Malavika Nair
MA (Cantab) MSci PhD AFHEA
Associate Professor of Biomaterials
Non-Tutorial Fellow at St Catherine's College
College: St Catherine's College
Location: Institute of Biomedical Engineering, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, Marcela Botnar Wing, Oxford OX3 7LD
Research Building: Botnar Research Centre

Malavika Nair is an Associate Professor in Biomaterials at the Institute of Biomedical Engineering. Malavika is a materials scientist by training, obtaining a BA, MSci in Natural Sciences (2012-2016) and a PhD (2016-2019) from the University of Cambridge. Malavika’s doctoral work was focused on the multiscale characterisation of ice, collagen, and ice-templated collagen scaffolds for tissue engineering.

This was followed by post-doctoral research in 2020 combining machine learning techniques with experimental biomaterials datasets, and the award of a research fellowship at Emmanuel College where Malavika began working on electroactive biomaterials for tissue regeneration.

In 2022, Malavika moved to the Oxford Institute of Biomedical Engineering to expand the work on electroactive biomaterials for use in bio-stimulation, bio-sensing and drug delivery.

Malavika’s research aims to bridge the gap between existing electronic devices for healthcare, and regenerative implants by exploiting the electromechanical behaviour of biopolymers.

The current research focus covers the full scope of materials synthesis and discovery, with the goal of producing medical devices with optimised electromechanical and biological responses.

Ms Samantha Baker-Jones - DPhil Student
Ms Veronica Lucian - DPhil Student
Kae Nicolson - DPhil Student

DPhil students looking to join the research team are very welcome to get in touch with me directly for any opportunities. Please include a draft research proposal/some elements of what you hope to be working on in your email so that I can advise you of the fit to the projects and areas on offer.

Please check DPhil in Engineering Science for specific guidance on the admission requirements and application process.

I currently lecture the following undergraduate courses in Engineering Science:

First year:

P1 – Ordinary Differential Equations (Modelling)

Third year:

B6 – Engineering Alloys

B8 – Polymers

B17 – Biomechanics

B18 – Cellular Physiology

Fourth year:

C28 – Mechanics and Connective Tissue

I am passionate about using the platform I have to engage people in the fields of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, as well as sharing my team’s work on developing smart biomedical devices. The following videos are grouped as either ‘General’ or ‘Technical’ talks, lectures and podcasts on biomaterials.


  • As part of the 2023 University of Oxford 2023 Open Days, I provided a taster lecture to prospective students to discover more about biomedical engineering and what it is like to be an Engineering Science Undergraduate Student at Oxford, entitled ‘How can we build better implants?’:
  • In 2021, I did a short profile on the work I began during my research fellowship at Emmanuel College as part of the Emma Connects: Fellows’ Research Shorts Series:
  • A 2019 Naked Scientists’ Podcast on Scaffolds for Skin Tissue played live on BBC Cambridgeshire
  • A short presentation given as part of Churchill College MCR’s ChuTalks Series in 2018 on ‘A Song of Ice and Collagen: Fine-tuning collagen scaffolds’: