The Network of Excellence in Corneal Regeneration

Mark Ahearne, PhD

Research fellow in Trinity Centre for Bioengineering


Education and experience:

Marl Ahearne received a BEng. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Limerick (Ireland) in 2001, a MSc. in Cell and Tissue Engineering from Keele University (United Kingdom) in 2003 and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Keele University in 2007. Mark Ahearne's PhD research focused on the development of a novel spherical indentation system to characterise the mechanical behaviour of cell seeded hydrogels. Mark Ahearne subsequently worked as a post-doctoral research associate for three years at Keele University where he developed an in vitro corneal wound healing model for pharmaceutical screening, in addition to working on other projects. Mark Ahearne joined the Trinity Centre for Bioengineering (TCBE) as a post-doctoral research fellow in October 2010 to primarily work on developing a growth factor delivery scaffold for articular cartilage repair. In June 2012 after receiving a starting investigator research grant, Mark Ahearne commenced work as a research fellow in TCBE in the field of corneal tissue engineering and cornea repair.


Research interest:

The aim of current research is to engineering corneal tissue in vitro by cultivating stem cells in three-dimensional scaffolds. Several parameters that affect the phenotypic behaviour of the stem cells are under investigated in addition to different methods of fabricating biomimetic scaffolds with the goal of developing functional corneal tissue. Among the scaffold types under investigation are decellularized corneal scaffolds and electrospun nanofiber scaffolds.


Current team members:

Amy Lynch (PhD candidate)

James Mulhern (MSc candidate)


Current funding:

Starting Investigator Research Grant from Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and the Marie Curie COFUND (2012-2016)


Personal website:



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Trintiy College Dublin
152-160 Pearse Street
2 Dublin, Ireland

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The NExCR is managed by the COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology)
Action BM1302 "Joining Forces in Corneal Regeneration Research" 2014-2017.