Dr Markus Müllner

Lecturer and group leader

Markus received his Diplom in polymer and colloid chemistry at  the  University  of  Bayreuth,  Germany.  After  research  visits  to  the  University of Lund, Sweden, and The University of Melbourne, Australia, he  received  his  Doctorate  in  polymer  chemistry  under  the  supervision  of  Prof.  Axel  H.E.  Müller  in  2012.  He  subsequently  re-joined  the University of Melbourne as a postdoctoral researcher, mentored by Prof. Frank Caruso. In 2013, he was awarded a McKenzie Postdoctoral  Fellowship  by the  University  of  Melbourne  and  continued  to  work  at  the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering within the  Nanostructured  Interfaces  and  Materials  Science  group.

In  June  2015,  he  became  a  Lecturer  in  the  School  of  Chemistry  at the  University  of  Sydney where he started the Polymer Nanostructures Group within the Key Centre for Polymers and Colloids. Markus is also an ARC DECRA Fellow (2018-2020), leads a Foundation Project within the 'Health and Medicine' theme at the University of Sydney Nano Institute (Sydney Nano), and is part of the Community Board for Materials Horizons.

Dr Clare Mahon

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow

Clare completed her undergraduate studies at Newcastle University, UK, graduating in 2010. She subsequently studied for a PhD at the same institution under the supervision of Dr David Fulton, working at the interface of supramolecular and polymer chemistries to generative adaptive polymers capable of macromolecular recognition. In 2014 she moved to the University of Leeds, UK, to take up an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship within Prof. Bruce Turnbull’s laboratory. Her work there focussed on the development of stimuli-responsive polymeric receptors for bacterial toxins. In 2017 she moved to the University of Sydney, working within the groups of Dr Markus Muellner and Dr Liz New as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Global Fellow. Clare’s current research aims to develop polymer-brush based diagnostics for waterborne pathogens.

Dr Thomas Gegenhuber

Postdoctoral researcher

Thomas completed his undergraduate studies at Bayreuth University, Germany, graduating with a M.Sc. (Polymer Science) in 2013. He joined Prof. Barner-Kowollik's team at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) for his PhD studies, working in collaboration with Dr. Suat Özbek (Centre for Organismal Studies (COS), University of Heidelberg). In 2018, he joined the PNG team to work on molecular brush self-assembly.


Théophile Pelras

PhD student

Théophile graduated from the Université de Haute-Alsace in Mulhouse, France. He studied chemistry with a focus on polymer science and later specialised on photopolymers and photochemistry. He then worked for one year in the Institute for Surface Modification in Leipzig, Germany, as a research assistant on photopolymers and hydrogels. In 2016, Théophile joined the group as a PhD student within the Key Centre for Polymers and Colloids. In 2017, Théophile received a Sydney Nano Top-Up Scholarship for his PhD studies.

Antoine Niederberger

PhD student

Antoine received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (2014) and his Master of Science in Polymer Sciences (2017) at the Université du Maine, France. He has also spent 1 year at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Canada, as part of the CREPUQ exchange program. His Master thesis focused on polymer brushes using living radical polymerisation and was performed in the PNG. He has since rejoined the group as a PhD candidate working on molecular polymer brushes for biomedical applications.


Eamonn Burke

Honours student

Eamonn began studying a Bachelor of Science (Advanced) at the University of Sydney in 2014. He completed a major in chemistry, and had planned to major in biochemistry as well, but instead spent a semester abroad in The Netherlands. He spent several weeks in the Polymer Nanostructures group in 2016 as a Summer Research Scholar, and decided to return as an honours student this year. He is currently studying the tunable hydrophobicity of cylindrical polymer brushes in tumour penetration.


Cindy Tran

Honours student

Cindy began her undergraduate science degree at the University of Sydney in 2015, majoring in medicinal chemistry and pharmacology. She has decided to pursue her passions in her current Honours project involving the synthesis novel LHRH-functionalised polymer nanoparticles for targeted therapy of triple-negative breast cancer.

Karen Hakobyan

Master student

Karen completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Sydney in 2017 with honours and a double major in chemistry and maths. After initially researching purely in synthetic organic chemistry, he added polymer chemistry to his research interests. Karen is currently working towards the synthesis of stimuli responsive polymers from cyclic ketene acetals. Underlying this is a passion for reactions and reactivity.


Carly Baker


Carly is volunteering in the group to learn more about controlled radical polymerisation.


Former group members:

Peter Truran (visiting Master student, 2017/18)

Celia Chen (Denison Scholar, 2017/18, supervised by Dr Clare Mahon)

Alison Campbell (Denison Scholar, 2017/18)

Olivia McRae (Honours student, 2017)

Vivian Shang (Honours student, 2017)

Stone Woo (TSP student, 2017)

Antoine Niederberger (visiting Master student, 2017)

Saeel Momin (Graduate Diploma student, 2016-17)

Edie Griffith (TSP student, 2017, supervised by Dr Clare Mahon)

Eamonn Burke (Volunteer, 2017)

Lauren Minne (Summer Scholar, 2017)

Dominik Seeberger (visiting Master student, 2016)

Maria Morits (visiting PhD student, 2016)

Vivian Shang (Summer Scholar, 2016)

Eamonn Burke (Summer Scholar, 2016)

Saeel Momin (volunteer, 2015)

Leo Jiang (TSP student, 2015)