Doctoral Student at the
Rex Richards Building, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3QU
Starting my career as a physicist, I have developed a wide range of interests through expereinces in wide ranging fields as; Memory formation in snails, Thin film optics and electronic engineering. My master's project, in using Raman spectroscopy to detect the presence of a drug within a micellar drug delivery system, informed my chioce to start a D.Phil at the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences Centre for Doctoral Training.
At this stage I aim to keep my reaserch options wide, within the scope of the Systems Approaches to Biomedical Sciences programme, but some of my current interests include:
I developed Raman spectroscopy techniques to image polymeric nanoparticles loaded with drug compounds. I have gained technical expertise using equipment such as scanning electron microscopy, and confocal imaging.
Collaborating with a group at the UCL School of Pharmacy, who produce similar polymeric nanoparticles. We were able to refine the experimental procedures for production of nanoparticles, and develop an encapsulation method for our unique choice of drug.
The project found that the change in microenviroment around the drug molecule when it was encapsulated in the micelle was sufficient to cause a change in the Raman shift, thereby allowing label free identification of when the drug is encapsulated.
Initial work was carried out on Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman spectroscopy (CARS) of the micelle, and encapsulated drug. This technique allows imaging at specific wavelength (or Raman shifts), which would be able to confirm where the drug is distributed.
Throughout the project I designed different experimental procedures, undertook risk assessments and worked in a biophysics laboratory. I learnt the importance of utilizing different techniques to verify experimental results, and inform adaptations to experiment design.
Research placement supported by NERC (Natural Environment Research Council), in University of Exeter biological sciences department with Sarah Dalesman.
Research into the shell development of the common pond snail Lymnaea Stagnalis whilst in the embyro. Investigation into the variation in shell growth at embyonic stages, whilst exposed to simulated predator threats.
Tasks included the design of experiments to measure the shell growth and compare the growth rates during development. Selection of appropriate chemical staining methods. Care of multiple snail populations.
Internship based in performance materials, including components for the control of electromagnetic interference. Focused on Computer Aided Design of components, a review of business activities, and an introduction to continuous improvement strategies.
During the internship I was introduced to three factory sites, working with two industries; performance materials for producing circuit board level shielding for the control of electromagnetic interference, and telematics products for wireless communication in vehicles. I gained an understanding of the commercial need for quick product development, and the differing demands between industries.
Working in an international business, at a Chinese site, gave me an insight into the global nature of product development, and the challenges that working with multiple international sites and customers brings to research and development and the wider company.
The Centre for Altenrative Materials and Remanufactuing Technologies (CALMARE) offers suppport to businesses in the South West involved in composite and plastic industries, as well as sustainable technologies. Typically CALMARE provides support in materials testing and development, as well as product development.
I worked directly with businesses, typically in the form of short term consultancy projects. The team took a business’ idea or product with very little prior knowledge, and aim to be able to provide technical advice with 12 hours work on a projects. The work wass highly varied, from refining biomedical products to offering advice on recycling methods, helping me develop a broad knowledge base.
I developed competencies with materials testing equipment; thermal characterization using differential scanning calorimetry and thermogravimetric analysis, physical testing using tensile, compression and impact testing. I alsom improved my ability to choose the most appropriate testing to inform the business with relevant knowledge.
This role led to a higher level of commercial awareness, noting how to best support businesses. I also aim to provide concise and relevant reports to each business.The quick turnaround of projects has improved my time and project management skills, as well as communication with a small team.