Prof John Connelly

John Connelly

Professor of Bioengineering
CPM grant funding strategy lead and director of CREATE lab,
CPM Theme lead for Skin Models

Blizard Institute
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London
ORCID Google Scholar


skin, 3D bioprinting, mechanobiology, regenerative medicine

Underpinning Bioengineering, Cancer Models, Skin Models


My research group focuses on the repair and regeneration of human skin. We develop novel biomaterials and engineered biosystems to model the skin and employ technologies such as micro-fabrication, engineered hydrogels, and 3D bioprinting. This approach has allowed to uncover fundamental mechanisms of tissue homeostasis and wound repair, and a key are of interest is the role of mechanical and biophysical cues in skin regeneration.

Publications of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models

Publications of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models


Jones CFE, Di Cio S, Connelly JT and Gautrot JE (2022). Design of an Integrated Microvascularized Human Skin-on-a-Chip Tissue Equivalent Model. Frontiers Media  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology  vol. 10, 10.3389/fbioe.2022.915702
Sarmin AM, Moussaid NE, Suntornnond R, Tyler EJ, Kim Y-H, Di Cio S, Megone WV, Pearce O, Gautrot JE, Dawson J and Connelly JT (2022). Multi-Scale Analysis of the Composition, Structure, and Function of Decellularized Extracellular Matrix for Human Skin and Wound Healing Models. Mdpi  Biomolecules  vol. 12, (6) 10.3390/biom12060837
Pundel OJ, Blowes LM and Connelly JT (2022). Extracellular Adhesive Cues Physically Define Nucleolar Structure and Function. Wiley  Advanced Science  vol. 9, (10) 10.1002/advs.202105545


Laly AC, Sliogeryte K, Pundel OJ, Ross R, Keeling MC, Avisetti D, Waseem A, Gavara N and Connelly JT (2021). The keratin network of intermediate filaments regulates keratinocyte rigidity sensing and nuclear mechanotransduction. American Association For The Advancement of Science (Aaas)  Science Advances  vol. 7, (5) 10.1126/sciadv.abd6187


Almeida FV, Gammon L, Laly AC, Pundel OJ, Bishop CL and Connelly JT (2019). High‐Content Analysis of Cell Migration Dynamics within a Micropatterned Screening Platform. Wiley  Advanced Biosystems  1900011-1900011. 10.1002/adbi.201900011


Ghetti M, Topouzi H, Theocharidis G, Papa V, Williams G, Bondioli E, Cenacchi G, Connelly JT and Higgins CA (2018). Subpopulations of dermal skin fibroblasts secrete distinct extracellular matrix: implications for using skin substitutes in the clinic. Oxford University Press (Oup)  British Journal of Dermatology  vol. 179, (2) 381-393. 10.1111/bjd.16255
Kenny FN, Drymoussi Z, Delaine-Smith R, Kao AP, Laly AC, Knight MM, Philpott MP and Connelly JT (2018). Tissue stiffening promotes keratinocyte proliferation through activation of epidermal growth factor signaling. Journal of Cell Science  vol. 131, (10) 215780-215780. 10.1242/jcs.215780


Pearce OMT, Delaine-Smith R, Maniati E, Nichols S, Wang J, Böhm S, Rajeeve V, Ullah D, Chakravarty P, Jones RR, Montfort A, Dowe T, Gribben J, Jones JL, Kocher HM, Serody JS, Vincent BG, Connelly J, Brenton JD, Chelala C, Cutillas PR, Lockley M, Bessant C, Knight M and Balkwill FR (2017). Deconstruction of a metastatic tumor microenvironment reveals a common matrix response in human cancers. Cancer Discov  10.1158/2159-8290.CD-17-0284


Sharili AS, Kenny FN, Vartiainen MK and Connelly JT (2016). Nuclear actin modulates cell motility via transcriptional regulation of adhesive and cytoskeletal genes. Sci Rep  vol. 6, 33893-33893. 10.1038/srep33893
Kao AP, Connelly JT and Barber AH (2016). 3D nanomechanical evaluations of dermal structures in skin. Journal of The Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials  vol. 57, 14-23. 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2015.11.017
Theocharidis G, Drymoussi Z, Kao AP, Barber AH, Lee DA, Braun KM and Connelly JT (2016). Type VI Collagen Regulates Dermal Matrix Assembly and Fibroblast Motility. J Invest Dermatol  vol. 136, (1) 74-83. 10.1038/JID.2015.352


Almeida FV, Walko G, McMillan JR, McGrath JA, Wiche G, Barber AH and Connelly JT (2015). The cytolinker plectin regulates nuclear mechanotransduction in keratinocytes. The Company of Biologists  Journal of Cell Science  vol. 128, (24) 4475-4486. 10.1242/jcs.173435


Costa P, Gautrot JE and Connelly JT (2014). Directing cell migration using micropatterned and dynamically adhesive polymer brushes. Acta Biomater  vol. 10, (6) 2415-2422. 10.1016/j.actbio.2014.01.029


Driskell RR, Juneja VR, Connelly JT, Kretzschmar K, Tan DW-M and Watt FM (2012). Clonal growth of dermal papilla cells in hydrogels reveals intrinsic differences between Sox2-positive and -negative cells in vitro and in vivo. J Invest Dermatol  vol. 132, (4) 1084-1093. 10.1038/jid.2011.428
Trappmann B, Gautrot JE, Connelly JT, Strange DGT, Li Y, Oyen ML, Cohen Stuart MA, Boehm H, Li B, Vogel V, Spatz JP, Watt FM and Huck WTS (2012). Extracellular-matrix tethering regulates stem-cell fate. Nature Materials  10.1038/nmat3339


Connelly JT, Gautrot JE, Trappmann B, Tan DWM, Donati G, Huck WTS and Watt FM (2010). Actin and serum response factor transduce physical cues from the microenvironment to regulate epidermal stem cell fate decisions. Nature Cell Biology  vol. 12, (7) 711-718. 10.1038/ncb2074
Connelly JT, Vanderploeg EJ, Mouw JK, Wilson CG and Levenston ME (2010). Tensile loading modulates bone marrow stromal cell differentiation and the development of engineered fibrocartilage constructs. Tissue Eng Part A  vol. 16, (6) 1913-1923. 10.1089/ten.TEA.2009.0561


Connelly JT, García AJ and Levenston ME (2008). Interactions between integrin ligand density and cytoskeletal integrity regulate BMSC chondrogenesis. J Cell Physiol  vol. 217, (1) 145-154. 10.1002/jcp.21484


Connelly JT, García AJ and Levenston ME (2007). Inhibition of in vitro chondrogenesis in RGD-modified three-dimensional alginate gels. Biomaterials  vol. 28, (6) 1071-1083. 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2006.10.006

Grants of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models

Grants of specific relevance to Predictive in vitro Models
Biophysical regulation of nucleolar structure and function in cellular senescence and ageing
Connelly JT
£692,898 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (01-05-2023 - 30-04-2026)
Development of an Organ-chip Model to examine Muscle Degeneration
Knight MM, Connelly JT, Screen H and Fazal MR
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (19-09-2021 - 30-03-2025)

PhD studentship: Biophysical effects of Physiogel on human skin equivalents
Connelly JT
£116,000 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (01-10-2019 - 01-10-2023)
PhD studentship: Development of an immune-responsive human skin model
Connelly JT
Medical Research Council (01-10-2019 - 01-03-2023)