Naomi leads Biological Form and Function Lab in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. Her group investigates 'How' and 'Why' living organisms have the shape and body plan they have and explores the application of such knowledge to solving knotted and wicked problems in our daily life, from sustainable agriculture to green technology. Her research is highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, incorporating methods and concepts from multiple disciplines of biology and engineering, such as cell and developmental biology, synthetic biology, biomechanics, and material sciences. In particular, her group studies the design principles of biological architecture, such as slender-body structures, at multi-scales (from cells to organ systems, e.g. hairs, fibres, shoots). They test key determinants of functional forms by the fabrication of artificial models and bio-fabrication via synthetic biology technology.
Prior to joining Imperial College in 2019 as a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor), Naomi was a group leader at the University of Edinburgh, first as a Chancellor's Fellow and then a Royal Society University Research Fellow. She received a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from Yale University (USA) for molecular dissection of organ-identity-dependent differentiation in Arabidopsis petals and stamens. As a postdoctoral fellow at University of Bern (Switzerland) and École Normale Supérieure de Lyon (France), Naomi developed new methods for mechanical treatment and characterization of living tissues. With them she revealed that mechanical cues play instructive roles in organogenesis and growth control at the shoot apical meristem, where new leaves and stems are being generated. She held a European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Long-term Fellowship and a Roche Research Fellowship for her postdoctoral research.
Nakayama N, 2020, Naomi Nakayama, New Phytologist, Vol:226, ISSN:0028-646X, Pages:1548-1549
Seale M, Nakayama N, 2020, From passive to informed: mechanical mechanisms of seed dispersal, New Phytologist, Vol:225, ISSN:0028-646X, Pages:653-658
Andreou AI, Nakayama N, 2020, Mobius Assembly., Methods Mol Biol, Vol:2205, Pages:201-218
et al., 2018, A separated vortex ring underlies the flight of the dandelion, Nature, Vol:562, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:414-418
et al., 2018, Design principles of hair-like structures as biological machines, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, Vol:15, ISSN:1742-5689, Pages:1-16