Dr Markus Müllner

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  PhD 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.

Markus initiated the Polymer Nanostructures Group (@PolymerNano) within the Key Centre for Polymers and Colloids after he commenced as a  Lecturer  in  the  School  of  Chemistry  at the  University  of  Sydney in June 2015. He is currently an ARC DECRA Fellow (2018-2020), a chief investigator in 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 Research Fellow

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, and was subsequently awarded a two-year Postdoctoral Fellowship by the DFG 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.


Alicia Cheng

PhD student

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 (glucose oxidase) stabilisation in glycopolymer-based polyion complex (PIC) micelles. Upon her graduation, she worked as a research assistant for 3 months in the same group before returning to Malaysia. In July 2018, Alicia returned to Sydney and joined the PNG group as a PhD candidate to develop functional polymer systems that can be used to structure electrode materials in lithium-ion batteries.


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.


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.

Jiaxin Wang

Visiting student

Jiaxin is a visiting undergraduate student from Nanjing University in China. She will be spending two month in the group to learn more about polymer synthesis.

Carly Baker

Honours student

Carly started her BSc in 2014 at University of Sydney and after second year, she deferred her degree to do a “Year-In-Industry” (YII), where she worked for the National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme (NICNAS), 2016. At the end of her YII, she was offered a part-time job with the Existing Chemicals team, where she worked up until August 2018 while studying full-time. Over the course of three years, she learned a lot, ran half marathons, triathlons, traveled more of Australia, parts of Asia, Europe and New Zealand (mostly by herself), met some cool people, done lots of hikes, ocean swims, seen lots of waterfalls, climbed some mountains and probably everything else that seems exciting.

Amanda Gunawan

Honours student


Parathan Ramamurthi

Honours student

Parathan began his undergraduate degree in a Bachelor of Medical Science at University of Sydney in 2015, but transferred to a Bachelor of Science in 2016 to pursue a major in chemistry. He decided to continue ongoing investigations as part of his Honours project into the synthesis of polymer structures capable of penetrating cancer tissue for the purpose of drug delivery.


Former group members:

Eamonn Burke (Honours student, 2017/18)

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)