Dr Yen Theng (Alicia) Cheng

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Alicia graduated from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), with a Bachelor of Medicinal Chemistry (Hons) in 2017. During her Honours year, she undertook a research project under the supervisor of Dr Robert Chapman, with a focus on enzyme  stabilisation in glycopolymer-based polyion complex micelles. In July 2018, Alicia joined the PNG group as a PhD student to develop functional polymer systems that can be used to structure anode materials in lithium-ion batteries. Alicia's studies were supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the University of Sydney. She is now working as a postdoc in PNG.


Simran Kerai

PhD student

Simran graduated with a Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science Advanced (Honours) from Monash University in 2021. During her Honours year, she worked under the supervision of Dr Kristian Kempe at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Science (MIPS). Her project focused on novel functionalised poly(2-oxazolines) based nanoparticles for drug delivery. In 2022, she decided to continue in the field of polymer chemistry and joined the PNG group as a PhD candidate to work on the self-assembly of molecular polymer brushes into polymer nanodiscs.



Karun Mishra

PhD candidate

Karun Mishra completed Bachelor of Technology (Chemical Engineering) degree in 2017 from North Maharashtra University, India and completed his undergraduate research thesis in DIAT in India while working under the guidance of Prof. Prashant Kulkarni on Ionic Liquids. He has 4.5+ years of industrial research experience, with an emphasis on polymer chemistry, and his most recent position was as Scale-Up Engineer at Daramic LLC. His Research within the PNG group focus on the development of molecular polymer brushes for the imitation of proteoglycan aggregates.


Associate Professor Markus Müllner

Group leader

Markus started the Polymer Nanostructures Group (@PolymerNano on Twitter) within the Key Centre for Polymers and Colloids after joining the  School  of  Chemistry  in 2015. He is currently an Associate Professor and an ARC Future Fellow (2021-2025).

Markus studied polymer and colloid chemistry at  the  University  of  Bayreuth,  Germany.  He had research  visits  to  the  University of Lund (Sweden) and The University of Melbourne (Australia), before receiving  his  PhD in  polymer  chemistry  (2012) under  the  supervision  of  Prof.  Axel  H.E.  Müller.  Subsequently, he joined  the University of Melbourne as a postdoctoral researcher, where he was awarded a McKenzie Postdoctoral  Fellowship, and worked within Prof. Frank Caruso's group. Markus serves on the Advisory boards for Polymer Chemistry, Macromolecular Rapid Communications and Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics. Markus is a Fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (FRACI), and was the Chair of the RACI NSW Polymer group from 2019-2022. Markus currently is the Associate Head of School (Research) in the School of Chemistry.

Dr Shin Takano

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Shin was awarded a Bachelor of Engineering degree in 2019 from the University of Kitakyushu, Japan. Focusing on synthesis and characterisation of polymer nanoparticles for drug delivery under the supervision of Prof. Kazuo Sakurai, Shin completed their PhD program early, in March 2024, at the same university. He is now supported by Research Fellowship for Young Scientists from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). He joined PNG group as a postdoc to study stimuli-responsive bottlebrush polymer self-assemblies.



Qinqin Yang

PhD candidate

Qinqin received her B.Eng. in Pharmaceutical Engineering with Honors from Zhejiang University of Science and Technology in China in 2021. Subsequently, she finished a M.Sc. degree in Pharmaceutics from the University College London (UCL) in the U.K. in 2023, with elective courses in nanotechnology. In 2024, she started her PhD program at the University of Sydney in PNG group. Her research focuses on synthesising new polymer nanocomplexes for targeted CRISPR/Cas9 delivery in plant and fungal cells, contributing to the cutting-edge field of precise delivery of gene editing tools. Her research project involves close collaboration with the Jones lab in SOLES, promising a dynamic and interdisciplinary approach to her studies.


Hoaxiang Zeng

PhD student

Haoxiang received his B.Sc. in Polymer Materials and Engineering from Taiyuan University of Technology in 2016 and M.Sc. in Industrial Chemistry from the National University of Singapore (with Prof. Li Jun) in 2018. He then worked at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research as a research assistant (with Prof. Tanja Weil) in 2019. In 2021, he started his PhD at the University of Sydney supervised by A/Prof. Müllner, studying stimuli-responsive polymer self-assemblies.




Ping Zeng

PhD candidate

Ping received her B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and Industrial Biological Engineering from Dalian University of Technology in 2020. She then completed her M.Med. in Pharmacy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2023 under the guidance of Prof. Shengrong Guo, focusing on developing drug delivery systems in cancer therapy. With an interest in nanobiomedicine, Ping worked as a research assistant within A/Prof. Lu Zhang’s group at the Southern University of Science and Technology, designing transformable peptides against tumor metastasis. In 2024, she commenced her Ph.D. at the University of Sydney supervised by A/Prof. Markus Müllner, studying on functional polymer nanodiscs for nanomedicine applications. Ping’s studies are supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the University of Sydney.

Chenyou Zhang

PhD student

Chenyou graduated with a combined Bachelor of Engineering (Biomedical) (Hons I) and Bachelor of Science (Chemistry) from the University of Sydney in 2021. During his Honours year, he worked under the supervision of Prof. Marcela Bilek in a collaboration with Dr. Markus Müllner, and focussed on producing an antibiofouling surface combining an ion assisted plasma polymerised coating and molecular polymer brushes. He then joined the PNG as a PhD candidate to develop molecular polymer brushes as part of advanced functional materials. Chenyou’s studies are supported by a postgraduate scholarship from the University of Sydney.


Xinyi Zhang

PhD student

Xinyi graduated from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China with a Bachelor of Engineering in Applied Chemistry in 2018. During her senior year she studied the synthesis and properties of polyethylene glycol-b-polybenzyl threonine polymers under the supervision of Prof. Jianyuan Hao. Having an interest in organic and polymer chemistry, she joined the PNG as a Master of Philosophy student to work on new carborane-containing polymers. Her project is in collaboration with Prof. Lou Rendina's group.



Former group members:

Ashim Kadariya (Honours, 2023/24)

(Dr) Parathan Ramamurthi (PhD #4, 2019-2023)

Manoël Gbaguidi (visiting Master student, 2023)

Samantha Catt (visiting PhD student, 2023)

Dr Max Worthington (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2021-23)

Jinsu Baek (visiting PhD student, 2023)

Daniel Khaziran (Honours, 2022; casual researcher, 2023)

Jennifer Wesley (Honours, 2022)

Yining Du (Honours, 2022)

(Dr) Yen Theng (Alicia) Cheng (PhD #3, 2018-2022)

Sofia Balingit (Dalyell student, 2022; Taste of Research Awardee, 2023)

Antoine Niederberger (PhD candidate, 2018-2022)

(Dr) Karen Hakobyan (PhD #2, 2018-2021)

Sarah Nguyen (Honours, 2021)

Dr Emma Brisson (Postdoctoral Researcher, 2018-20)

Dr Thomas Gegenhuber (DFG Postdoctoral Fellow, 2018-20)
Gabrielle Shiels
(Honours, 2020)

Cheryl Chan (Honours, 2019/20)
Moritz Koehler
(visiting PhD student, 2020)

Stefanie Tjaberings (visiting PhD student, 2020)

Jasmine Todoroska (Denison Scholar, 2019/20)

David Cantwell (Honours , 2019)

(Dr) Théophile Pelras (PhD #1, 2016-2019)

Marius Schöttle (visiting researcher, 2019)
Parathan Ramamurthi
(Honours, 2018/19)

Amanda Gunawan (Honours, 2018/19)

Carly Baker (Honours, 2018/19)

Chenyou Zhang (Denison Scholar, 2018/19)

Lorena Zheng (Denison Scholar, 2018/19)

Dr Clare Mahon (Marie Curie Fellow, 2016-2018)

Cindy Tran (Honours, 2018)

Jiaxin Wang (visiting undergraduate student, 2018)

Eamonn Burke (Honours, 2017/18)

Peter Truran (visiting Master student, 2017/18)

Celia Chen (Denison Scholar, 2017/18)

Alison Campbell (Denison Scholar, 2017/18)

Olivia McRae (Honours, 2017)

Vivian Shang (Honours, 2017)

Stone Woo (TSP student, 2017)

Antoine Niederberger (visiting Master student, 2017)

Saeel Momin (Graduate Diploma student, 2016/17)

Edie Griffith (TSP student, 2017)

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)