Imperial College London

Dr Kuimova

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry




+44 (0)20 7594 8558m.kuimova




134bChemistrySouth Kensington Campus





Dr Marina Kuimova received a M.Sc. in Chemistry from Moscow State University in 2001, and a Ph.D from Nottingham University in 2005.   She is currently an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellow in the Department of Chemistry.


My research interests include elucidation of biologically relevant processes using different types of fluorescence imaging and time-resolved spectroscopy. The detailed description of my research activities can be found here

The popular article and the video clip where I talk to the media can be found here.

For a bit of fun, read the NatureChem 'The Sceptical Chymist' blog entry here


We are always looking to recruit talented and dedicated scientists. If you are interested in joining the group, please get in touch! It is likely that the funding for one or more PhD projects will be available for the 2015/2016 start date.

Prospective PhD students please make note of the new Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme

Funded positions will be advertised here when available:


*July 2015:
Our new paper entitled 'Unravelling the effect of temperature on viscosity-sensitive fluorescent molecular rotors' has appeared in Chemical Science. Here we report simultaneous imaging of viscosity and temperature using a single fluorophore. Congratulations to Aurimas, Maryam and Nathaniel!

*July 2015:
Our new paper entitled 'Imaging phase separation in model lipid membranes through the use of BODIPY based molecular rotors' has appeared in PCCP. Check it out for comparison between molecular rotors, FCS and MD simulations to calculate the viscosity of membranes. Congratulations to Mike and Ismael! Mike Dent will present this work as an oral at the EBSA Congress this summer.

*June 2015:
Aurimas Vysniauskas won the best talk prize in the 'Physical and Analytical Section' of the final year postgraduate symposium at Imperial. Congratulations to Aurimas! He will present his work as orals at two conferences this summer: the Topical Problems of Biophotonics–2015 and Methods and Aplications of Fluorescence-2015.

*April 2015:
Our new paper in collaboration with Dr Matt Fuchter's group entitled 'Dual Wavelength Asymmetric Photochemical Synthesis with Circularly Polarized Light' has appeared in Chemical Science. Congratulations to Rob!

*New papers in 2015:
Please check out our recent papers on new cellular membrane markers and on a new type of viscosity sensitive molecular rotor that works as a PDT sensitiser. We have also demonstrated quantitative dual mode imaging of viscosity (ratiometric and lifetime) using a conjugated porphyrin dimer. Well done to Ismael, Maria and Aurimas!

*July 2014:
Marina has completed her Chem Comm Emerging Investigator Lecture tour, which included lectures at the 25th IUPAC Symposium on Photochemistry, Bordeaux, France, Universidad del País Vasco-EHU, Bilbao, Spain and Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC), San Sebastian, Spain. You can read more here

*April 2014:
Our new paper in collaboration with Prof Stephen Mann's group entitled 'Fatty acid membrane assembly on coacervate micro-droplets as a step towards a hybrid protocell model' has appeared in Nature Chemistry. Congratulations to Alex!

*March 2014:
Marina was named as the winner of the IUPAP C6 Young Scientist Prize in Biological Physics 2014. She will deliver her prize lecture at the IUPAP Symposium in Biological Physics in Beijing.

*Nov 2013:
Our new paper entitled 'A molecular rotor for measuring viscosity in plasma membranes of live cells' is accepted to Chem Comm and will feature in the 'Emerging Investigators 2014' issue. Congratulations to Ismael, Thanh and Maria!

*July 2013:
Dr Neveen Hosny won the poster prize at the ‘Frontiers in Bioimaging’ meeting in London for her poster "Local viscosity measured by FLIM of molecular rotors". Congratulations to Neveen!

*20th May 2013:
Dr Neveen Hosny's paper on imaging viscosity in ultrasonic microbubbles in collaboration with Dr Eleanor Stride has been published on the cover of PNAS! You can read the article here and the news story here.

*16th May 2013:
Marie Curie Fellow Dr Thanh-Truc Vu won the best oral presentation prize at the RSC Early Career Photochemistry Group meeting in Belfast for her talk 'Red-Emitting Fluorescent Molecular Rotors For Cell Imaging'. Congratulations to Thanh!

*April 2013:
Marina was announced as a joint winner of the ChemComm Emerging Investigator Lectureship 2013

*April 2013: 
Aurimas Vysniauskas won the poster prize at the EMBO Practical Course on Advanced Optical Microscopy, Plymouth, for his poster 'Conjugated porphyrin dimers as molecular probes of microviscosity via two-photon excitation'. Congratulations to Aurimas!

*Sep 2012: 
Dr Neveen Hosny won the poster prize at the Coherent Multiphoton Meeting at Kings College London for her poster on imaging the viscosity of lipid microbubble shells. Congratulations to Neveen!

*July 13th 2012:
Marina has received the British Biophysical Society Young Investigator Award 2012 at the BBS meeting in Durham. You can read more here.

*May 29th 2012:
Marina has been named as the winner of the RSC Harrison-Meldola Prize 2012.

*September 9th 2011:
Marina received the Grammaticakis Neumann prize of the Swiss Chemical Society at the Autumn Meeting of the SCS at the EPF Lausanne. She also delivered the prize lecture at the meeting. You can read more here

*April 2011:
Marina's paper (in collaboration with colleagues at GeorgiaTech) on the photophysics of the photo-toxic protein KillerRed appears on the inside cover of ChemComm


*January 2011:
Marina's paper (in collaboration with Professor Chris Phillips's group) on the ultrafast IR imaging of live cells appears on the back cover of ChemSci


Recent publications 

A. Vysniauskas et al Unravelling the effect of temperature on viscosity-sensitive fluorescent molecular rotors, Chem Sci., 2015, DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02248G


I. Lopez-Duarte, T. T. Vu, et al A molecular rotor for measuring viscosity in plasma membranes of live cells, Chem. Commun., 2014, DOI: 10.1039/C3CC47530A (Emerging investigators issue)







Neveen A. Hosny et al Mapping microbubble viscosity using fluorescence lifetime imaging of molecular rotors, PNAS, 2013


Neveen A. Hosny et al Fluorescent lifetime imaging of atmospheric aerosols: A direct probe of aerosol viscosity, Faraday Discussions, 2013 DOI: 10.1039/C3FD00041A 


 M.K. Kuimova Mapping viscosity in cells using molecular rotors, PCCP, 2012, 14, 12671-12686

 PCCPA.W. Parker, C.Y. Lin, M. W. George, M. Towrie and M. K. Kuimova Infrared Characterization of the Guanine Radical Cation: Finger Printing DNA Damage. J. Phys. Chem. B., 2010, 114, 3660–3667


M. K. Kuimova, S. W. Botchway, A. W. Parker, M. Balaz, H. A. Collins, H. L. Anderson, K. Suhling, P. R. Ogilby, Imaging Intracellular Viscosity of a Single Cell During Photoinduced Cell Death, Nature Chem., 2009, 1, 69 

cell death

M. K. Kuimova, M. Balaz, H. L. Anderson, P. R. Ogilby, Intramolecular rotation in a porphyrin dimer controls singlet oxygen production, J. Amer. Chem. Soc., 2009, 131 (23), 7948



Site Meter


Thanh TV, Meallet-Renault R, Clavier G, et al., 2016, Tuning BODIPY molecular rotors into the red: sensitivity to viscosity vs. temperature, Journal of Materials Chemistry C, Vol:4, ISSN:2050-7526, Pages:2828-2833

Hosny NA, Fitzgerald C, Vysniauskas A, et al., 2016, Direct imaging of changes in aerosol particle viscosity upon hydration and chemical aging, Chemical Science, Vol:7, ISSN:2041-6520, Pages:1357-1367

Loison P, Gervais P, Perrier-Cornet JM, et al., 2016, Effect of ethanol perturbation on viscosity and permeability of an inner membrane in Bacillus subtilis spores., Biochim Biophys Acta, Vol:1858, ISSN:0006-3002, Pages:2060-2069

Shivalingam A, Vysniauskas A, Albrecht T, et al., 2016, Trianguleniums as Optical Probes for G-Quadruplexes: APhotophysical, Electrochemical, and Computational Study, Chemistry-a European Journal, Vol:22, ISSN:0947-6539, Pages:4129-4139


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