Associate Professor of Bioprocessing, Heriot Watt University
Nik’s research group focuses on the development of scalable technologies for the production of cellular therapies.
After graduating from University College London in 1996 with a BEng in Biochemical Engineering, Nik Willoughby carried out a PhD within the Advanced Centre for Biochemical Engineering at University College London (UCL). Entitled "An Engineering Evaluation of Expanded Bed Adsorption for the Recovery of a Typical Bioproduct", the study looked at hydrodynamic and kinetic influences on the performance of this novel unit operation.
After completing his PhD he worked for two years as a Senior Scientist in purification development at Metris Therapeutics. He then returned to UCL to help establish the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre for Bioprocessing. This multi-disciplinary research group was funded by the EPSRC to facilitate rapid development and scale-up of therapeutic bioprocesses.
Nik moved to Heriot-Watt in April 2006, as part of the ScotChem initiative. Now based within the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics and Bioengineering, his Cellular Bioprocessing research group was established to focus on scalable culture, purification and separation of stem cell-based cellular therapies.
Within the “Engineering Workstream” of the NOVOSANG project, Nik’s group is funded by Scottish Funding Council to develop novel scalable techniques for the separation of the cultured red blood cells to ensure a consistent, pure product.