

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

Andy obtained his BSc from Dalhousie University, completing an honours in Biology. His honours project was focused on the functional analysis of a disulfide-bond catalyzing enzyme in Streptococcus mutans, a strain of oral bacteria known to cause dental caries. Andy is now pursuing a MASc, where his research is aimed towards the development of an in vitro mammalian-microbial co-culture system to mimic the human mucosal layer by using various hydrogels to fabricate a synthetic mucus in combination with aqueous two-phase systems. Outside of research in the lab, Andy enjoys the outdoors, travelling, and running.


Matthew Kelvey

Matthew Kelvey, Honour thesis student, 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. 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.


Matthew Curry


Matthew Curry, Honour thesis student, Microbiology and Immunology – Dalhousie University 

Matthew Curry is an honours student working to develop an in vitro model of chemotherapy induced oral mucositis (CIOM). He joined the lab after completing the third year of his undergraduate degree in Microbiology and Immunology. Before coming to the lab he gained experience as both a member and president of Dal’s international genetically engineered machine (iGEM) team, where he lead a team of undergraduate researchers and used E. coli and Pseudomonas as model organisms to develop environmentally focused biotechnology. Matthew plans to use his experiences with bacterial culture to grow biofilms in contact with the CIOM, which will allow us to look at niche host-pathogen interactions of the mucosal surface. Outside of the lab Matthew can be found at the farmers market where he will likely spend too much money on baked goods.

Andrew Clarke

Andrew Clarke

Andrew Clarke, Undergraduate research student, Medical Sciences – Dalhousie University 

Andrew is a 3rd year student currently enrolled in Medical Sciences at Dalhousie University.  Andrew’s interest lies in the characterization of the human oral mucosa and associated therapeutic applications. Currently, his research focuses on determining the antimicrobial effect of novel bioglasses and peptides on cariogenic bacteria.  Outside of the lab, you can likely find him at the gym, or on the football field where he has helped coach Halifax West High School football.

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