Dr. Pooja Basnett is a senior lecturer and the co-course leader for BSc. Biological Sciences course in the School of Life Sciences. She is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. She is the sustainability representative for the School of Life Sciences. Pooja was awarded the Westminster Learning and Teaching Excellence award in the category of embedding sustainability in the curriculum in 2022. She is a joint lead for the ‘Cavendish Living Lab’ Quintin Hogg Trust-funded project.
Pooja was awarded a Cavendish scholarship from the University of Westminster to study for a PhD in Applied Biotechnology on the ‘Biosynthesis of polyhydroxyalkanoates, their novel blends, and composites for biomedical applications. In 2014, she joined the European Union-funded project – ReBioStent as a post-doctoral researcher. The project was focused on developing drug-eluting biodegradable coronary artery stents. In 2016, she joined the EU project - NEURIMP which focused on the development of nerve conduits for peripheral nerve repair. From 2017-2019, she was the lead post-doctoral researcher on the EU project – POLYBIOSKIN which aimed at developing biocompatible and biodegradable skin contact products. She also contributed to the EPSRC-funded project – CYCLOPS which focused on the development of a wound healing patch with Artificial Intelligence (AI). While undertaking research within the Framework Programmes created by the European Union/European Commission, she had the opportunity to work with various academic organisations and large organisations.
Pooja joined the School of Life Sciences, University of Westminster as a member of academic staff in September 2019.
Pooja’s research interest is to build a sustainable, competitive, and cost-effective route to produce biodegradable, compostable, and recyclable bioplastics using renewable, biobased feedstock. The main emphasis is on the high-impact applications of these bioplastics that can compete with fossil-derived conventional plastics. Her vision is to foster an understanding of sustainability through teaching, research, and communication.
Contributions from her work include:
She has 10 years of research experience in the area of biopolymers and has published around 25 papers in various peer-reviewed journals and is a co-inventor in patent applications. Her work has been presented at major international conferences including the International Symposium for Biopolymers (ISBP), World Biomaterials Congress (WBC), and the European Society of Biomaterials conference (ESB). She is a member of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM), Environmental Biotechnology Network and the UK Society of Biomaterials (UKSB).
Pooja has received funding for the following research projects –