A key principle of multicellular life is that cells respond to their local environments. It is now clear that physical variables play a key role in driving these cellular responses. This opens up the exciting possibility of investigating and controlling cellular processes using well-defined biomimetic materials to mimic precise details of cellular environments.
My lab exploits the full range of modern soft matter science, from functional nanoparticles to polymer gels to this purpose. Producing precisely defined biomaterials requires advanced characterization and we use methodologies including X-ray and neutron scattering and advanced optical and mechanical measurements. Applications span the full range from fundamental cell biology to applied clinical projects.
Group members are welcome from any science or engineering background: the common factor is the desire to work on fully integrated projects that cross the physical science-biology divide (see below).
I joined Imperial College in 2009, having spent the previous few years in southwest Germany, as a postdoc and Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research in Stuttgart. I did my doctorate (D.Phil.) in the Department of Chemistry at Oxford University, graduating in 2005. Previously, I read Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge, specialising in physics.
My scientific background is in soft matter, with my doctoral work focusing on the fundamental physics of electrically-charged polymers at the solid-liquid interface. During this time, I also developed an interest in advanced methods of surface characterisation, including surface force balance, X-ray and neutron reflectometry and infrared spectroscopy.
Enquiries to join the lab as a PhD student or postdocare welcome at any time.
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et al., 2013, Nanoscale ligand spacing influences receptor triggering in T cells and NK cells, Nano Letters