Darcy Dunn-Lawless
MEng BEng
DPhil Student
College: Magdalen College
Location: Botnar Research Centre

Darcy Dunn-Lawless has BEng and MEng degrees from Flinders University, Australia and his master’s thesis, supervised by Prof. Karen Reynolds, focused on the early-stage design and testing of an implantable ultrasound device for cancer patients. Before leaving Australia, Darcy worked as an engineer for the government-funded Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), designing and testing prototypes for a variety of medical device start-ups. Darcy joined BUBBL in October 2022 as a DPhil student, supervised by Prof. Constantin Coussios and Dr. Michael Gray.

His work centres on needle-free vaccination, using ultrasound waves to deliver drugs painlessly through the skin. Darcy aims to translate the results of BUBBL’s near-decade of research in this area into a device suitable for clinical use.

Darcy’s main interest is in translational medical device research; that is, working at the intersection of early research and real-world design of new medical technologies.

He is also specifically interested in new applications of medical ultrasound, which has a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic uses outside of just the foetal imaging with which it is typically associated.


  • Device Design for Ultrasound-Mediated Vaccine Delivery: Creating a device for ultrasound vaccine delivery that is suitable for real-world use in clinics or potentially even at-home.
  • Acoustic Field Optimisation: Designing transducers and acoustic lenses to shape the device’s ultrasound field, to maximise the safety and efficiency of vaccine delivery through the skin.
  • Vaccine Packaging: Designing a method of handling a liquid vaccine to ensure efficient delivery, simplify the process of use, and prevent cross-contamination.

Darcy is a 2022 Australian Universities’ John Monash Scholar, which funds his DPhil at Oxford.