Professor Laoise McNamara is a Professor in Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Ireland Galway and the Program Director for the Masters in Biomedical Engineering (MSc). She holds a PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Trinity College Dublin and a 1st class Honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from NUI Galway. She completed Postdoctoral training at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA. From 2007-2009 she was a Lecturer in Mechanobiology and Musculoskeletal Biomechanics at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom. She was appointed to NUI Galway in 2009 as a Science Foundation Stokes Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering. She established the Mechanobiology and Medical Device Research group (MMDRG, at NUI Galway. Her research has been widely published and cited, and has attracted significant research funding (€3,620,285), most notably the ERC Starting Independent Researcher Award (€1,499,910) in 2011 and a Science Foundation Ireland Investigators Grant (€883,257). She has interdisciplinary research collaborations with researchers at Georgia Tech, Notre Dame University, City College of New York, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Tampere University of Technology, INSERM Nantes and the University of Southampton. She collaborates with Stryker, Boston Scientific and Medtronic.

Mechanobiology, Osteoporosis and Medical Device Design

Mechanobiology is an emerging field at the interface of biology and engineering, which seeks to understand the mechanisms by which biological cells sense and respond to mechanical signals. Professor McNamara’s research group use multidisciplinary approaches to derive understanding of bone mechanobiology and how this process contributes to development, physiology and bone disease. The Mechanobiology and Medical Device Research Group ( uses experimental and computational techniques to identify the specific mechanosensation and mechanotransduction mechanisms by which bone cells sense mechanical stimuli. These studies have contributed a novel understanding of changes in bone mechanobiology during osteoporosis. This research has been applied to understand the role of mechanical stimulation in bone regeneration and to develop in vitro tissue regeneration strategies that exploit mechanobiological responses to overcome challenges in the field of bone tissue engineering. The group applies their expertise in computational and experimental biomechanics to the pre-clinical assessment of surgical and minimally invasive medical devices (Fig 2).