portraits of the six PhD students speaking at the PHD Seminar Showcase


Portrait of Abderrahim BoualamABDERRAHIM BOUALAM

Talk title:
Can we see both small and fast?: Investigating the speed limits of Structured Illumination Microscopy
Supervisor: Dr Chris Rowlands
Research group website: imperial.ac.uk/rowlands-lab
Biography: While completing his undergraduate studies at Grenoble Institute of Technology, Abderrahim Boualam had his first taste of research as an intern in a joint-research unit between Grenoble-Alpes University and CNRS where he worked on the electrochemical characterization of a biomimetic membrane and enzyme function for the development of an enzymatic biofuel cell. In 2016, he was granted a one-year Erasmus scholarship to study at Imperial’s Department of Bioengineering. As a Masters exchange student, he worked on the development of a wearable wireless microplatform for non-invasive localisation of Coronary Artery Stenosis under the supervision of Prof. Emmanuel Drakakis. In search of another exciting and interdisciplinary project to delve into, he then joined Rowlands Lab as a PhD student where he is currently researching super-resolution microscopy and developing new methods for increasing speed and throughput in Structured Illumination Microscopy (SIM).  

Portrait of Douglas Feitosa To,eDOUGLAS FEITOSA TOME

Talk title: Coordinated hippocampal-thalamic-cortical communication crucial for engram dynamics underneath systems consolidation
Supervisor: Professor Claudia Clopath
Research group website: cclopath.bg-research.cc.ic.ac.uk
Biography: I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London with a President’s Scholarship. Under Prof. Claudia Clopath’s supervision, my research has focused on biologically-plausible computational models of memory consolidation in the brain across multiple timescales. Prior to my PhD, I investigated continual learning in deep artificial neural networks while earning an MSc in Computing Science from Imperial College London. Furthermore, I conducted research on the architecture of software systems in my MSc in Information Systems Technology at The George Washington University. I also have industry experience designing and implementing software and databases in consulting firms.


Portrait of Martina GentaMARTINA GENTA

Talk title: Tailoring Biosynthetic Hydrogel Systems for Living Bionic Devices
Supervisor: Dr Rylie Green
Martina Genta is a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. In 2014 and 2016 respectively, she received her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Polytechnic University of Turin (Italy). After a first experience in Volumina Medical SA, a Swiss start-up developing biomaterial solutions for soft tissue repair, she joined Dr. Rylie Green’s group in October 2018.

Her research focuses on living bioelectronics as a new approach for implantable neuroprosthetic devices.

Portrait of Milia HasbaniMILIA HASBANI

Talk title: Integrating computer vision with neural interfacing for semi-autonomous control of robotic limbs
Supervisor: Professor Dario Farina
Research group website: imperial.ac.uk/neuromechanics-rehabilitation-technology
Biography: Milia is a third-year Doctoral candidate in the Neuromechanics and Rehabilitation Technology group in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. Her research is in the field of control of prosthetics arms, with a focus on the integration of computer vision to aid with grasping objects.

Milia is passionate about solving real world problems through new technologies in healthcare. She completed her MEng in Biomedical Engineering at Imperial College London. During both her undergraduate and postgraduate studies, she has demonstrated a passion for enhancing the student experience and has held a number of roles within Imperial College Union, where she is currently a Student Trustee.

Portrait of Frederik PuffelFREDERIK PUFFEL

Talk title:
Biomechanics of herbivory in leaf-cutter ants
Supervisor: Dr David Labonte
Research group website: evo-biomech.ic.ac.uk
Biography: I joined the Department as a PhD student in 2018 after completing a Degree in Biomimetics in Bremen, Germany. Before that, I studied Acting in drama school for a year. The further I am into my PhD, the more I recognise parallels between drama and science. Both require careful observation and an exceptional attention to detail; and they both offer room for creativity and playful exploration. The organism that I explore in my PhD forms the arguably most complex non-human societies: leaf-cutter ants. I investigate the physical boundaries of their intricate behaviour, mostly focussing on their phenomenal cutting abilities.

I do my research in the supportive environment of the Evolutionary Biomechanics Group, helping to promote Open science and the fascinating world of insect biomechanics.

Portrait of Enrico VaranoENRICO VARANO

Talk title: Towards Audiovisual Hearing Aids
Supervisor: Professor Tobias Reichenbach
Research group website: reichenbach.bg-research.cc.ic.ac.uk
Biography: Enrico Varano is a third-year Doctoral candidate in the Sensory Neuroengineering group in the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College London. His research uses ideas from mathematics and computer science in combination with brain imaging to investigate principles of human auditory and visual signal detection and processing, with a focus on speech comprehension.

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