2015 Cohort

  • Laura Fox

    Laura graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2015 with an MSci in Physics. During a summer project in her 3rd year she investigated the polymerisation of 10,12-­pentacosadiynoic acid (PCDA) on graphite under UV irradiation using AFM and STM. Her final year project looked at manipulating molecular ions in low vacuum during electrospray deposition to study functional surfaces. Laura has been involved in a number of outreach activities, from teaching nanotech science classes to demonstrating at science festivals to a diverse audience. Her interestes lie in biophysics; in particular, how the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles influence their interactions with cellular membranes and cause toxic effects. She uses model cell membranes and synchrotron techniques, such as x-ray reflectivity at the ESRF in Grenoble, to study the structure of these models in the presence of nanoparticles. In her spare time she likes to spar (Taekwondo), bake and watch YouTube videos.

    PhD Project: Nanoparticle-cell membrane interacitons: fundamentals of nanotoxicity
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Wuge Briscoe 
    Secondary Supervisor: Prof Rob Richardson

  • Alex Hughes-Games

    Alex graduated from the University of Bristol with a BSc in Mathematics and Physics before extending his final year undergraduate project as a Biology MSc by research. In light of pollinator decline, his Masters' work employed atomic force microscopy to study the adhesive properties of pollen and their role in pollination. Alex’s PhD project uses single molecule force microscopy to study the mechanism of DNA exchange in the bacterial pathogen causing gonorrhoea. This work will aid efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance by characterising an enigmatic system responsible for resistance gene transmission. In his spare time Alex enjoys filmmaking and bebop.

    PhD Project: Probing the interaction between DNA and the DNA uptake system of the human pathogen causing gonorrhoea
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Sean Davis
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Darryl Hill

  • Michael James

    Michael graduated from the University of Bristol in 2015 with an MSci in Chemistry with Study Abroad. He spent his third year at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA, where he researched Cu doping of CdSe quantum dots. His final year project looked at magnetic properties and potential superconductivity in BiOCl nanoparticles. He is now a part of the Bristol Diamond group, researching n-type doping and surface functionalisation of diamond for thermionic emission applications. Outside the lab, Michael's interests include travelling, ice skating and modern jive dancing.

    PhD Project: Novel n-type doping of diamond thin flims
    Primary Supervisor: Prof Paul May
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Neil Fox

  • Abraham Mauleon Amieva

    Abraham is originally from Mexico, where he graduated from the Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering programme at the Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP). For his thesis he investigated the preparation and activity of photoelectrocatalytical materials based on nanotubular titania and reduced graphene oxide. Constantly inquiring between different areas, during that same year he was part of the 2014 iGEM competence, where he and his team presented their project consisting in the mimicking of nucleosomes with magnetic nanoparticles and DNA. Currently, he is member of the Royall Group, where he investigates the dynamics of particle active systems undergoing external fields. In his spare time, Abraham enjoys walking around Bristol, cooking, and exercising.

    PhD Project: The nanoclutch: towards a practical device
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Paddy Royall
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Jeroen van Duijneveldt

  • Disah Mpadi

    Disah is currently studying for his PhD in the cross-disciplinary field of Functional Nanomaterials, as a BCFN student. His research is concerned with the Synthesis of transparent conducting oxide materials featuring suitable band gap for solar energy conversion. Research activities include the synthesis of p-type transparent conducting oxides (TCOs) in the nanoscale, which can then be solution-processed to prepare thin films. The p-type conductivity or the electronic behaviour of these TCO thin films will be studied using electrochemical techniques, These TCOs will finally be employed in the fabrication of a photovoltaic cell and its solar conversion efficiency tested. Disah received both his BSc. and MSc. degrees in Chemistry at the University of Botswana, where he spent the majority of his time studying natural products chemistry, synthesis of small molecules, and carrying-out susceptibility tests of these secondary metabolites and small molecules on human pathogens. Disah was also involved in collaborative research which focused on on the development of new synthetic methods and strategies for beta-lactams, which exhibit significant antimicrobial activities against human pathogens. Disah joined Botswana International Unviersity of Science and Technology (BIUST) in 2012 as an academic staff member before joining the Bristol Electrochemistry Group in 2015.

    PhD Project: Synthesis of oxide materials featuring suitable band gap for solar energy conversion
    Primary Supervisor: Prof David Fermin
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Simon Hall

  • Thomas Richardson

    Thomas is half English, half French, but lived in the US for most of his life. He moved from Texas to Leeds in 2011 to pursue his dream degree, a BSc in Nanotechnology, after which he stayed on to study his MSc in Bionanotechnology, graduating in 2015. He started at the BCFN in 2015, and for his first two projects he built a microfluidic device which captured and released magnetic nanoparticles, and synthesized P3HT polymer nanowires. His PhD project, supervised by Dr. Adam Perriman and Dr. Gavin Welsh, aims to 3D print a model of the renal glomerulus for toxicological and pharmacological studies. Outside the lab Thomas enjoys surfing, playing American Football and eating pizza.

    PhD Project: 3D bioprinting: building a human gloerulus to study nanopartical toxicity
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Adam Perriman
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Gavin Welsh

  • Sadiyah Sheikh

    Sadiyah completed her BSc in Biochemistry in 2015 at Bristol and decided to stay at the University to pursue her PhD with the BCFN. She is currently working on smart glyco-nanomaterials as novel anti-cancer drug delivery systems and bioimaging probes. In her spare time she enjoys taekwondo and pottery. 

    PhD Project: Smart glyco-nanomaterials as novel anti-cancer drug delivery systems
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Carmen Galan
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Henkjan Gersen

  • Kollawat Sosmri

    Kollawat studies the function and advances in plant photonic bionics and nanobionics – the synergy of natural photonic structures and nanoparticles to enhance plant photosynthesis. The latest research is geared towards boosting photosynthesis through the interaction between iridoplasts, chloroplasts which displays blue iridescent coloration, and functional nanomaterials such as quantum dots coated with nanosugars. The nanomaterials contribute to photosystem activity by crafting a unique electron transport pathway in addition to increasing the photon accepting spectra.    

    PhD Project: Plant photonic bionics: combining natural photonic structures with nanoparticles to enhance photosynthesis
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Heather Whitney
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Carmen Galan

  • Laura Sosa Madrid

    Laura Obtained her Bachelors degree in Nanotechnology and Molecular Engineering at Universidad de las Americas Puebla (UDLAP), Mexico. Her thesis was about monitoring if the antimicrobial properties shown by some metal oxide nanomaterials affected the germination of bacterial spores. During her undergraduate studies she developed a special interest in the development of biomaterials and was involved in different projects around the areas of renewable energy, medicine, and biotechnology. Looking for multidisciplinarity, she joined the BCFN and has been part of different projects, such as designing a test bed for the fast prototyping of swarm experiments at the nanoscale and self-assembly of spherical nanoparticle networks. Her current project allows her to expand on her knowledge in advanced materials, chemistry and a bit of dentistry. When she isn't studying, Laura enjoys cooking, crafting and nature.

    PhD Project: Creating heirarchical aprticle assemblies as enahnced fillers for dental composite materials
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Jeroen Van Duijneveldt
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Michele Barbour

  • Richard Stenner

    Richard graduated from the University of York with an MChem degree in 2015. Working with Dr Shimizu, his final year project involved using statistical thermodynamics to model how various cosolvents influence the gelation of polysaccharides. In his spare time, Richard enjoys reading literature, studying history and hiking.

    PhD Project: Construction of nanoscale de novo enzyme: nanoparticle assemblies for light-activated asymmetric cyclopropanation
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Ross Anderson 
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Annela Seddon

  • Hugh Tanner

    Hugh graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry from Swansea University in 2014. During his third year project he developed an interest in nanotechnology, studying interactions of nanoparticles with immune cells. He subsequently pursued an MSc in Nanotoxicology, specifically looking at the cytotoxicity and genotoxicity of few-layer graphene on lung epithelial cells, and graduated in 2015. Alongside his current PhD project he is undertaking an applied language course in Japanese. Outside of the lab he enjoys skateboarding, playing piano, learning Japanese and studying jazz music theory.

    PhD Project: Chasing stars
    Primary Supervisor: Prof Paul Verkade
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Henkjan Gersen

  • Victoria Taylor

    Victoria graduated from Lancaster University in 2015 with a degree in Physics with Particle Physics and Cosmology. During her time at Lancaster she worked on a range of projects including an industrial placement with Oxford Instruments and a final project investigating Z0 boson decay channels with data from the large electron-positron collider at CERN. In her spare time Victoria enjoys cooking, pottery and skiing.

    PhD Project: Ultrafast nanoscopy of photovoltaic materials
    Primary Supervisor: Dr Tom Oliver
    Secondary Supervisor: Dr Henkjan Gersen

Jacek Wasik

Jacek graduated from Gdansk University of Technology with a MSc in Technical Physics, specialising in Nanotechnology. His final project, in collaboration with the University of Leipzig, was focused on physical deposition of ZnO thin films, using Pulsed Laser Deposition, and modification the thin films by hydrogen plasma treatment. Outside of academic life he loves to travel, explore foreign cuisine, meet new people and train mixed martial arts.

PhD Project: 
Primary Supervisor: Dr Ross Springell
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Neil Fox and Dr Chris Bell podj

Victoria Levario Diaz

Victoria obtained her bachelors degree in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. She joined the BCFN Masters course in 2014 and was funded by CONACYT, a Mexican research funding body. After the MSc she went on to continue her PhD in the same subject. Her research is focused on  acoustic trapping, which will enable new ways in future tissue engineering. She enjoys being part of the BCFN, in particular, the multidisciplinary study, which allows her to learn from different professors and world leading experts in their areas of research. 

PhD Project: Ultrasonic traps for engineered tissue and spatio-selective exposure to nanotoxicants
Primary Supervisor: Dr Carmen Galan
Secondary Supervisor: Dr Adrian Barnes

2015 PhD cohort

Edit this page