Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Professor of Chemical Physics



+44 (0)20 7594 5797j.seddon Website




Mrs Althea Hartley-Forbes +44 (0)20 7594 5717




465ChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





John Seddon is Head of the Chemical Physics Section, Deputy Head of the Chemistry Department, and Chair of the Chemistry Research and Engagement Committee. His research is focussed on experimental studies by X-ray and neutron diffraction, optical and electron microscopy, calorimetry and solid-state NMR of the structure and dynamics of liquid crystalline systems, from lipid model membranes and surfactants, to thermotropic liquid crystals and block copolymers. Applications ranging from templating of mesoporous catalysts, responsive nanocapsules for controlled drug release, to lipid microbubbles for ultrasound imaging, are also under investigation. He has published some 130 research papers, as well as, jointly with Julian Gale, a textbook on Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics (2002). He has supervised 30 PhD students, and has been External Examiner of 24 PhD students at other UK universities. He has been co-organiser of numerous Workshops and International Conferences and has given some 35 Plenary, Keynote or Invited lectures at Conferences. In 2012, he organised RSC Faraday Discussion 161 on 'Lipids and Membrane Biophysics', and in 2013 was elected Secretary of the European Biophysical Societies' Association (EBSA).

He received a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Stirling in 1975, and a PhD. in Biophysics from the University of London in 1980. He won a European Molecular Biology Organization Long Term Followship in 1980, which he held in the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany. He then won the 1983 Unilever European Fellowship to work in Paris under the direction of Dr. Vittorio Luzzati, but rescinded this award to take up a Lectureship in Chemical Physics in the University of Southampton, England. He moved to Imperial College London in 1991, and was promoted to Reader in 1993, then to Full Professor in 1999. He has been a College member of EPSRC continuously for the last decade, sitting on eight grant review Panels during this period. He sits on the Editorial Board of the journals Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science and Biochimica Biophysica Acta, and until recently was a Section Editor of the former journal. He is a referee for many other journals and funding agencies.  He was elected a Fellow and Chartered Chemist of The Royal Society of Chemistry in 1999, a Chartered Scientist in 2004, and a fellow of the Institute of Physics in 2011. From 2002 - 2005 he was Chairman of the Chemistry Departmental Research Committee, and sat on the Departmental Strategy and Planning Committee, the Physical Sciences Faculty Research Committee and the Postgraduate Admissions and Recruitment Committee. He is External Examiner for Physical and Theoretical Chemistry and Chemical Physics, University of Bristol (2013-2016).

More details about the research.

Details of the STFC-funded X-ray pressure-jump cell apparatus we developed with staff from Diamond beamline I22 can be found on the pressure cell website

Visit the Membrane Biophysics Sharepoint site

Visit our EPSRC-funded  CAPITALS Programme grant at



de Bruin A, Friddin MS, Elani Y, et al., A transparent 3D printed device for assembling droplet hydrogel bilayers (DHBs), Rsc Advances, ISSN:2046-2069

Richens JL, Tyler AII, Barriga HMG, et al., 2017, Spontaneous charged lipid transfer between lipid vesicles., Sci Rep, Vol:7

Trantidou T, Friddin M, Elani Y, et al., 2017, Engineering Compartmentalized Biomimetic Micro- and Nanocontainers, Acs Nano, Vol:11, ISSN:1936-0851, Pages:6549-6565


Friddin MS, Bolognesi G, Elani Y, et al., Optical tweezers to assemble 2D and 3D droplet interface bilayer networks from cell-sized droplets, EMBL Microfluidics

Friddin MS, Bolognesi G, Elani Y, et al., The optical assembly of bilayer networks from cell-sized droplets for synthetic biology, Systems and Synthetic Biology

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