I joined the OU in 2007. An EPSRC Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Life Sciences Interface (2007-10) and a Marie Curie Intra-European Reintegration Grant (2008-11) enabled me to establish a new experimental facility to analyse multi-photon ionization processes in fundamental biomolecules and their hydrated clusters. I have am currently supported by an EPSRC Career Acceleration Fellowship (2011-16) and an EPSRC Standard Research Grant (2013-15) both focusing on the production and stabilities of biomolecular cluster anions. As an intermediary between isolated molecules and condensed material, the study of molecular clusters can enhance our understanding of radiation effects on the nanoscale with applications in medicine, nanotechnology, atmospheric physics, and astrochemistry.
Before joining the OU, I was a researcher (Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow, CNRS Associate Researcher, and Ministry of Research Post-doctoral Researcher) in the Particle Matter Interactions Group led by Bernadette and Michel Farizon at the Nuclear Physics Institute of Lyon.
Please see the OU Molecular Clusters Group pages.
I am the module chair of Further Material in Medical Physics S829 and a member of the module team for Radiotherapy and its Physics S819. In addition, I am a study advisor for the NMR component of Practical Science S288. My activities on these modules include preparing tutor marked assignments, exam questions, core materials, and slide-casts. I also give on-line tutorials, answer students’ questions on forums, monitor marking and tutor feedback, examine end-of-module presentations, and am a member of the S809 (Imaging in Medicine), S819, and S829 exam boards.
I have previously tutored at the Electromagnetism: Experiments, Applications, and Simulations SMXR359 andQuantum Mechanics: Experiments, Applications, and Simulations SMXR358 residential schools. I have also prepared ebooks forSport: the Science Behind the Medals S172, marked exams for The Physical World S207, and delivered post-graduate training lectures at the OU and the New University of Lisbon.
Prior to joining the OU, I contributed to training prospective lycée physics teachers (CAPES) in experimental demonstration at the University of Lyon 1 (2004) and worked as a postgraduate teaching assistant at University College London (2002-03).
|Atomic, Molecular and Optical Research Group||Group||Faculty of Science|
|Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)||Centre||Faculty of Science|
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Lead||01/May/2017||30/Apr/2019||Sir John Mason Academic Trust|
Nanoparticle-based radio-sensitization is thought to produce a radiation-induced release of electrons from gold electronic orbitals that then react with the surrounding water and dissolved oxygen to produce reactive species (particularly oxygen species) that damage nearby proteins, DNA, RNA, and cell organelles. In addition, the electrons are expected to damage DNA and RNA (and indeed other critical biological macromolecules) in a more direct manner through dissociative electron attachment (DEA). However, whereas extensive radiobiological research is currently in progress worldwide into the potential therapeutic applications of nanoparticles, the fundamental physical mechanisms underpinning nanoparticle radio-sensitization have been studied relatively sparsely. In particular, the relative contribution of DEA has not been assessed conclusively. This project brings together an international team of researchers with expertise in DEA (OU, BAM), solution-phase radiochemistry (BAM, FCT/UNL), and UV spectroscopy (OU, BAM, FCT/UNL). The aim is to probe damage processes in key DNA subunits (nucleobases, nucleosides, nucleotides and oligonucleotides) initiated by the electrons emitted from gold nanoparticles that have been excited using a pulsed laser. The damage in the biomolecules will be identified by in-situ UV spectroscopy. The technique has been pioneered by Bald and co-workers (BAM) and will be further developed in this project. Focusing on DNA subunits will enable detailed comparisons to be drawn with electron scattering experiments and calculations, maximising the opportunity to trace the observed damage to specific nanoscale physical processes. Collaborations with Dr Stefano Caprasecca (University of Pisa) and Prof Andrey Solovyov (MBN Explorer) will support the experimental programme.
|Role||Start date||End date||Funding source|
|Co-investigator||01/Jan/2016||31/Dec/2018||EC (European Commission): FP(inc.Horizon2020, H2020, ERC)|
This H2020 Twinning project ‘Achievement of Excellence in Electron Processes for Future Technologies’ (ELEvaTE) is aimed at advancing the excellence of the Electron and Plasma Physics Laboratory (EPPL) in the Faculty of Mathematics Physics and Informatics, Comenius University in Bratislava such that it becomes a centre of international excellence and an exemplar for other Slovakian HEI while furthering the Strategy for Smart Specialization of the Slovak Republic. The goal of the ELEvaTE is to provide the EPPL opportunity to learn from partners to achieve ambition of creating a centre of excellence. ELEvaTE will twin EPPL with the Molecular Physics Group at the Open University (OU) in United Kingdom and Nano-Bio-Group at the Institute for Ion Physics and Applied Physics at the University of Innsbruck (UI). The OU is exceptional in results dissemination and the UI combines research with enterprise (e.g. ‘spin out’ company Ionicon, world's leading producer of PTRMS), both are exemplars of ‘widening participation and gender sensitive research’ and are strong in preparing IPR.
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