Welcome to our group!

Tackling mechanisms of complex biological machines requires a multidisciplinary approach, and we are a highly multidisciplinary and very collaborative team consisting of chemists, biochemists and physicists. Please scroll down to find out more about what our group members do.

Photo of the group inside the MSRH

Dr. Maxie M Roessler

Principal Investigator

Picture of MaxieI completed my PhD in Oxford in 2012, where I primarily worked on hydrogenases but first became interested in complex I and iron-sulfur cluster electron relays. I moved to my first independent positon at Queen Mary University of London in 2013 and in April 2019 my group relocated to Imperial College London.  

Besides science and everything to do with unpaired electrons, I have an affinity for different cultures and languages and am lucky to have grown up with French and Italian (besides German) and I later took the opportunity to spend 1.5 years in Beijing on a DAAD scholarship before starting my PhD. I am also an avid yogi and enjoy spending time with my family.

View Dr Roessler's website  


Dr. Maryam Seif-Eddine

Post Doctoral Research Associate, Leverhulme Trust

Picture of Maryam

Born and raised in Lebanon, I did my undergraduate studies at the Lebanese University in Lebanon, and my Masters and PhD at Aix-Marseille University in France. I joined the Roessler group in July 2019 as PDRA. I have a background in physics. During my PhD at the BIP laboratory in Marseille, I studied the interactions between quinones and the membrane protein nitrate reductase using EPR spectroscopy. Currently, my main project focuses on coupling electrochemical techniques to EPR spectroscopy and developing its application.  

Email : mseifedd@ic.ac.uk

Dr. Jana Eisermann

Post Doctoral Researcher, Feodor-Lynen Fellowship (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation)

Picture of Jana

I was born on 25th March 1993 in Plauen, a rather small town in the Free State of Saxony mainly famous for its production of chemical lace (called Plauen lace) and the German cartoonist Erich Ohser and his strip ‘Vater und Sohn’ (‘Father and Son’). After graduating from Gymnasium in 2011, I moved from my hometown to Halle/Saale and started studying Chemistry and Physics to become a secondary school teacher. Near the end of my teacher's studies I started working in the research group of Prof Dariush Hinderberger to examine the formation of small, colloid-like ionic clusters in solution, also referred to as ‘Ionoids’. After receiving my first state examination for teachers at the beginning of 2016, I pursued these studies throughout my PhD from April 2016 till December 2019.

Since the beginning of 2020, I started working as a Research Associate at Imperial College. My studies here are, in collaboration with the research group of Dr James Wilton-Ely, focussed on probing and comparing the mechanism of quinone reduction by photosynthetic and respiratory complex I. At this point, I would like to highlight the financial support from the 'Fonds der Chemischen Industry’ (https://www.vci.de/fonds/startseite.jsp) as well as the ‘Alexander von Humboldt Foundation’ (http://www.humboldt-foundation.de/web/home.html) for financial support for my past and present academic research.

Besides working at Imperial, one of my favourite things to do is listening to music and scouting for new bands and songs. Therefore, my old colleagues and I regularly exchange new music findings via email which are known as ‘music tips for the week’. 


Gemma McGuire

4th year Ph.D. student

Picture of Gemma

My name is Gemma and I study the cyanobacterial and plant membrane protein Photosynthetic complex I (Ps-CxI or NDH). This is protein couples electron transfer to proton pumping across the thylakoid membrane and is crucial for generating a proton motive force in respiration and cyclic photosynthesis. I have performed mutational work around the plastoquinone biding site (the terminal electron acceptor) in hope to provide insight into the mechanism of the coupling system which I shall probe with EPR and protein film electrochemistry (PFE). In addition, performing in vivo experiments highlight the importance of this protein for growth under various stresses and could indicate how small structural changes have altered the physiological importance of this protein varies from its well characterized homologue, respiratory complex I (Rs-CxI).

Katherine Richardson

4th year Ph.D. student (joint with Guy Hanke), LIDo Programme

Picture of Katherine

Photosynthetic complex I (PS-Cx1) is part of the electron transfer chain in chloroplasts and cyanobacteria, under stress conditions its function is important to promoting survival.  My research focuses on the redox chemistry of PS-Cx1, its interaction with electron donors and how these relate to activity in vivo; primarily using CW and pulsed EPR techniques.

 

Katherine on LinkedIn

Spiros Koutsoukos

4th year Ph.D. student (joint with Tom Welton)

Picture of Spiros

Born and raised in Greece, I received my MEng in Chemical Engineering from National Technical University of Athens. There, I focused on implementing Green Chemistry for the formation of silver nanoparticles, as well as the extraction of bioactive compounds from natural materials. My PhD project is focused on the physical chemistry of Ionic Liquids. Combining experimental and spectroscopic techniques, I aim to elucidate the interactions inside of an Ionic Liquid and gain deeper understanding of the occurring microenvironment.

Spiros on LinkedIn 

Adam Sills

3rd year Ph.D. student, EPSRC

Picture of AdamI’m now a third year PhD student originally from Norfolk and did my MChem degree at Oxford. There I worked on enzyme cascades nanoconfined in porous electrodes for my fourth-year project in the Fraser Armstrong group. For my current project I am attempting to carry out protein film electrochemistry on whole respiratory complex I. This will allow the properties of the Ubiquinone reduction to be studied electrochemically and is an important first step towards investigating complex I with the novel PFE-EPR technique developed by the group. In my spare time I like to play the piano and cook, and also like to sit in the corner seat of the MSRH cafe.

Fang Fang

2nd year Ph.D. Student, Imperial CSC scholarship

Picture of FangI'm Fang Fang, from China, I graduated from Tsinghua University, majored in medicinal chemistry. While working towards master degree, my work was focused on the total synthesis of teixobactin and its analogue. In my PhD project, I will apply my knowledge in chemical synthesis and couple it to biochemistry, electroschemistry and EPR spectroscopy to gain insight into the mechanism of respiratory Complex I. In my spare time, I like running, yoga, and cooking.

Yunfei Dang

1st Year Ph.D. student,  President’s scholarship

Picture of YunfeiI am from Shanxi, China. I completed my undergraduate at China university of Geosciences and then MRes in Nanomaterials at Imperial under supervision of Dr Maxie Roessler and Prof. Milo Shaffer. For my PhD project, I will work on combining film electrochemistry and EPR spectroscopy. This project will harness the full potential of film-electrochemical EPR by investigating novel electrode materials, with the aim of gaining a detailed understanding of the mechanisms of redox reactions via radical intermediates, as well as leading to a better design of catalysts.

Molly Parry

1st year Ph.D. student (joint with Prof. George Britovsek)

Picture of MollyI grew up in Somerset and completed my MChem at the University of Edinburgh. I spent my final year abroad at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore where I worked on photocatalytic C-C cleavage in epoxides. My current project involves studying oxidative photocatalytic degradation of polymers and using EPR to identify the radicals present in this process. In my free time I love reading, baking bread and sewing.

Davide Facchetti

1st year Ph.D. Student, PEPR-Bruker studentship

Picture of DavideI am originally from Italy and I obtained an MSc in "Food Science and Technology" from the University of Milan, with a specialisation in Industrial Biotechnology. I did my thesis project in Kiel, Germany, working on the characterisation of beta-lactoglobulin fibrils in oil-water emulsions using EPR spectroscopy. Prior to joining the group, I also worked as a postgraduate researcher in the Department of Engineering at Lancaster University, UK. There, I focused my research on the development of a coating made of fibrils suitable for biomedical applications. The aim of my PhD project is to elucidate the mechanism of the enzymatic complex MsrQ/P present in many pathogenic bacteria as a defence system. During the project I will use different EPR techniques such as CW and pulsed together with electrochemical methods in order to elucidate the redox mechanism of the enzymes.


John Britton

MRes student (joint with Prof. Oscar Ces and Prof. Bill Rutherford), ICB CDT programme

Picture of John

I am an MRes student from London having completed my MSci degree in Chemistry at Imperial. In my final year, I used solid-state NMR and x-ray scattering to investigate the effect of a novel permeation enhancer on a skin mimetic.
 

Over the course of my Ph.D., I will be investigating the effect of membrane asymmetry on electron transfer on complex membrane proteins such as Respiratory Complex I and Photosystem II.

In my spare time, I enjoy walking, swimming and reading.

Sarah Chapman

MRes student (joint with Dr Laura Barter and Syngenta), ICB CDT programme

Picture of Sarah

I’m Sarah, also from the flatlands of Norfolk, and I completed my chemistry undergraduate at the University of Manchester. In my final year I simulated DEER spectra of multi-spin [3]- and [4]- rotaxanes to predict their structures in frozen solution (supervised by Prof. E. McInnes and Dr A. Bowen). Over the course of my Ph.D., I will be looking at the photodegradation of agrochemicals on plant leaf surfaces using EPR spectroscopy, with the aim of using this information to improve sustainability of agrochemicals. In my spare time, I like to play trumpet and piano, and read novels when time permits!

Luke Hutchings

MRes student (joint with Dr Andrew Ashley)

Picture of Luke

I am currently an MRes student in catalysis with my research project focusing on a novel pathway to the activation of H2 with the use of frustrated radical pairs.  Before Imperial, I completed my undergraduate degree in chemistry at the Manchester Metropolitan University. Outside of my studies, I enjoy sailing, traveling and reading.

Chengyi Liu

MRes student (joint with Prof. Milo Shaffer)

Picture of ChengyiI am from Sichuan, China and obtained BSc degrees in chemistry from Beijing University Chemical Technology and the University of Birmingham. In my final year, I developed an electrochemical sensor for dopamine solutions that can distinguish between dopamine and ascorbic acid. I am currently an MRes student in the Catalysis programme, and am a particular fan of electrocatalysis. For my research project, I will work with Yunfei to link film-electrochemistry and EPR, and develop new working electrodes (polymer-based carbon nanotube paper), then try to gain new insights into some catalytic reactions. In my spare time, I love soccer, swimming and travelling.

Charlie Parfitt

MRes student (joint with Dr Mark Chadwick)

Charlie joined the group in 2021 having completed his BSc at the University of Manchester. He is currently investigating paramagnetic 3d metal pincer complexes for small molecule activation. When not in the lab Charlie enjoys hiking, playing rugby and going to the pub.


Eleanor Clifford

1st Year Ph.D. student, PEPR-Bruker studentship

I completed my undergraduate and master's degree in Natural Sciences at University of Cambridge, specialising in chemistry. I undertook my masters research project in Dr Jenny Zhang’s group studying cyanobacterial exoelectrogenesis for the development of biophotovoltaic devices. During my PhD, I will use a combination of electrochemical techniques and EPR to study the activity and mechanism of photosynthetic complex I, a key component of the cyclic electron transfer pathway in photosynthesis. In my free time, I like reading, climbing and gymnastics.


Peter Gonda

Master Student (2021-2022)

Picture of PeterI was born in Slovakia and lived there my whole life before coming to Imperial. I am in my final year of the Chemistry with Molecular Physics course. The focus of my project is the molybdenum enzyme MsrP and its catalytic activity. I will be using PFE to investigate the enzyme and later take advantage of the strengths of PFE-EPR. One of my favourite hobbies is skiing and I try to be on a slope anytime I have a chance.

Flynn Rohr

Master student (2021-2022)

Picture of Flynn

I was born to Australian and Hungarian parents in Sydney, Australia and lived there until I started my studies at Imperial. The past 3 years I’ve been completing my degree here and now I’ve begun my MSci project.

My work will investigate the interplay between ROS production in mitochondrial complex I and the membrane environment. To recreate the membrane environment while isolating the enzyme from any influence of other proteins that occur in native mitochondria, we use proteoliposomes. EPR will be used in conjunction with spin-labelled lipids and spin traps to elucidate the effects of ROS production.

Helin Wang

Master Student (2021-2022)

Picture of HelinI grew up in Beijing and before joining Imperial as an undergraduate. My degree is in Chemistry with Medicinal Chemistry. For my masters projects, I am working together with Fang and my project involves the synthesis of molecular wires to attach respiratory complex I to an electrode in order to investigate the mechanism of this enzyme. During my free time, I like cooking and travelling.


Alumni - where are they now ?

Independent Fellow

  • Dr. Enrico Salvadori (2015-18) - Enrico joined us first on a joint position with UCL and then as the EPR Facility Research Fellow. He now holds a lectureship at the University of Turin (Italy).

PostDocs

  • Dr. John Wright (2018-19) - John is now a PostDoc at Judy Hirst Group in Cambridge.
  • Dr. Nolwenn le Breton (2015-17) - Nolwenn now has a permanent CNRS research position (ingénieur de recherche) at the Chemistry Institute at the University of Strasbourg, which is part of the national French EPR platform.
  • Dr. Ana Maria Esteves (2016-17) - Ana is now a PostDoc at King's College London.

PhD students

  • Kaltum Abdiaziz (2016-20) - Dr. Kaltum is now PostDoc at Guy Hanke Group at QMUL.
  • Martina Cirulli (2015-19)
  • John Wright (2014-18)

Master students

  • Oliver Newman (2019-2020)
  • Natalie (Hoi Chi) Hau (2019-2020)
  • Yara Van Ingen - Project in collaboration with Andy Ashley Group (2019-2020) - PhD student at Cardiff University.
  • Chrisline Thomas (2017-18), Inorganic Chemistry project prize 2018 - Chemistry teacher
  • Adam Suhaj (2016-17) - PhD student at King's College London
  • Chagish Gnanaranjan (2016-17)
  • Nilab Rashidi (2016-17)
  • Michelle Liu (2015-16)
  • Anokhi Shah (2014-15) - PhD student in EPR spectroscopy at the University of St. Andrew's
  • Hong Nhi Truong (2014-15)
  • Nicholas Pillay (2013-14)

BSc project students

  • Dilan Al (2017-18) - MRes Imperial College London

Summer students

  • Katrin Geng, Ulm University, Germany, DAAD RISE funded (2019)
  • Gemma McGuire, Imperial College London (2017) - returned as PhD student!
  • Chris Gusenda, University of Frankfurt, Germany, DAAD RISE funded (2017)
  • Camille Galateau, ESCOM (Ecole Normale de Chimie Organique et Minerale), Compiegne, France (2016)
  • Svenja Hehn, University of Konstanz, Germany, DAAD RISE funded (2016)
  • Sumeyye Altun, Bogazici University, Turkey, Erasmus + funded (2016)
  • Catalina-Andreea Romila, QMUL, RSC summer bursary (2014) - now a PhD student at UCL