Year 1 scholars

Faculty of Natural Sciences

Hemant Khatri - Department of Mathematics

Name: Hemant Khatri    Hemant Khatri
Department:
Department of Mathematics
Title of Research: Alternating jets in oceans and planetary atmospheres
Email: h.khatri16@imperial.ac.uk          
Supervisor(s):
Dr Pavel Berloff

About me:
Msc(Eng.), Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India
B.E. (Hons.) Chemical engineering, Birla Institute of Technology & Science (BITS) Pilani, India 

Summary of Research:
Alternating jets have been well observed in Earth's oceans and planetary atmospheres like Jupiter. These are elongated structures in the zonal velocity contours which can be few hundreds to thousands of kilometres long and stay for long periods of time. 

The first question to ask is why these jets form? That's what I am studying. There are many simple mechanisms proposed to explain the phenomenon however  not all characteristics of these jets are explained and the reality is rather more complex. The aim of my project is to understand the phenomenon using more complex mathematical model which incorporates real world parameters.

Research interests:
Geophysical Fluid Dynamics and Turbulence

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
Imperial College PhD scholarship funds the students from all over the world. In addition to living expenses, the scheme also provides research funds. Students are able to meet costs for equipment, conferences and workshops which is an essential part of learning during a PhD.     

Ibles Olcina - Department of Physics

Name: Ibles Olcina Ibles Olcina
Department:
Physics
Title of Research: Dark matter searches with the LZ experiment
Email: io913@ic.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Henrique Araujo

About me:
I am from Spain, specifically from a small town called Polinya de Xuquer, which is close to Valencia. I studied a Physics degree at the university of Valencia, although I spent one year at Imperial College with an Erasmus scholarship. Last year, I studied a Master's degree in Advanced Physics at the university of Valencia. I have always been very passionate about physics, and that is why not only I enjoyed greatly the lessons of the degree but also spent most of the summers participating in physics related activities, like summer camps or internships.

Summary of Research:
One of the major challenges of modern physics is to discover the true nature of dark matter. This invisible, and yet dominant, mass component of the universe is indirectly revealed to us through its gravitational effects on ordinary matter. Many scientists believe that dark matter is made of new elementary particles, and there already exist some well-motivated particle candidates that could be searched for with different technologies. During my PhD, I will be working in the development of a promising future dark matter experiment, called LZ, that will search for dark matter particle scatterings off atomic nuclei in an underground, low-background detector.

Research interests:
Within the field of physics, I am mostly interested in particle physics, cosmology and theoretical physics. Furthermore, in the recent past I have become specially interested in computational science and statistics, partly due to the fact that they are intimately related to my current research. However, I also enjoy reading from time to time articles and news about other fields of science.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
I met my current supervisor during the Erasmus year that I spent at Imperial College. I was fascinated by the research he was conducting in the group and I also liked his personality and wisdom, so I decided that I would definitively want to try to do my PhD here at Imperial, with him as my supervisor. Among the small number of scholarships that were available for an international student like me, the Imperial College PhD scholarship was undoubtedly my best option so I did my best to get it.

Luke Delmas - Department of Chemistry

Name: Luke C. Delmas  Luke Delmas
Department:
Chemistry
Title of Research: Silicon-Containing MOFs for CO2 capture
Email: l.delmas14@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Dr. Rob Davies and Prof. Paul Lickiss

About me:
Before coming to England, I attended the University of The West Indies in my home country, Barbados, where I obtained a Master of Philosophy in Chemistry. There, I carried out research on the synthesis of mechanically interlocked molecules, fascinating molecular ensembles which were discovered in the 60’s. Stepping towards research with more tangible applications, I came to Imperial College in pursuit of an MRes in Green Chemistry, an important discipline for the development of the Caribbean region. I quickly became captivated by my research on carbon capture materials and next thing I knew I was signing up for the PhD program! 

Summary of Research:
We design and synthesize novel Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs) - 3D coordination polymers comprising metal-based nodes and highly branched organosilicon linkers which assemble to form crystalline materials. Many MOFs have large surface areas, high permanent porosities and boast large pore volumes making them appropriate host materials for the separation and storage of gases such as carbon dioxide. We aim to see these new materials incorporated as solid adsorbents in next-generation post-combustion carbon capture systems.

Research interests:
Metal-organic frameworks, organosilicon chemistry, crystal engineering, carbon capture, green chemistry, mechanically interlocked molecules, crown compounds, molecular devices.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The IC PhD scholarship gives both home and international students the opportunity to apply for a fully-funded PhD program. Its generous funding means I can focus whole-heartedly on my research without worrying about the financial stresses of studying in London.

Nuttawut Kongsuwan - Department of Physics

Name: Nuttawut Kongsuwan Nuttawut Kongsuwan
Department:
Physics
Title of Research: Strong Coupling between Quantum Emitters and Plasmonic Environment
Email: n.kongsuwan15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Prof. Ortwin Hess

About me:
I am from Thailand and obtained primary and secondary education in Thailand. I then received a scholarship from the royal Thai government to study Physics in the UK. I came to England in 2010 and was accepted to University of Cambridge in 2011. After four years in Cambridge, I am now a PhD student in Physics Department at Imperial College London.

Summary of Research:
My research is on the theory of the strong coupling between a single quantum emitter and a plasmonic nanocavity. I focus on the system of 40 nm diameter gold nano-sphere placing on a large gold  plate. The sphere and the plate are separated by a 0.9 nm thick single layer of molecule  which confines a single quantum emitter right underneath the gold sphere. The electromagnetic field is strongly enhanced at the gap between the sphere and the plate, forming a cavity. A quantum emitter placing at the middle of the gap couple strongly to the enhanced field and exchange energy by absorbing and emitting photons repeatedly. This results in a Rabi splitting in the detection spectrum. Exploring the system into an ultrastrong coupling regime, we expect a new physical phenomena to emerge. The study would have a significant impact on the understanding of the dynamic of single molecules at room temperature.

Research interests:
My research interest is mainly on the interaction between light and matter. I am interested in how techniques in the filed of quantum optics can be applied in a condensed matter system such as a plasmonic nanocavity.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The scholarship scheme provides me the opportunity to pursue my career in a prestigious university like Imperial College.

Simon Schöller - Department of Mathematics

Name: Simon Schöller Simon Schöller
Department:
Mathematics
Title of Research: Collective behaviour of microswimmers
Email: simon.schoeller14@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Dr Eric Keaveny

About me:
I am a PhD student in the applied section of Imperial's Department of mathematics supervised by Dr Eric Keaveny

I hold a Master's degree in Physics with Shock Physics (Distinction) from Imperial College and a Bachelor's degree in Physics from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich).

Please check out my website for additional information on my research.

Summary of Research:
Fluid dynamics in the limit of zero Reynolds number is governed by the Stokes equation. Modelling the propulsion mechanism of swimmers that move through such a medium propelled by a beating flagellum requires resolving the hydrodynamics, the elasticity and actuation of the flagellum and their interaction. This is a computationally difficult problem that we approach by making use of high performance computing. An example for the physical systems it applies to are collectively swimming spermatozoa, which have been found experimentally to display intricate emerging behaviour. My research is concerned with simulating said collective behaviour of large numbers of swimmers that arises due to hydrodynamic and steric interactions between individuals. These are affected by stochastically varying properties of the swimmers. One of the  overarching motifs of this endeavour is to try to write down the statistical mechanics of spermatozoa more accurately. The results we hope to arrive at might be of interest in fields like reproductive biology.

Research interests:
My area of interest could be described to lie somewhere between mathematical biofluidics and computational statistical physics. More generally, I am interested in numerical mathematics and its applications in computational physics and other areas of science.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
I am grateful that the Imperial College scholarship scheme gives me the opportunity to work on answers to fascinating scientific questions together with excellent collaborators.

Faculty of Engineering

Boris Ochoa-Tocachi - Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Name: Boris Ochoa-Tocachi Boris Ochoa-Tocachi
Department:
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title of Research: Leveraging multi-source data for water resources management in remote mountain environments
Email: boris.ochoa13@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Dr Wouter Buytaert

About me:
I hold a Civil Engineering degree with distinction (2011) from Universidad de Cuenca, Ecuador, receiving the prestigious Benigno Malo Prize in 2012. Then, funded by an Ecuadorian SENESCYT Excellence Scholarship, I obtained an MSc degree with distinction in Hydrology and Water Resources Management (2014) from Imperial College London. For the graduation, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering awarded me the Letitia Chitty Centenary Memorial Prize and the Victor Appleby Prize in Engineering Hydrology in 2015. Currently, I am an Imperial College PhD Scholar supervised by Dr Wouter Buytaert, working on the ESPA project MOUNTAIN-EVO, and co-funded through the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership between NERC and the Grantham Institute.

During my academic career, I assisted as pre-University Teacher and Teaching Assistant in Universidad de Cuenca (2007-2011). I also volunteered for several organisations, such as Participación Ciudadana (Citizen Participation) Foundation (2004-2005) and the Ecuadorian Southern Community Tourism Network Pakariñan (2010-2011). I also account for several years of international consultancy experience in hydrological monitoring, mountain hydrology and land planning in the regional NGO CONDESAN (2011-2015), and was a researcher in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Group of Universidad de Cuenca (2011-2013).

Summary of Research:
Mountainous areas provide ecosystem services for nearly half the world’s population, including an abundant supply of clean fresh water. However, such regions often host economically-developing communities and as a result are undergoing rapid changes in land use that seriously impact their local hydrology. Furthermore, climate change projections suggest that upland areas will experience a significantly greater warming effect than coastal plains, with associated unpredictability in precipitation levels.

Despite the importance of these areas, and their current vulnerability, little is known about hydrological and meteorological processes in these remote regions. The naturally high diversity of geographical characteristics, such as a steep and variable topography, result in similarly diverse and non-stationary hydrometeorological features. Unfortunately, monitoring in these areas by national institutions is impractical and expensive, and has been limited to few localised research projects. The aim of this PhD research is to explore the potential of information from multiple sources, from citizen science to remote sensing, to complement more traditional methods of data acquisition. Ultimately, this project will produce an integrated picture of the hydrology of mountainous regions with the objective of improving their water management.

Mudasir Ahmad Yatoo - Department of Materials

Name: Mudasir Ahmad Yatoo Mudasir Yatoo
Department:
Materials
Title of Research: Development of Layered Oxides for Electrochemical Devices
Email: m.yatoo15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Stephen Skinner and Ainara Aguadero

About me:
I graduated with a BSc (Honours) in Chemistry from India's premier university, The Aligarh Muslim University, with First Class Honours. Later on, I received MS in Material Chemistry with distinction from Tohoku University, Japan in 2015. There I was working on 'Molecular Magnetism' and 'Carbon Nanotube (CNT) Electronics', and was involved in synthesizing the molecules, which featured Single-Molecule Magnet (SMM) characteristics.  I also worked on synthesizing SMM-CNT hybrids in which SMM molecule is encapsulated into carbon nanotube. Now a PhD student here at the Department of Materials, I study Solid Oxide Fuel Cells under the supervision of Professor Stephen Skinner and Dr. Ainara Aguadero, weith particular focus on development of layered oxides for electrochemical devices.

Summary of Research:
Electrochemical devices are of importance in developing a low carbon economy, with potential for power generation, hydrogen production and gas separation. An essential component of the device, the electrode, relies on high performance ionic and electronic conduction. Recent work has identified layered oxides as showing considerable promise with attractive benefits in terms of reducing cost and increasing lifetime. Our work involves synthesis of new layered materials, and their characterisation using a combination of techniques such as powder diffraction, electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. We are also interested in determining their performance as electrodes, linking their electrochemistry with structure and stability.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
Imperial is one of the most prestigious institutions in the world and the IC PhD Scholarship is its most prestigious award, a reason in itself for choosing this generous award.

Nicolas Hadjipantelis - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Nicolas HadjipantelisName: Nicolas Hadjipantelis
Department:
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Title of Research:
Behaviour of Prestressed Steel Structures
Email:
n.hadjipantelis15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s):
Prof Leroy Gardner and Prof Ahmer Wadee

About me:
My decision to study Civil Engineering was a result of my passion about the impact of structures on the built environment and the contribution of civil engineers to our society.

I have graduated from the University of Bristol with a First-class Honours degree in MEng Civil Engineering with Study Abroad and was awarded the Institution of Civil Engineers Student Prize for being the student adjudged best in performance in the last two years of the course, with due regard to coursework and ability in civil engineering design.

As part of my undergraduate degree, I studied for a year at the world-renowned University of California, Berkeley giving emphasis to structural engineering courses while also conducting research on the “Macrocell and Microcell Corrosion of Reinforced Concrete Structures” under the supervision of Professor Claudia Ostertag.

My desire to expand my knowledge in structural engineering and develop strong research skills led to the decision to pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering Research at Imperial College London. I am currently conducting research in the Steel Structures Section of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering under the supervision of Professor Leroy Gardner and Professor Ahmer Wadee.

Summary of Research:
Sustainable structural solutions are needed more than ever in the construction sector in order to minimize the carbon-footprint of the built environment. As a result of recent advancements in fabrication technologies, the production of optimized structural systems has become more cost-effective and thus enabled engineers to develop smart solutions that can offer material savings in structural design.

My research focuses on the development and behaviour of prestressed steel structures to be used in the design of steel structures. More specifically, I am conducting research on how prestressing techniques can be employed to enhance the load-carrying capacity of hot-rolled and cold-formed steel beams and thus enable them to carry higher loads using less material. Numerical modelling techniques such as the Finite Element Method are utilized in order to understand the real behaviour of such systems and quantify the benefits they can offer.

The ultimate aim is to develop design guidelines for prestressed steel members which structural engineers around the world will be able to use in the design of steel structures.

Research interests:
Prestressed Steel Structures
Plated Structures
Local-global buckling interaction of steel elements
Form-finding

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The President’s PhD scholarship scheme is the most prestigious scholarship scheme at Imperial College London and offers a lot of opportunities to its scholars. In addition to full funding and a generous stipend, the scholarship offers an annual consumables fund which can be used to cover costs such as attending international conferences.

Peipei Wang - Department of Earth Science & Engineering

Name: Peipei Wang Peipei Wang
Department:
Earth Science and Engineering
Title of Research: Froth flotation: fundamental understanding of particle attachment and detachment
Supervisors: Dr Pablo Brito-Parada & Professor Jan Cilliers
Email: pw415@ic.ac.uk

About me:
I got both my bachelor and master degrees in Central South University, China. Also, I have been working in a designing Institute for two years before I came to Imperial College. My major is mineral processing, mainly on the interaction within particles and bubbles.

Summary of Research:
Flotation is a widely used physicochemical method that uses rising air bubbles to separate valuable minerals from ores. The properties of particles and bubbles play a crucial role in the process. In particular, attachment and detachment of particles to bubbles are of great importance as they impact the recovery of valuable mineral, yet the mechanisms behind these processes are not completely understood.

My research aims to use capillaries to generate bubbles with controlled sizes and explore the effect of bubbles, reagents and particle properties on the effective attachment and the amount of detachment. Froth stability will also be tested in a transparent flotation cell, which will be specifically designed to allow the tracking of particle motion, with particular attention to the phenomena occurring at the pulp-froth interface. Based on experimental and theoretical analyses, particle-bubble attachment and detachment theory will be created, traditional predicting models will either be harnessed or revised.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The IC PhD Scholarship Scheme offers a precious opportunity, and it is extremely prestigious, not only from financial support above the usual UK Research Council rates, but also being part of this great community is our great honor to communicate with and learn fron each other.

Weixin Song - Department of Materials

Name: Weixin Song Weixin Song
Department:
Materials
Title of Research: Electrochemical investigation of titania/graphene composite from structural analysis
Email: Weixin.song15@ic.ac.uk                              
Supervisor(s):
Prof. Jason Riley and Dr. Fang Xie

About me:
Born in 1990, I obtained my BEng and MEng from Central South University, China, in 2012 and 2015, respectively. Before the Phd study in Imperial College, my research interests were the preparation of functional materials and their applications in lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, as well as some exploration in aqueous battery and supercapacitor. Now the research work is focusing on the synthesis of functional graphene supported metal oxide for electrochemical study, from their reactive principles to applications.

Summary of Research:
Graphene (GS) and TiO2 are of great interest in electrochemistry due to their special structural characteristics. The one-atomic layer two-dimensional carbon material, GS can provide extremely beneficial properties including high conductivity and high specific surface area, which can lead to improved electrochemical performances. It is expected that GS performance could be enhanced through surface activation to transform the surface and structural framework. Multifunctional TiO2 can be synthesized with a series of fantastic structural morphologies which enhance the properties in electrochemical energy storage and photocatalysis. However, there is a main drawback of TiO2, namely low conductivity on account of its large band gap. The electronic conductivity of TiO2 can be improved by incorporating GS. When edge-abundant and functionalized GS has been in GS/TiO2 composites, significant improvements in the electrochemical properties of the material can be observed.

Research interests:
Preparation of graphene-derived materials by doping; Compositing carbon materials with metal oxide (mainly titania); Metal organic framework synthesis; Electrochemical analysis of the properties of energy storage of the materials.  

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
This scholarship awards the most excellent students from the whole world and the successful selection can promote the further faster development in both study and research in Imperial.

Department of Mechanical Engineering - Wenbin Zhou

Wenbin Zhou Name: Wenbin Zhou   
Department:
Mechanical Engineering
Title of Research: Investigation of a New Forming Process for Curved Aluminium Profiles with Energy Efficiency
Email: w.zhou15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Prof. Jianguo Lin

About me:
I got my bachelor’s degree in Huazhong University of Science and Technology, then I came to Peking University and received my master’s degree (MSc) with Solid Mechanics in 2015. Before I came to Imperial College for my PhD study, my research mainly focused on the thermo-mechanical analysis of the metal-ceramic functionally graded materials (FGMs). I also did some research on electro-mechanical analysis of lithium-ion batteries at the very early stage of my master study.

Summary of Research:
Lighter aluminium components used on aircraft, trains and cars result in a decrease of fuel consumption and therefore a reduction of CO2 emissions. Curved aluminium alloy profiles are widely used as construction elements in industrial manufacturing to produce ultra-light component structures with a high contour complexity, taking into account the demand for reduced aerodynamic resistance as well as improved aesthetics.

However, most of the current processes for manufacturing curved profiles are specialized with simple cross sections over the longitudinal axis, involving circular and constant-diameter profiles. Also, unfavourable factors usually occur such as large cross section deformations, twisting of the profile cross section. These defects can greatly reduce the mechanical properties of the curved profiles. In addition, current profile bending methods need more than one process to achieve the desired curvature, which greatly increase the manufacture cost and decrease the production efficiency. My research aims to develop a new forming method for curved aluminium profiles with highly precise curvature at lower costs and in reduced time.

Research interests:
Metal forming and materials modelling; Solid mechanics; Metal-ceramic functionally graded materials (FGMs); Lithium-batteries; Finite element analysis (FEA).

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
This scholarship offers me an opportunity to do research at Imperial College without any restrictions like the Chinese Scholarship Council or any other project-related scholarships.  I can do my research based on my own interest, and I think that is the most important reason.

Faculty of Medicine

Abellona U - Department of Surgery & Cancer

Name: Abellona U   
Department:
Abellona U
Department of Surgery and Cancer
Title of Research:
The discovery of urine and serum biomarker for the early detection of hepatocellular carcinoma
Email: 
mei.u11@imperial.ac.uk         
Supervisor(s):
Professor Elaine Holmes, Professor Simon Taylor-Robinson and Professor Jeremy Nicholson

About me
I am a PhD student in the Division of Computational and Systems Medicine working on the identification of diagnostic biomarkers for hepatocellular carcinoma (the major primary liver cancer). 

After completing my high school education in Hong Kong, I came to Imperial College London to do my undergraduate degree in Biology. This was followed by an MRes in Biomedical research in the Division of Computational Systems Medicine with a focus on gut microbiome. During my masters degree, I found that I really like the work carried out by the group and so I decided to carry on my PhD studies here.

In my spare time, I enjoy hiking, photography and playing piano.

Summary of research
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC, the most common type of primary liver cancer) is a major contributor of disease burden globally with the majority of cases occurring in resource-limited settings. It is the second leading cause of cancer-related death worldwide. The poor outcome of HCC is the result of the often late presentation due to HCC being asymptomatic at its early stages and the lack of an effective diagnostic tool in resource-limited settings. 

Given that HCC can be curable if detected early, the development of a low-cost diagnostic tool that is capable of accurately detecting early HCC is therefore the unmet goal that has a huge potential impact on alleviating the disease burden. Since tumour cells exhibit drastic metabolic changes, it is likely that this may lead to changes in levels of certain metabolites that are detectable in easily accessible biofluids, e.g. urine or blood, which can serve as novel diagnostic biomarkers. 

In this project, urine and serum samples from HCC and liver disease patients, and healthy volunteers drawn from different populations with a wide range of genetic, environmental and aetiological background will be analysed by metabolic phenotyping with the aim to identify a panel of biomarkers specific to HCC. The ultimate goal of this work is to develop a point-of-care test for HCC that is widely applicable in resource-limiting settings. Upon completion, it is anticipated that this work will provide definitive evidence of a panel of potentially universally applicable HCC diagnostic biomarkers, and may unveil new understanding of the mechanism of HCC tumour development.

Research interest
Translational research; systems biology; systems medicine; metabonomics; gut microbiota; gastroenterology and hepatology; hepatocellular carcinoma; global health

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at IC?
From my previous studies here, I benefited massively from the excellent environment that Imperial offers: Its world-leading research and academic environment, prime location, vibrant student community and the range of clubs and societies available for students. 

The IC PhD Scholarship is an exceptional scheme as it offers a generous stipend and by being independent of commercial endorsement, awardees can enjoy the freedom to pursue their subjects of interest. Additionally, unlike most other scholarship schemes which limit their awardees to home and EU students, this scheme considers applicants regardless of their nationality -- a particularly important condition for international students. 

Students of the scholarship form a unique community with academic and social events all year round. We receive support from the Graduate School, have a dedicated activities and events programme and have opportunities to take part in organising student-led events. All together, the scheme allows students to enjoy a well-supported, rich PhD experience.

Elena Olgiati - Department of Medicine

Dr Elena Olgiati Name: Dr Elena Olgiati
Department: Medicine
Title of Research: Modulating attention deficits following stroke with positive motivation and brain stimulation
Email: e.olgiati@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Paresh Malhotra (Imperial College London) and David Soto (Basque Centre on Cognition, Brain and Language, San Sebastian, Spain)

About me:
I obtained my BSc in Psychology, my MSc in Clinical Psychology and Neuropsychology, and my specialty degree in Neuropsychology (equivalent to a UK Doctorate in Clinical Psychology) from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan, all with First-class honours and distinction.

Coming from a background in Clinical Neuropsychology, my patients have shaped and inspired my research. Until now, I have focussed on the cognitive effects of stroke.

Throughout my career, I have always been interested in both clinical work and research in Cognitive Psychology. I hope to carry on dividing my time between these two domains in a hope to understand and improve the lives of stroke patients.

In September 2014 I was awarded an Erasmus fellowship to complete my clinical specialty training and develop my research skills at Imperial College London, and this has led to my current project.

Summary of Research:
My project is in clinical research and involves exploring novel methods of modulating cognition in patients with hemispheric stroke. It relates to the most common disorder of attention after stroke, spatial neglect - this causes patients to ignore things on one side of space and is often accompanied by deficits in maintaining attention over time. Although efforts have been made, there is no widely accepted treatment for this condition, and more research that may lead to effective treatment strategies is greatly needed. With my work, I aim to explore two different therapeutic approaches: motivational stimulation and non-invasive brain stimulation.

Research interests:
Cognitive Neuroscience, Stroke, Spatial attention, Visual Neglect, Motivation, non-invasive Brain Stimulation

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
I chose Imperial College because it is consistently rated among the top ten universities in the world and has a reputation for excellence in research. Imperial College is an inspiring environment, with many international brain scientists who can provide useful input and support. For clinical research, it has the considerable advantage of being successfully linked to an excellent clinical resource, the Imperial NHS Trust.

The Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme offers support for the duration of the PhD by providing a bursary as well as funds to cover research expenses and attendance at conferences. The opportunity to meet other PhD Scholars and join an exclusive programme of activities is also very interesting, providing exposure to research areas that I would not normally come across.

Han Fu - Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology

Name:  Han Fu Han Fu
Department:
Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Title of Research: Exploring BCG vaccination and health system trade-offs in the control of tuberculosis
Email: h.fu15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Nimalan Arinaminpathy, Timothy Hallett

About me:
I completed my BSc in Public Health (Distinction), with a minor in Psychology, at National Taiwan University. Then I continued to receive my MSc in Epidemiology (Distinction). After my master study, I worked as a research assistant for one year before starting my PhD at Imperial College.

Summary of Research:
Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease of primary concern in Public health. The global TB burden remains high even though the antituberculous drugs have been in use for more than a half century and the implementation of directly observed therapy, short-course, has significantly increased the treatment success rate. Factors related to these control strategies vary by the frequency of TB transmission and the operation of healthcare system. In order to further reduce the TB epidemic, control strategies need to be properly evaluated and weighed; then cost-effective health policies can be conducted with restricted resources.

The focus of my PhD project is to assess the potential public health policies for TB control, especially in settings with intermediate and high TB burden. First, the protective and adverse effects of mass vaccination of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin is being assessed; then the relative roles of patient and healthcare provider behaviours in spreading TB will be addressed.

Research interests:
Tuberculosis, Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Global Health

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The Imperial College PhD Scholarship Scheme offers sufficient support, including financial fund and innovative courses, to facilitate research activities. The opportunity to meet other PhD scholars and have an interdisciplinary conversation is also very attractive.

Judith Secklehner - National Heart & Lung Institute

  Judith Secklehner Name: Judith Secklehner       
Department:
NHLI, Inflammation Repair and Development
Title of Research: Interrelationships between neutrophils and other leukocytes in the pulmonary vasculature
Email: j.secklehner@imperial.ac.uk     
Supervisor(s):
Dr. Leo M. Carlin

About me:
Before I started my PhD at the College I studied veterinary medicine at the VetMed Uni Vienna. My interest in immunology was triggered by volunteerships abroad in Guatemala, India and South Africa. In the last year of my vet-studies I worked in the animal facilities at Newcastle University to assist with lab animal anaesthesia (macaques, mice, rats) and get more exposure to a research environment which I enjoyed greatly. Since March 2015 I have been working in Dr Leo Carlins lab, first as a RA now as a PhD student.

Summary of Research:
The focus of my PhD is to discover how neutrophils behave in the specialised pulmonary vasculature and in what way their interactions with other leukocytes in this environment shape their reaction to inflammatory stimuli. NK cells are an interesting candidate for interactions with neutrophils as these have been implicated in previous studies but it is still unclear how potential regulation of neutrophils by NK cells is orchestrated. By cutting-edge intra vital microscopy of the murine lung immune cells can be studied in the living organism. To analyse this imaging data we use specialised software to detect changes in cell intrinsic behaviours to quantify the visualized effects. We can track individual cells on a large scale basis and identify variations in cells speed, velocity as well as track lengths and duration. Using these techniques, in combination with more traditional methods, we are investigating the mechanisms responsible for intercellular regulation in the lung and behavioural changes to cells during inflammation.

Research interests:
Immunology and infectious disease studies, mainly focussed on innate immunity. Recently I also developed an interest in studying the development and progression lung metastasis.

During my veterinary studies I was always very keen on knowing the anatomy of different animal species and understanding species specific physiological mechanisms. In the clinics, anaesthesia and the pharmacokinetics of anaesthetics is a big interest of mine.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
This is a great scholarship scheme as it gives me the opportunity to work in a highly stimulating environment with lots of highly regarded researchers. As emphasised by Alice Gast in the first scholar meeting, collaborative work over various disciplines is encouraged on this scheme, which I am hoping to take advantage of over the next years.

Lisa Owens - Department of Surgery and Cancer

Name:  Dr Lisa Owens Lisa Owens
Department:
Surgery & Cancer
Title of Research: Gonadotrophin signaling in the polycystic ovary: insight into the mechanism of anovulation
Email: l.owens15@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s): Professor Stephen Franks, Dr Aylin Hanyaloglu

About me:
I am a medical doctor from Ireland. I graduated from medical school in 2008 and since then have been training and specialising in Endocrinology & Diabetes and acute medicine. During this time I have also been carrying out clinical research in the fields of obesity in pregnancy, gestational diabetes and pre-gestational diabetes.

Summary of Research:
PCOS a very common endocrine disorder, affecting 5-10% of women of reproductive age, and is the major cause of anovulatory infertility and irregular menstrual bleeding. Aberrant secretion and/or action of gonadotrophins are implicated in the aetiology of anovulation but, to date, we have only limited knowledge about the precise mechanisms that are involved. Our hypothesis is that there are intrinsic differences between normal and polycystic ovaries in gonadotrophin receptor function which have a direct bearing both on the mechanism of anovulation and on hypersecretion of androgens, the characteristic features of Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

The aim of this project is to investigate gonadotrophin action in granulosa-lutein (GL) cells from women with and without PCOS. The specific questions to be addressed are (1) Is expression of LHCGR or FSHR different between normal and polycystic ovaries? (2) Are effects of LH and FSH on glucose metabolism and steroidogenesis different between normal and PCOS GL cells? (3) Is LH/FSH signal activation and regulation abnormal in PCOS? (4) Does gonadotrophin receptor dimerisation occur in human GL cells, are there differences between normal and polycystic ovaries, and what is the functional significance? 

Research interests:
Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
Gestational and pre-gestational diabetes

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
I was interested in researching polycystic ovarian syndrome and Steve Franks is world renowned for his research contribution in the field of PCOS. I contacted him and he suggested applying for the scholarship scheme.

Terrence Lai - Department of Medicine

Terrence Lai Name: Terrence Lai
Department:
Department of Medicine
Title of Research:
Refactoring violacein biosynthesis towards novel antibiotics
Email:
hung.lai10@imperial.ac.uk
Supervisor(s):
Professor Paul Freemont & Dr Karen Polizzi

About me:
Upon receiving a full government scholarship sponsored by the Malaysian government, I came to Imperial College London in 2010 and, 3 years later, I graduated with my BSc in Biotechnology. Fuelled by my passion in Synthetic Biology, I completed my MRes in Systems and Synthetic Biology also in Imperial College under the supervision of Dr Karen Polizzi on developing a whole-cell biosensor detecting proteins in solution. I then took a gap year, going back to Malaysia and taught A-level Chemistry for 6 months before returning to Imperial College to embark on my PhD journey.

Summary of Research:
My research focuses on antibiotic research, specifically on violacein, a broad-spectrum antibiotic that exhibits anti-bacterial, anti-tumorigenic and anti-fungal properties. The biosynthesis of antibiotic often involves several enzymes that act in tandem (a pathway) to convert basic metabolites available in cells to the final products which often contain bio-active functional groups. One such group of antibiotic is called ‘indolocarbazole’, and its biosynthesis pathway often consists of functionally similar enzymes, but differ in specificity. By looking into these pathway homologues as well as structural details of pathway enzymes, it may be possible to generate novel antibiotics which are in dire need in this post-antibiotic era.

Research interests:
I am interested in exploring the cross-disciplinary nature of Synthetic Biology with its application in many other scientific fields. In simple terms, Synthetic Biology enables rapid prototyping artificial or nature-inspired biological gene circuitry to manufacture or regulate biological processes, such as metabolites and cellular activity. Also, I am fascinated by the sheer power of X-ray crystallography in deciphering atomic details of biological macromolecules, specifically proteins that carry out virtually most functions in our cells. Structural Biology integrates molecular biology and X-ray crystallography together and constitutes one of the most powerful technique in visualising macromolecules.

Why did you choose the scholarship scheme at Imperial College:
The generous amount of stipend without any restriction on project or supervisor choices mean that I enjoy total freedom when I embark on my PhD journey. Also, the well-planned programme for Imperial PhD Scholars throughout the year enables the scholars’ community to mingle and may lead to novel research ideas and innovation – certainly one of the most important skills in this knowledge economy.

Imperial College Business School