Buddies A RSC report published at the end of 2008 revealed that many post-docs find themselves in the de facto position of being mentors/buddies to PhD students. It also shows the huge benefits that this gives to the PhD students. The report noted that those students who do not have post-docs in their groups miss out and are disadvantaged (it was reported as a contributing factor for those who did not continue in Chemistry after their PhD). Consequently, in March 2011, the Department of Chemistry started a postdoc-postgrad 'buddy' scheme.


Any postgraduate student may approach one of the Department's 'postdoc buddies' to provide advice and support in any area. All post-doc buddies have received appropriate training from the Postdoc Development Centre at Imperial, and are both approachable and supportive of postgrad students.

There are currently eight postdoc buddies in the Department:

Shahid Ashraf
Raja Shahid Ashraf completed his Ph.D. in 2005 from Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Germany. After working for further one year in the same group joined the Prof. Rene A. J. Janssen Group as a Postdoctoral fellow at the University of Technology Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Since 2009, he is working as a research associate in Imperial College London. His main research interests are design and synthesis of organic materials (small molecules and polymers) for use in organic electronics. He is also involved in organic photovoltaics device fabrication.

Stoichko Dimitrov
Stoichko joined the chemistry department of Imperial College London in 2011 as a postdoctoral researcher, where he has since worked with James Durrant. His research focuses on characterising novel materials for organic solar cells, using various laser spectroscopy techniques, such as femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and laser flash photolysis. He obtained his PhD degree from Boston College, USA (2010), studying excited state dynamics of semiconductor nanocrystals and DNA.

Maria Izquierdo
Maria Izquierdo joined Imperial College in May 2013 as Marie Curie Fellow and she conducts research in the multidisciplinary team of Dr Marina Kuimova. Maria has a PhD in Photochemistry from the Polytechnic University of Valencia and has worked in prestigious academic institutions in USA, Belgium, Germany and Spain. Her main research interest is the development of fluorescent molecular sensors and materials for applications in Biology and Material Sciences.

Olga Kuzmina
Olga joined Imperial College in June 2013. She is in her first year of postdoctoral experience in Chemistry. She is always happy to help and support other members of her team. Olga is fluent in English, Polish and Russian. She is open to discuss any concerns which can face PhD student.

Tom Lanyon-Hogg
Tom joined Imperial in June 2013, having previously completed a masters in Medicinal Chemistry and PhD in Biochemistry. He conducts his research in Ed Tate’s and Tony Magee’s groups as part of a Cancer Research UK funded projected to identify new cancer therapeutics, and works alongside collaborators at the Institute of Cancer Research in Sutton, and the Membrane Protein Laboratory at the Diamond Light Source in Oxfordshire.

Christian Nielsen
Christian received his PhD in 2004 from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark. He then spent two years at the University of Florida working on electrochromic materials and subsequently two and a half years as a research scientist at Cambridge Display Technology before moving to Imperial College in 2010. Christian’s current research is focused on the design and synthesis of novel pi-conjugated materials aimed at the continued development of organic electronic applications such as field-effect transistors and solar cells.

Ali Salehi-Reyhani
I’m a physicist (BSc, Imperial College London) with expertise in multidimensional fluorescence microscopy (MSc, Optics & Photonics, Imperial College London) who works in a chemistry department developing microfluidic technologies (MRes & PhD, Imperial College London) to investigate the behaviour of biological systems. I believe that interesting science happens at the boundary of the standard disciplines of biology, chemistry and physic s. I’m particularly interested in how single cells in a genetically identical population can behave differently and am currently focussed on investigating circulating tumour cells.