Andrew J Taberner (MSc(Tech), PhD 1999) is a physicist and bioengineer, and Associate Professor with the Auckland Bioengineering Institute at University of Auckland, New Zealand. From 2002-2008 he was a Post-Doctoral Associate, Research Scientist, and co-manager of the Bioinstrumentation Laboratory at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His teaching is centered on the principles and methods of bioinstrumentation and measurement, and forms part of his University’s BE(Hons) in Biomedical Engineering degree program. The quality of his teaching has been recognized by five “Students’ Choice Top-teacher” awards, and a “Sustained Excellence in Teaching” award. He leads a team of researchers in his Bioinstrumentation Laboratory in novel instrumentation design, construction and development. He has supervised 25 PhD, 15 ME and 50+ honours students.
His research interests include the development of scientific and medical instruments for measuring tissue structure and function, and for needle-free drug delivery. He has developed instruments for studying the mechanical, energetic, optical and geometric properties of living working heart muscle, in health and disease, at whole-heart, single muscle-fibre and muscle-cell levels. Other measurement tools he has developed include programmable multi-axis soft-tissue robots for measuring the mechanical properties of skin, pericardium, and the pelvic floor. Results from his instruments are often integrated and interpreted with the aid of multi-scale computational models. He has also invented and developed a new class of devices for needle-free injection and extraction of fluids through skin and other biological tissues. These devices are being applied to monitoring and managing change and disease in a range of human, animal and agricultural applications.
Professor Taberner is the author of more than 120 refereed scientific articles in journals and published conference proceedings, 75 conference abstracts, and inventor of 20 issued US, European and other patents. He received the “Innovation Excellence in Research” award at the 2014 New Zealand Innovators awards. He is a co-founder of Boston-based medical device company Portal Instruments, which has an exclusive world-wide license to commercialise his jet-injection intellectual property portfolio. He is the secretary and vice-chair of the New Zealand Chapter of the IEEE Instrumentation and Measurement Society, an editor for IEEE Pulse Magazine, and a member of and reviewer for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.