Kiara Bruggeman

Senior Lecturer


Biomaterials and drug delivery systems for tissue engineering/regenreative medicine, with a focus on brain tissue.


Dr Bruggeman designs nanomaterials that mimic healthy brain tissue and trick stem cells into behaving like brain cells. One day this could help stroke victims to recover, but for now the rats are seeing a 40% improvement. Dr Bruggeman’s interdisciplinary research means collaborations from all over the world, from the Florey Neuroscience Institute in Melbourne, to collaborate with brain researchers and test new therapeutic materials inside real brains, to the Grenoble Synchrotron facility in France, to shoot tiny subatomic particles at those materials and tease out all of the details about their nano-structures.

Working in tissue engineering, or regenerative medicine, requires expertise from several areas. Dr Bruggeman has Honours degrees in Nanotechnology Engineering, Chemistry, and a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. To create truly brain-like materials, she draws on expertise in chemistry, biology, material physics, and medicine to get things just right.


Originally from the snowy land of Canada, Dr Bruggeman followed the sun, and her passion for biomaterials, to Australia to join the Laboratory of Advanced Biomaterials at ANU, where she completed her PhD developing drug delivery systems within hydrogel materials used to help repair/regenerate damaged brain tissue. With Honours degrees in Nanotechnology Engineering and Chemistry (from the University of Waterloo in Canada), as well as industry experience doing R&D at a nanotechnology start-up, geochemistry research for mine waste management at a government laboratory, and working with the management team in a large nuclear power plant, she has diverse experience to draw on when solving and teaching complex engineering problems.

Activities & Awards

  • Superstar of STEM (2021-22) – Issued by Science and Technology Australia
  • ABC Top 5 (Sciences) 2020
  • ANU Media and Outreach Awards – High Commendation 2015 in the “Close Up Award for Best Film Talent” category for engaging performance in university 3-Minute Thesis competition

You are on Aboriginal land.

The Australian National University acknowledges, celebrates and pays our respects to the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people of the Canberra region and to all First Nations Australians on whose traditional lands we meet and work, and whose cultures are among the oldest continuing cultures in human history.

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